August 10, 2015 - 3 Month Follow-up - Discharged! Shoe Guidance.

My ATR surgery was on May 20, 2015, so technically I will be at 12 weeks post-op this Wednesday (it is Monday, so that is two days from now). Today was the first follow-up with my Orthopedic Surgeon in about a month, due to both of our vacation schedules.

As I mentioned in the last post, I am doing great, walking in two shoes and driving. When I saw my OS today he did the Thompson Test, checked my strength, and said that while he was there for me if I needed anything else, he is done with me, I am discharged! I told him that I have dropped down to one PT session a week and they are scheduled out for about the next month and he told me that should suffice as well, if I continue to work on the exercises I learn in PT on my own, which I have been doing all along.

In PT I have progressed to two footed calf raises with no support (30 a day), eccentric strengthening on a leg press machine, resisted toe walking back and forth. heel walking, calf stretches against the wall, heel to toe balance walking, stability work on a blue Theraband stability trainer, and practice stepping over a step, as opposed to just step-ups for strengthening.

My gait is getting better by the day. The slower I walk, the easier it is to have a normal gait. I concentrate on working my repaired leg through the entire normal range of motion from heel strike to toe push off. I still have just a little pain walking down stairs but I am doing my best to concentrate and work through that and come down stairs the "normal" way rather than one foot at a time.

The OS gave me an instruction sheet which is very helpful. I told him I was starting to develop a little heel pain from the asymmetry of having a heel lift in one shoe and not the other, and he told me to go to "Superfeet" or custom insoles for both feet so that the pressure will be equal. He gave me the following instruction sheet for shoes which I think is extremely helpful:

1. Arch Supports: Custom or over-the-counter "Superfeet"
2. Motion Control Shoes: For example Brooks Beast, New Balance 1012 (and I add Asics Gel-Kayano to that list)
3. Danskos
4. Birkenstocks
5. Skechers Shape-Ups
6. NO barefoot, flip flops, slippers, high-heeled shoes, Uggs or Crocs!
7. To ensure proper support make sure that your shoes DO NOT "bend or fold" excessively.

So I consider it a great day. Still taking things one day at a time, but steadily improving with every passing day :)

9 Responses to “August 10, 2015 - 3 Month Follow-up - Discharged! Shoe Guidance.”

  1. I see Number 7 on the list and can agree that Crocs or Uggs should not be warn, ever, regardless of achilles injury or not! ;-P

  2. Are you wearing shoes while in the house? I’ve been wearing Crocs as house slippers, is that bad?

    In the interim, have you tried wearing a wedge on your good side to even you out?

  3. Mattycee, I agree with you 100 percent! Maybe Uggs in a ski lodge by the fireplace when you are not walking. Oscillot - I think wearing Crocs in the house is bad for us (post-ATR) unless you can put a heel wedge on one, which is hard to do. Throw away the Crocs! You need something with a little bit of heel to toe drop to take the stress off your Achilles - even barefoot is bad. I have just adopted the Birkenstocks as my “second feet” and wear them around the house. For winter I may go to a pair of Danskos.

  4. I am 21 weeks post-op…and I confess that I am mostly barefoot around the house. At this point, my involved heel has greater dorsiflexion than my uninvolved heel, so my PT says that the key to walking without a limp is the strength of my calf and not to worry about wedges in my shoes. I’m about 95% limpless, even barefoot.

    That said, I’m sure it’s always better and safer to have good support around an injured heal.

  5. Like most things with this injury there are no black and white, one for all, answers. Also, everyone’s feet, bodies are different…I was told to avoid Danskos and sketchers shape ups and that crocs were fine in the house. I personally can’t wear heel wedges as they cause shin splints but I do wear an over the counter inserts called powerstep that has good arch support.

    Also if you haven’t heard of the “going to the steps trick” try this: Put the injured leg down with the ball of the foot hanging off the step, bring the uninjured leg down to meet it, repeat…as you progress continue to flop the front part of the foot off the step but bring the uninjured leg down past the step that on is on to the next one. This helps prevent excessive dorsiflexion which is what caused most of us pain going down stairs.

    All my best to you.

  6. Great tip from donna. This method saved my butt a couple times where I’ve accidentally stepped down a step with my good foot, as the trailing (bad) Achilles didn’t pop.

    @BobFV - Are you sure your Birks have drop?
    “The unique patented cork footbed has… zero drop (flat) sole design.”

    I’ll concede that shoes are much better at protecting the Achilles, but that’s just not practical for me inside the house

  7. oscillot - actually I just looked at my Birk’s and I am not sure - they do, however, provide stable support and a firm footbed, unlike the Crocs. My OS has not lead me wrong yet, so I am going to follow his advice - seems to be working :)

  8. I am worries about what to wear for my first pair of shoes. I will be ten weeks post-op when I can get into a shoe. I haven’t wore shoes with back in about two years due to the pain in my heal. I also teach so I need something that will be functional.

    Did I say I was worried? !

  9. Sara-Jane - sorry I did not see this right away. Two options - for around the house, Birkenstocks work great (NOT CROCS!), and a very high quality, supportive shoe without a back are “Dansko” Clogs - try a pair! Good luck!

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