My crummy luck

I had an accident Friday, April 30, while walking through a building’s big heavy doors. A gust of wind blew the door closed and it caught the back of my right heel, The door had a metal horizontal brace about 6″ from the borrom and it sliced my ankle and severed my achilles tendon. (Still makes me sick thinking about it!) Building nurses came out and wrapped my ankle while the guard called EMS. They took me to the hospital where they told me the tendon was completely severed. You can only imagine my reaction!! I was lucky that a trauma orthopedic surgeon was there and they got me right into surgery around 3. It was about 2 1/2 hours, and I was in the hospital room by 7 with a cast up to my knee. I can put absolutely NO pressure on my right foot for six weeks and..WORST PART…no driving for 6 weeks. Then much rehab will follow. Am wondering if anyone else has had a severed achilles tendon and how has their recuperation been?

8 Responses to “My crummy luck”

  1. Welcome to the club, Cathy.

    Crummy luck, indeed! My stomach did a little flip just reading about it!


  2. sorry to hear that.
    I had ATR on right foot and I don’t want to upset you more, but be ready to start driving around 8 weeks.
    Again it depends on your recovery protocol and how healing will go.

    Pressing brake wasn’t issue for me, but pressing gas was …
    now, I’m fine at 10 weeks. Don’t rush with driving - IMHO.

  3. 8 yrs ago, when I tore my first AT (I’ve done both sides now!), I heard about a woman who had hers sliced by an aluminum screen door — same general “move” as your accident. It gave me the creeps then, and it still does! (Most of us tore our “internally”, doing aggressive “moves” in a sport.)

    Meanwhile, I’d think the quicker, more modern rehab protocols should apply to your AT Rupture as well as ours — i.e., boots work better than casts, 2 weeks of ZERO weight (”NWB”) is enough, with Full WBearing starting at 4 weeks, as tolerated by your foot. Staying on crutches longer than necessary doesn’t do your AT any good, and it’s hazardous to the rest of your body — not to mention your job, your mental health, your relationships, etc.!!

    If you want an official rehab protocol to print out, roll up, and “swat” your health professionals with, check out my blog, it’s there somewhere. (I’ll shoot you a link if you have trouble finding it.) The reports on the studies that showed that a quick-but-sensible protocol can work very well, are linked there, too.

    Good luck, and good healing!

  4. Omg Sorry to hear about your bad luck Cathy :o/ ….
    I hurt myself 04/29 the day right before you did! Of course my injury was not similar to yours, I hurt it in kickboxing class.

    So sorry about your injury, I wish you a good recovery..

  5. Had a pretty good doc appointment Tuesday. Took off cast and about half the stitches. Recast my foot from 15 degrees to 10 degrees. While it hurts, it means that less PT. Three more weeks in cast and then boot with adjustable heel. Still no weight on foot and no driving but at least it’s healing well he said. How’s your recovery going?

  6. Cathy, as you can see from browsing this site, there is a HUGE range of preferred rehab protocols across the world, and even in individual countries and regions.

    I prefer up-to-date docs and establishments that use boots instead of casts. But I can understand old-fashioned docs and establishments that still use a series of casts, because that’s the way we’ve always done it, it was good enough when I went to Med School and now I’m the Chief Surgeon, etc., etc.(”Eminence-Based Medicine”!)

    But aside from being tamper-proof (are you a child?!?), there really isn’t much that a cast can do that a modern boot can’t, AFAIK. (E.g., the change in angle can be accommodated with a series of heel wedges in a fixed boot, or a change of hinge-stop pins in a hinged boot, MORE accurately than any cast built by a technician.)

    So if your protocol already includes the cost of a boot (which is a barrier in some places), I don’t see why they’d want to add the expense and bother of two casts. From your POV, you get higher risk of pressure points or sores, and eliminate the possibility of careful controlled PT activity early on (like from 2 wks post-op), which is a part of the most successful PROVEN protocols.

    If you’re interested in tracking down other people who have externally SEVERED an AT, rather than internally TEARING one, you should check the various lists of how (and when) everybody “got here”. I think the most up-to-date is by Dennis himself, his “NYC marathon course map” at . There are several people there who mention GLASS as the cause, and I saw a bicycle sprocket and a luggage cart, etc., etc. Some of those people would have blogs, and you may be able to track them down and ask questions, or at least read their stories.

    There’s also a spreadsheet — “ATR Progress Tracker & Timeline” — that may contain good info, if it’s been kept up-to-date.

    Your surgery had to repair a lot more than the typical ATR repair, which MAY make a case for longer immobilization, apart from Eminence-Based Medicine and a misguided urge for “conservatism”. On the other hand, a torn or severed AT (which we’ve ALL got) seems to heal more slowly (especially back to 100%) than broken bones or most other breaks, tears, or cuts. So it’s not obvious to me that your other injuries and repairs have to hold you back. (”Not obvious to me” but still maybe true! And I’m still not a doctor, as you know!)

    Good luck, and good healing!

  7. Cathy, would you moderate my comment #7?

  8. And I thought I had bad luck! Gosh…that must have been so traumatic!! You are in my thoughts and I hope you are recovering well. Hang in there…I am at 15 weeks post-op and already pretty much pain free and walking normally. The first few weeks are the worst but once you get through them, you will see things progress remarkably and you’ll be feeling a whole lot better in the second six weeks. Best of luck…keep us posted! MM

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