I partially tore my Achilles’ tendon over two years ago. Really strange…I was walking with my wife one Saturday night just outside of our home in Phoenix, AZ. I was wearing a pair of thong sandals when I stepped on a little sharp rock. My leg gave way and BAM..I felt a terrible sharp pain in my right Achilles’ tendon. I thought I had gotten hit by a rock or something.
My Phoenix doctor put my leg in a cast for a month and that was it. For the next year I continued to limp and feel a tightness in the ankle. I finally visited another doctor about the problem and after quickly feeling my tendon he told that it hadn’t healed properly. He sent me to another specialist. After having a MRI done he told me that the tendon was partially torn and that surgery was needed.
Due to the fact that my health insurance lapsed…I couldn’t follow through on the surgery immediately. So…now fast forward to this past November (2011) when my wife and I moved to the south American country of Colombia. As soon as possible with a dvd of my MRI in hand I got into see an orthopedic surgeon this past January. It didn’t take him long to confirm what the Phoenix specialist had told me.
So…the surgery was performed two weeks ago…on March 16, 2012. One thing that held up the surgery was the fact that the doctor needed some kind of special glue that had to be special ordered from Bogota. At the time I didn’t really understand what this special glue was all about. Although with some Internet investigation..I THINK it’s a form of fibrin glue…I think!
The surgery was quick..couldn’t have been longer than 45 minutes. I decided to opt for the spinal block instead of a general anesthetic. I wasn’t thrilled about the thought of a needle going into my spine but it seemed like the best option. I could feel the doctor feeling around the bottom of my spine..but I didn’t feel a thing. The ONLY thing that was pretty painful for a couple seconds each was the two shots that he gave me in my butt. Yikes..burned and made my leg have spasms. This lasted probably a minute..so not a huge deal. Kind of funny…during the surgery..as I’m lying on my stomach…the anesthesiologist starts talking to me about if I give English classes. When I told him that I did..he pulled out his Blackberry and entered my email address in order to contact me later..so far he hasn’t followed through! :O)
I was in the recovery room for about 4 hours as the anesthetic wore off on my legs. The cast that the surgeon applied at the end of the surgery is set so that the front of my foot is pointed down at about a 30 degree angle. Aside from suffering some minor bouts of “cast claustrophobia”…which I’m taking some kind of pill so that I don’t get the big time panic attacks in the middle of the night that I did so frequently with in cast in Phoenix things are going well…pretty non-eventful.
I have an appointment to have my cast changed out this coming Wednesday…which will be 20 days after the surgery. The new one will be a walking cast which I think means that the angle of my foot will be parallel with the ground. I think it will be on for another 3 weeks.
One note about cost…I’m not sure what my surgery would have cost with or without insurance in the United States. I can tell you that my wife and I pay about $40/month for health insurance here. As a result…I paid 155,000 Colombian pesos for everything..including future physical therapy treatments…that’s about 80 US dollars…alright! I’m impressed with the quality of health care coverage here…the doctors have been great.
I’m wondering if my recovery time will be faster than if I would have totally ruptured my tendon…
More mas tarde!!! :O)
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