May 21-May 26 2015 - The week immediately following surgery

June 17, 2015

Plantarflexion splint and knee walker - got me through the first six days post surgery
I awoke the morning after my surgery on Thursday May 21. I still had the cast/bandage on my right foot with the toes pointed down. My toes were still numb and the nerve block was still clearly in effect from the afternoon before.  I had prepared a bedroom on the main floor of my house in what is normally an office, since my wife and I have our bedroom up a full flight of stairs.  There is also a bathroom on the same floor as my makeshift "bedroom". I had positioned the knee scooter and the crutches next to my bed and sure enough, I had to wake up to pee the previous night, and it was fairly simple to just swing my knee from the bed to the scooter, scoot a couple of short steps to the bathroom, and I could even manage the act of urination while still on the scooter!

The morning of May 21 (the day after surgery) I got out of bed and scooted right over to my power recliner and just settled in.  My toes were quite swollen, so much so that I considered calling the doctor, but as soon as I got my foot up and put a little ice above the bandage I was fine.

About 1500 that afternoon, pretty much exactly 24 hours after my nerve block was administered, it wore off.  The tingling in my toes which had been so annoying disappeared, and I could now feel sensitivity around my stitches and had to make sure to keep my pressure off of that area.  I accomplished this by having the recliner footrest up with a pillow on top, then I just rolled my leg from side to side to keep pressure off the stitches.  The pain was quite manageable - the Vicodin which I had been eating like candy before the surgery was totally unnecessary now and even as I write this, a month after my surgery, I have not felt the need to take a single narcotic pain reliever since the surgery.  A couple of times I have taken two extra strength Tylenol but that is it - no severe pain at all.

So I did not go back to work for that first week and I remained non-weight bearing.  After a couple of days of having my wife bring me my meals, I decided to venture into the kitchen, which required going up two stairs.  Unfortunately, while I had practiced on the crutches before surgery, I did not practice going up and down stairs.  It is harder than it looks.  So the day after my surgery with my wife helping I got off the knee scooter and up on to the crutches - they are basic aluminum underarm crutches that I had gotten from the hospital.  With my wife at the top of the two small stairs I hopped up with one foot to the first step and lost my balance backwards.  I fell back but I knew I could not put any weight on my right leg so I just let myself crash onto my right elbow.  It was a spectacular crash and I severely bruised the elbow but thank God I did not put my foot down and rerupture the Achilles.  Lesson learned. I got back up and with my weight positioned forward managed to hop up the stairs and join my wife in the kitchen for dinner.

The rest of the week was just ice, rest, elevation. I went in for my first follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday May 26, six days after surgery.