Nov
05
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by bobbie24 on 05-11-2015

Had my post op visit yesterday to have stiches removed and new protocol for the next 6 weeks. Was fitted with a ROM Airwalker hinged. Was told all looking very good, very little swelling and the wound looking great. I can ditch my crutches whenever I’m comfortable with that, use boot when on my feet & walking, boot can come off at night or while resting up, but other wise on. In week 7 post op I can practice walking in the home with no boot prior to my 8 week check up and discussion regarding Physio Therapy and booking appointments. In the meantime I have a few gentle exercises small ankle circles, writing the alphabet gentle with foot. I can shower without boot but must sit on chair for safety. All feeling really good at this stage, no pain but I’m having issues ditching the crutches, don’t seem to be master a walking technique with boot on. Bad leg is fine, good leg just seems to hop through rather than walk. Any suggestions for mastering walking with the boot would be greatly appreciated as I just don’t get it as yet. Did anyone else have issues getting the walking with boot down pat or is it just me.
Wishing you all safe & progressive healing. Keep your sense of humour as we’re all on a bit of a journey here
Take care

Comments

beanie on 6 November, 2015 at 5:49 AM #

Hi Bobby,

It’s good to hear things are going smoothly so far! I struggled with the boot at first. In fact I took about 5 days to get PWB right due to pain and difficulty moving that heavy boot around. I also moved to a boot at 2 weeks.

My tips are to try walking using the crutches for support. Work on striking your heel down and then using momentum and your hips to follow through as your good foot comes across. The boot will keep your bad foot in the correct posture, so try to relax that ankle, let the boot do the work. You will notice that your shin will push into the boot and this rolls you forward.

Have a YouTube search for Evan Brown achilles repair. He does some videos on boot walking.

Don’t expect anything to happen quickly. The first tries always seem difficult and sticky. But what you will find is that a day or so later you’ll suddenly notice that it’s gotten easy and you can put less weight on the crutches and from that point it goes quickly to not using the crutches at all. At about 3.5 I was FWB in the boot.

Try not to peg leg it as a habit. We all do, but focus on avoiding it when you can.

Avoid any pain. If you’re having a bad day then back off and crutch it. The next day will be so much better because you treated your achilles kindly.

This is what I have found so far, I hope it’s helpful, but I’m not out of the woods yet. 10 weeks and 2 shoes .. Everything is still a big scary adventure at this point!

Good luck, heal well and I can’t wait to hear how you progress!


beanie on 6 November, 2015 at 6:00 AM #

One other thing I should have mentioned … You need to get both feet to the same height. I bought EvenUp online, not expensive and works perfectly. Before I found this, I duct taped a flip-flop to the bottom of my trainer and this also worked well, it just looked terrible!


bobbie24 on 6 November, 2015 at 6:34 AM #

Thank you so much for your advice as I’m really finding this walking without the crutches a real challenge. I will try to find the Utube video as suggested and will keep you posted. Did you stop sleeping in the boot at 2 weeks also.
It’s not pain stopping me I just simply can’t get the motion right.
Tomorrow I’ll start practicing as you have suggested
Much appreciated. How are you finding your progress going, seems everyone has been given different recovery, very interesting.
I’m in South Australia, where are you located.
Please keep me posted as I will you
Wishing you safe recovery, Robyn


beanie on 6 November, 2015 at 6:56 AM #

Hey Robyn,

I never slept with the boot. I didn’t get to see my surgeon until week 7, at week 4 they printed me his protocol and it said sleep in the boot until week 8, but at week 2 the intern had told me I didn’t need to sleep in the boot. From reading here I was skeptical and I tried to sleep in it that first night anyway, but after two hours I threw it off and never tried again. I did have 2 scares tho, on the first I woke up while trying to turn myself over in bed with my bad foot. On the other I got up to reach for my crutches and my hand slipped and I put my bad foot down to catch myself. From what I have read and gauged from my own experience, you don’t need to wear the boot at night to aid your recovery, but if it’s on then you guarantee that you can’t hurt yourself. I chose sleeping comfortably above safety but I struggle to sleep when things are good. It seems that very few people on here sleep without the boot. It has worked for us, but the majority have it on 24/7 for at least 6 weeks.

I’m in Sydney! So we are not so far away from each other. I’ll be holding thumbs for your walking tomorrow!


Robyn on 1 December, 2015 at 1:59 AM #

Five weeks post Achilles’ tendon surgery and all going well.
I have continued to get about in my Aircast hinged boot set at 30% - neutral
Disguarded the crutches in week three once I mastered walking in the boot, that took a few days to get the hang of, but as Beanie advised, an evenup for the shoe on the good foot really makes a difference to getting your balance and certainly assists whilst relieving hip & lower back stress that can come from imbalance.
Haven’t slept with the boot on since the third week, but have pillows either side of keg to remind me to be conscious of fragile leg. No issues here.
Virtually no swelling now, although if I have had a busier day with no rest for leg, then by end of the day there is a little more swelling than normal which I ice while relaxing. Doing exercises three times a day, the alphabet, pointing toes, gentle circles, moving foot from left to right & vice vis. My incision site is now very good, I massage coconut oil in twice a day, great for healing & moisturising with amazing healing qualities. Bio-oil is also very good too but I personally prefer the natural pure coconut oil.
The area where I believe the internal stiches were/are, that is, the repair site, is tight but feeling good, not too tender at all now so feeling pretty good.
Each day/ week there are steady improvements, foot looking & feeling much more normal now.
Poor old calf muscle isn’t half what it used to be but when I gently point my toes I can see the little flexing that connects to the muscle so I figure there’s progress.
Upside I can get about in the boot quite effectively so I can do most things that need to be done now, just a little slower as I’m conscious of not over doing it and I am very careful with my footing
I’m hoping when I go back for my next appointment on the 17th December he will let me drive the car, or should I say I hope I have enough healing & strength that will enable me to drive safely.
Could be wishful thinking but I remain positive. I start physio post my next appointment.
I live alone so not being able to drive is a real bummer as I can’t get off my property without someone being able to come get me, but the upside is I can fortunately work from home & I’m getting heaps if things up to date that had been neglected due to busy work/lifestyle
I hope you are all progressing well, not letting the length of time to heal get to you, and learning more & more about patience & acceptance.
Just take each day as it comes, focus on what you can do rather than on the things you can’t
enjoy the downtime and stay really positive as things do improve daily.

By the way from surgery I was fitted straight into boot with no wedges, fixed in neutral for the first two weeks, then post two week check up when stitches were taken out, hinge set at 30% with no wedges and is to remain like this for the 6 weeks til next visit, I didn’t question this, didn’t think to at the time, not sure if the 30% should be adjusted to 20% then 10% etc but not sure

Chin up it will all work out soon enough


Robyn on 17 December, 2015 at 7:19 AM #

8 weeks post surgery
I attended my 8 weekly appt with surgeon and am happy to say he was so pleased with
progress that he said I could go back to two shoes & start physio rehab as soon as possible.
Impressed that I don’t get over confident, just continue with exercises, no running, jumping,
squatting or picking up heavy things that would strain lower leg and ankle. Must be very careful on inclines and going up hill just avoid for a few more weeks. Extra careful on stairs using rails and putting flat foot down not toes or heel & this stage.
Can do exercises in pool or spa, avoid uneven surfaces until more rehab and strength improves.
No wedges however best to get inserts for flat shoes, small heels fine but keep away from high heels altogether. All very logical really.
Walking with mild limp due to a little stiffness but otherwise not too bad.
Very happy to be out of boot as we are in the Middle of heat wave here in Adelaide, hopefully you are safe in Sydney. No doubt I will probably boot it when outside for a bit longer just to be safe
but have to say, pretty happy.

Hope all are progressing well, inch by inch it keeps getting better


beanie on 17 December, 2015 at 7:41 PM #

Robyn, it’s great to hear from you again! Sounds like your recovery is right on track, that’s excellent! Good luck with the heat wave you guys are having, I think we’re all desperately hoping that no more huge fires break out. I hope you continue to heal well and progress incident free through the two shoes phase. Stay well!


Robyn on 17 December, 2015 at 8:15 PM #

Thanks Beanie
Bit scary 8-12 week danger zone.
Very mindful of footing and taking it very gingerly.
I thought it would be great when I could disguard the boot, back to two shoes, walk he said
What a laugh, foot said good luck with that, as I did the little step, limp, step, little number.
Alas stage two rehab & therapy & being very careful.
I think I will feel a lot better once I am under the guidance of the PT with my new set of
what I can & can’t do safely.
I’d like to know what shoes they recommend as I’m guessing ones with a slight wedge or heel,
sad as I’m a summer flip flop girl. I’m bare footing it around the house currently without
the safety blanket (boot) but totally loving the new found freedom.
Your progress has been terrific and I do hope you continue sharing each win & milestone.
Funny how the things we once took for granted becomes a gift of total appreciation.
Simple walk along the foreshore, conscious of how our body is connecting and working together,
how important each thread is to compliment the efficiency of the other. Back to baby steps, inch by inch and the excitement of reaching the next stage.
Yes it’s a journey but with the right attitude can in fact be far more positive than anticipated
Look forward to seeing more posts as you progress, your feedback has been so appreciated


Stuart on 17 December, 2015 at 10:42 PM #

Getting hot here in the mountains. We think anything above 28 celcius is hot. Spent the morning wading our stream searching for a sucker trout. Glad we do not live in Sydney or Adelaide at the moment. Not a good time to be in a boot so good thing you are out of it.


bobbie24 on 27 December, 2015 at 10:50 PM #

Hello to all, whatever stage of recovery your at p, I do hope you all managed to have a delightful relaxing Christmas and wishing you safe and healthy recoveries and a great New Year to come.
Just an update I was cleared of my trusty Airwalker on the 17 th December 8 weeks post my surgery. Now 11 days in two shoes & coming along just fine. The day starts off with only a very mild limp and feels great all things considered. If it’s a busy day I have some swelling by evening, but if it’s more relaxing I have very little swelling. I do three sets of my exercises each day, my plantarflexion is pretty much the same as my good foot however the dorsiflexion is still not much more than neutral. I’m getting more strength in foot & leg, calf muscle is starting to look good
Toes and bottom of my heel still a little tender but not giving me any trouble. The Achilles is still a little tight and I am certainly aware of its movement & connection the calf. I massage the scar daily to help release scar adhesions but since the PT dud this it is feeling much freer. It is a process but improvement is noticeable daily. I can drive now and get around so things a improving and I have to say I’m really pleased with my progress. Stay positive, keep up the exercises no more or less than your stage of recovery you’re at and you’ll be on track. The beginning feels daunting but it goes by quickly enough if you keep your mind positive.
Soon enough it will become a memory to block back upon and I for one will be forever grateful I found this blog, thank you all for the hints, tips & support Cheers Robyn


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