Hi, I am a 35 yr old female from Ireland who went to a lovely wedding on July 17th in Cork, during the night whilst dancing fairly boisterously I banged the back of my left leg off a chair leg and immediately knew something was wrong as the ankle ballooned and the pain was bad. Don’t ask how(maybe the Vodka intake) but I remained at the party till early morning and managed somehow to hobble, barely using my left toes, back to my room.
Next morning the swelling was still bad even after hours of being up in bed. I hobbled down for breakfast and into the car for home. I got the Husband to stop at our local Hospital in Wexford where I was now unable to put any weight on the foot and he had to get a wheel chair to bring me in. About 2 hours later I was diagnosed as having ruptured the Achilles Tendon with the calf squeeze test. They cast my leg from the knee (in old fashioned plaster) and gave me crutches to do me till I got to our regional Hospital in Waterford where I had to be seen by Orthopaedics.
In Waterford an attending saw me after about another 2 hours and she confirmed after removing the cast and x-raying the ankle that it was ruptured but wanted her superior to confirm so another 2 hours to wait. Yes its ruptured, maybe I have a cracked ankle for good measure but both will heal in cast. I was recommended surgery as its less likely to rerupture and could be done the following morning July 19th 2009.
I was given a spinal and sedative but could still feel the surgeon poking my leg so I had to have the anaesthetic too but woke up fine in my bed, in my ward, 2 hours after being wheeled out of it. There was a bit of pain but mostly discomfort as my foot was now facing down and in like a ballerina (to keep the tendon at its shortest till it took)
I left the hospital Monday July 20th after I’d fallen in the hospital shower, crutches really don’t like the wet at all Painkillers in hand I left for home but never really needed them. Kept the leg up most of the time for the first week because the husband was home to look after me and the 2 young kids and anytime I tried go anywhere in the wet, miserable worst ever Irish summer I’d be nervous as hell that I’d slip or fall again, I have had a few close calls and the shot of pain that goes up the leg is cruel.
NB; Yawning is a problem, had to bend my left leg when I needed to yawn, only way to stop my body trying to stretch the muscles in the cast. I got a shower chair so I could have a wash in comfort. Have to use surgical tape to seal a bin liner over the cast and keep it dry. I use a chair to kneel the left knee on when I’m doing make up or preparing dinner, gives me 2 hands free and relieves some of the pressure off my right foot. New casts are very uncomfortable for a day or 2 and start feeling very loose after about 8 to 10 days.
Went back to Consultant 30th July and had cast changed so they could check my scar (take out the stitches) and recast the foot in a slightly more natural position. I am being given fibreglass casts. Scar is about 3 1/2 or 4 inches long with 9 or 10 stitches and a bit red and raw near the heel where it was wrinkled in the cast, got a few paper stitches to keep it secure and a new cast, a kind nurse took pity on me and gave the leg a bit of a wash. Foot and ankle are very swollen and bruised looking.
Back to Hospital 13th August, cast changed, foot moved a bit more toward 90 degrees, paper stitches removed still some bruising and very swollen. Paper Stitches took off a bit of skin looked raw
Raw scar August 13th
Back again August 27th got foot to 90 degrees-ish, new cast and wound looking nice and dry, swelling is still a lot but bruising is gone.
3rd September I met with surgeon who said I could keep cast off and try putting a little bit of weight on the toes, have to wear shoes with a litle bit of a heel so I am not over stretching the tendon. Can start having physiotherapy.
4th Sept. went to physio for 1st time ever, they are cruel, I was nearly crying as he pummelled the scar tissue, got some ultrasound therapy and felt better leaving with some exercises and rubber band to use as a force for the foot to move.
8th Sept. back to my physio who massaged the tendon and calf area a lot today and put 2 needles (like acupuncture needles) into the back of my leg to loosen the muscle while he worked, not a lot of pain thank god and he reset the height of my crutches so they are a lot more comfortable (kids keep playing with them) and gave me a stronger rubber band to make the foot work harder. He says I’ll probably need 6 to 8 sessions to be back walking right. I am now to try using my heel to toe movement but still only about 20% weight on the left foot.