My follow-up visit was after 2 weeks and 1 day.
It was a relief to have the cast off since I was able to scratch regions around the incision. It’s been bugging me for a couple of days.
The sutures were removed, and it felt like quick pin pricks. So it’s not too bad. I’ll take that over nauseousness or dizziness any day.
I waited a few more minutes and the physician’s assistant walked in. I was hoping to see the surgeon, but he was busy. The PA recommended 3 more weeks of cast in neutral position (90 degrees) allowing for about 20 - 30 lbs of weight bearing.
This is my new cast. I don’t think it’s quite 90 degrees, but close enough.
After that, I’ll be moving into a CAM boot with steadily increasing weight bearing until it’s full weight bearing with the brace in the 2 week time frame.
Normal shoes at 8 week mark.
I asked the PA about early weight bearing protocol, and he advised against it. He didn’t give me any concrete reasons why, admitting that the rupture rates are not any worse according to some reviews.
I also asked if I could go into a CAM boot right away, but he recommended that I don’t since people get tempted to take the boot off and if you get sloppy, you might hurt yourself while you have the boot off. As for the cast, it’s on for good, and from the doctors’ perspective, they can be sure that I won’t be hopping around without the boot.
I thought about it some more and decided that I didn’t feel comfortable with the strength of my achilles tendon now anyway, so I asked that I be put in a cast for 2 weeks, and then I’ll move into a CAM boot. The PA said that was a good compromise, and the nurse put on another fiberglass cast on me.
I also asked the assistant if I could see the doctor, but he said that the surgeon was in surgery, and if I really wanted to see him then I would have to wait for a while. I did see the surgeon walking around before, and he did see a few other patients, but I suppose the timing didn’t work out.
I’ll make sure that I see the doctor next time.
I guess this doctor’s recovery protocol is moderately conservative, and I am not in a cast for too long. I am happy with partial weight bearing for now.
Earlier, my friend advised me to get a copy of the Operative Report and Discharge Summary, so I asked for it. The PA said that there was no discharge summary since it was an outpatient surgery, and he was happy to make a copy of the Operative Report for me. After a couple of minutes, he handed me a copy of the Operative Report, and he also filled out my temporary handicap permit form that I brought with me.
Overall I was happy with the visit since the incision is healing nicely, and I am at the partial weight bearing stage. Two more weeks in a cast, and then I should be able to slowly walk in the CAM boot.
I’ve discussed my first visit with other ATR recoverers, and it looks like I received a fairly standard treatment. A lot of them do see their surgeons though so they are able to talk about what the condition of the tendon was like and how the surgery went.
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