Oct
29

Here’s my story so far, early days yet
I stepped from a landing onto a step below which collapsed with my foot/ heal going through it.
Landing heavily with full weight onto my right heal. Trauma injury to foot with fully ruptured Achilles’ tendon
10/10/2015 Injury
10/12/2015 UltraSound Confirmed acute complete rupture 4 cm
10/14/2015 Appt with first Surgeon who said very little didn’t explain options but recommended conservative and had nurse fit a Cam Boot with two wedges
10/17/2015 Appt with Physio who recommended second opinion
10/20/2015 Appt with second Surgeon who fully explained injury, all options and what pros & cons of each, recommended surgery given I work full time, very busy & active and crutches would be gone much quicker
10/21/2015 Right Achilles Tendon Reconstruction surgery, foot secured in Cam Walker, block should last 15-24 hours, pain killers prescribed, Boot on 24/7 until post op appt,above heart elevation as much as possible first 48 hours, rest, then elevate each night or as required.
11/05/2015 Post Op appt when stitches are removed and hinged boot fitted & next part of recovery explained
Was told given new technique I could weight bear as pain allows post the first week of surgery

Now 7 days post op, only needed pain meds the night the block wore off, have been feeling pretty good so far and feel very confident changing Ortho Surgeon was a very good idea.

Any advise or information is so welcome, thanking you in advance

Work in progress, wishing all a very successful healing. Love this blog, have found it very interesting & reassuring. Thank You

Comments

roobear on 30 October, 2015 at 12:48 AM #

Good luck with it all Bobbie. I fully ruptured my achilles on 29 Aug 15 playing basketball. Have graduated from cast to moon boot. 6 weeks in total for the cast and then 6 weeks in total for the boot but can lose the crutches after 4 weeks in the boot (so excited, only 2 more weeks and no more bloody crutches)!

Tips I have learned:

Get a travel cup, great for coffee, bourbon and other beverages.

I suffered a compressed nerve in my left hand from using the crutches so much (went a bit mad and visited the local show for the day). I started to lose feeling in 2 of my fingers in one hand. I made it way more comfortable by cutting up an old foam pillow and using duct tape to adhere it to the handles. This could be useful to do before you run into problems like me.

A length of whipper snipper cord is great for using to scratch inside your cast!

Beware of using crutches on wet floors, lose surfaces etc. 3 falls so far but luckily didn’t damage anything.

When you get a moon boot, keep it on in bed. You could have a dream, whatever and do damage to your achilles if you inadvertently jump out of bed. I have had a few times when I woke up kicking my leg, like a spasm, thank god for the boot!

It is a long process, so set small goals. Mine was to have the op, then next goal was to get the lighter fibre glass cast, next goal get the boot, current goal to walk without the crutches in the boot (2 weeks time). So on and so forth. Little goals at a time, otherwise it gets too depressing.

Use the downtime to focus on something else. Do the things you normally wouldn’t have time for (read, write a song, whatever).

I use a chair in the shower and got a mate to fit a hand held shower head (cheap). Very useful.

I purchased a really good water proof cast protector for the shower from ebay for about $40 (Aussie). Was great and much better than garbage bags and tape!

See if your eligible for an ACROD permit. Applications available online. Your doctor fills out his bit and you then fill in your section and can submit it online.

Do your rehab and exercises religiously once you get to that stage (for me only very light movement of the foot up and down at this stage when out of the moon boot).

There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Cheers

Russ


bobbie24 on 30 October, 2015 at 3:00 AM #

Hello Russ
Thank you for you cheerful upbeat reply and helpful hints.
You must let me know where you are from. My surgeon basically said once I have the surgery which was last Wednesday 21 st October I would be in the Camboot 24/7 from surgery until my next visit 5th November and apart from first 72 hours of keeping foot elevated as much as possible I could ditch the crutches and weight bare as pain levels allowed.
At this stage I have not attempted FWB but have been partially using my foot
My office chair at home is my new best friend takes me everywhere in the house, I use elbow crutches when I practice walking up and down the hall.
I have a shower chair so that’s doing ok. I’m looking forward to next Thursday when I can get this boot off for the first time and stitches out, not sure what the next step in recovery will be, although I believe I will be fitted with a different hinged boot. I will keep you posted as to what I’m told to do next.
I haven’t had too much discomfort except my foot would love to be free of the boot just for a few seconds would be bliss, but I was told I was not to touch it so I have done as told. The office chair is great in kitchen as juggling cups and plates of food much easier and can scoot around comfortably. I’m taking lots of Vitamin C & Zinc to promote healing and having raw green nutriblast drinks daily also to promote cell renewal and antioxidants to help prevent infection. Not a health freak just figure anything natural to promote healing has to help
I would love a brandy or two but will leave that as a celebratory drink each time a reach a short term goal.
So many different views regarding recovery protocol varies by country by surgeon. I guess we just have to be patient and do what feels right and works for our individual needs. I have total confidence un my surgeon & physio so I guess a working partnership is a good thing for a starter.
Keep your chin up & keep healing thank you so much for your response, it is refreshing to talk to someone who understands the frustration. Agreed keeping attitude fun & positive is a good formula for staying on top of things
Wishing you well, Robyn


roobear on 1 November, 2015 at 3:29 AM #

Hi Robyn, I am from Bunbury Western Australia (regional town 200 kms south of Perth). The treatments and specialists certainly vary in opinions etc.

I opted to travel to Perth for surgery and asked my local GP who he recommended . The Specialist in Perth came highly recommended and the research I did supported that. The specialist told me that an operation was recommended as mine was a full rupture.

After the operation I was put in a cast for 6 weeks, no weight bearing at all. Just hobbling around on crutches.
After the 6 weeks I was put into a moon boot which I am in now. I am now week 9 and was told just to do gentle movements of the foot (point foot down, then point up) each day when I take the boot off. That’s all I was told to do.
I have am partial weight bearing at the moment and that seems fine.

For week 11 and 12 I spend a further 2 weeks in the boot but have been told to walk in it without the crutches, so FWB. Kind of scary thought really. The achilles feels really tight but I realise that’s par for the course.

At the beginning of week 13 I have to visit my specialist again and I guess that will be the end of the boot and I should be walking again. That is when I was toldby the specialist that the physio will begin. Seems to be very conservative approach after reading other peoples stories; but hey, he is the specialist and I am doing what he told me.

Seems to be wildly varying methods to recovery practices from what I have read. All I can do is follow my specialists advice but pick up pointers from people within this site.

The hardest thing for me has been the mental part; being on crutches for so long is very frustrating. I just want to get out there and walk along the beach, walk my dog, geez, just walk anywhere! Being a single Dad doesn’t help but luckily my 2 teenage boys have helped out. Had to get a cleaner in each week but worth the money.

Good idea about the vitamins.

Just be super careful when you take the boot off. It would be unbearable to have a fall and re-rupture your achilles.
I have various bar stools all over my place as “resting points” or where I can sit in the kitchen and cook, sit at the bathroom mirror to shave, etc etc. I also have a static cane type thingy with a handle that I grip onto when I hop in and out of the shower. Probably the best thing that I got (wet floors = potential slips).

Anyway, wishing you a speedy recovery. Let me know how you go.

Cheers

Russell


bobbie24 on 9 November, 2015 at 9:54 PM #

Hello there just an update. Come tomorrow I will be three weeks post Achilles Tendon rupture repair. At my appointment with OS last Thursday he fitted me wit ROM Airboot set 30 and suggested whenever comfortable and pain permitting I could ditch the crutches when ready. Not sure if it was a confidence thing or just me not getting it but until today I just couldn’t get the gait right more like bunny hop than walking. Beanie suggested I purchase an Evenup which I received yesterday and that really made a great difference in centre of balance. Today I practiced with one crutch on opposite side to injury and then wa-la I ditched the crutch and was able to walk almost resembling normal
abeilt much slower, which I’m sure will improve with practice & confidence daily. Small steps but I am now hands free Yipee! Daily I do the gentle exercises, ankle circles, toe points, leg lifts and writing the alphabet. Still very little swelling and no pain except for the occasional tenderness at wound area but nothing to complain about feeling much better daily. Next appointment with OS is in 5 weeks time and no mention of changing angle of boot. I note on some bloggers posts that the angle was changed weekly. I don’t understand this so would love to hear from anyone who gets how this works
My boot is an Ossur Rom Airwalker hinged. I was not fitted with any wedges
just the hinged boot any information regarding this would be most welcome
This blog has been a godsend thank you all for the interaction and great tips
Stay patient, happy safe healing Robyn


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