On Thursday, I visited the doctor for my 2 week post op visit and all went well. After two weeks in a soft cast, I was ready for the unveiling of the suture site to see how things looked. I was fearful that I would see an ugly mess, but to my surprise, it was a clean 3 to 4 inch incision from just above my heal and slightly to the inside of where my achilles would come down. The doctor said that it was a clean tear and he didn’t have any trouble stitching the tendon back together in the middle.
Next the stitches were taken out. I was anticipating some pain, but it wasn’t bad and before I knew it, the nurse was telling me that it was all done. Once the stitches were out, the doctor examined things and declared that all looked good. I have some tenderness around the back of my heal, but other than that, there is no pain. My only disappointment was that the doctor told me that I need to wear a boot with no weight bearing for 3 more weeks, followed by 4 weeks, with gradual weight bearing. My first thought was, that I will do all I can to push this timeline. I don’t want to sound stubborn but I will likely try to put weight on the leg in about another week. Just a little bit of weight and gradually add to it. I definitely don’t want to reinjure, but I am a pretty quick healer and I know the doctor’s timeline is intended to be conservative to cover all types of healers. And you know, the last I checked, they do not take you to jail for not exactly following the doctor’s orders.
The doctor also wanted me to wear a soft wrap with a hard splint around my ankle when I sleep. The good news was that I didn’t have to wear the boot. So, I put the wrap on and went to sleep the first night, but woke up to that sore spot on my heal really hurting. Because the splint pushes against the heal, there was a lot of pain there. I immediatly took the wrap off, and the pain subsided. From now on, I will just take the boot off and sleep without anything on my leg. I did that last night, and it was fine.
My boot is mostly soft cloth with a hard bottom and sides around the foot. A wedge was placed in the bottom of the boot to keep my heal up. This boot seems like it has about 10 feet of velcro straps which are wrapped in different places on the boot. When I am at home and sitting, I take the boot off and let the surgical site get some air. The doctor told me to do ankle flexing exercises a few times a day to start stretching the tendon, a little at a time.
Also, now I can take a shower! This is a fantasting thing. Our shower has a seat in it, so I safely get into the shower and then sit down. This is still so much better than those sponge baths of the last 2 weeks.
I went to the gym today and worked out, which was a great thing to do. Although I have tried to do a few things at home to exercise, it was so good to get back to the gym and try to get back in shape, from two weeks away.
I must say, that I was in a little bit of denial for a few days, after this injury occured. The first question, was “why me?” What could I have done to have prevented this? I was in good shape, warmed up and yet it still happened, with no warning at all. After two weeks, I have a long way to go, but I am now taking this injury and recovery as a challenge to get myself back to doing what I could do before. I doubt that I will be back on the tennis court for quite a while. Tennis was always enjoyable, but not my favorite thing to do. I am hoping to get to weight bearing with a boot soon, so I can go out, and practice a few golf chips and putts. I will progress from there. My goal of playing golf in August is still in reach!