June 2009


Well things were going well until today, I was out replacing my car battery, I had set a socket down on the ground and completely forgot about it. I walked away to grab something then came back, stepped on the socket with my bad foot and down I went. All I can say was this was more painful than rupturing my tendon. I think I am pretty tolerable to pain, but this almost brought tears to my eyes. My ankle/foot instantly swelled up.

I went back and grabbed the compression sleeve and put my foot in the boot right away and used the pump for additional compression.

Luck have it, I already have a doctors appointment scheduled for 8:45AM tomorrow with my Ortho Surgeon, but I’m feeling sick to my stomach…This has been the most demoralizing injury I’ve ever had. It is extremely hard for me to sit back, relax, and be sedentary. Anyways I’m really nervous that I’ve re-ruptured my Achilles right now…The pain is there, that snapping feeling up my leg when I fell happened again, and the swelling is back…

ARGH!

Not to much of an update this week. Last week I started taking wedges out, and I took the last one out on Monday. So over a seven day period I went from 3 wedges to none. I feel like walking in the boot has gotten easier with my foot at 90 degrees.

Had my 5th physical therapy session today. We started to do some isometrics with my ankle to build up some strength. For now I am using my good foot as resistance while I move my ankle from side-to-side, and up towards the ceiling. Nothing that places stress on the Achilles yet. My therapist said that my ankle was really loose today, so that was good to hear. Thus far I don’t have to much pain doing the range of motion exercises, but the weight bearing range of motion exercises can be a little bit painful.

The lower part of my calf a few inches up from the top of my incision has been pretty sore as well. It feels like a rock. I’ve been trying to keep up with massaging it and the therapist has been massaging it as well.

Pretty much all I have for now. Here is the incision at 4 weeks post-op.
4 weeks post-op

I saw some other blogs were people were curious as to what types of exercises people were doing in therapy so I thought I would make a post myself. At this point I’ve had 3 therapy sessions and my 4th will be tomorrow. I am going twice a week.

1. My therapist usually moves my ankle back and forth for the first 5 minutes to get everything loosened up and towards the end of this he starts increasing the range of motion to the point where it’s becoming a stretch.

2. I’ve also been sitting with my legs extended, wrapping a towel around the upper part of my foot and pulling my toes towards my body. I do this exercise at least 2-3 times a day.

3. Pretty much the same as number 2, but move the towel toward the middle of your foot so that the ankle has more of a side-to-side stretch. I do this exercise at least 2-3 times a day.

4. Sitting with legs extended point my toes straight out then pulling them back up. I do this movement about twenty times. At first this was somewhat difficult for me, and it still kind of is when my ankle isn’t loosened up. I’ve also had a bit of tenderness when my toes are pointing outward and everything along the incision is bunched up. I do this exercise 2-3 times a day.

5. The calf massage, I’ve noticed that the middle part of my calf feels like a rock and was discussing this with my therapist. He did a little bit of massaging to it which seemed to help a bit. When I’m on my own I take the binding of a book and run it up and down my calf muscle. I do this every night.

6. This is the newest thing we’ve started doing, but its pretty much similar to number one when we’re doing the range of motion stuff, but this time he’s adding a little bit of resistance instead of helping my ankle along.

Other than the above exercises I’ve just been told to do variations of leg raises to work the other muscles in my leg out a little bit. 2×20 reps of each variation of the leg lifts.

I guess there’s quite of bit of stuff that has happened in the last week since my 2 week post-op appointment.

1. I’ve returned to work. Had a nice “month long vacation”. I drive a car with a manual transmission so I got a little extra time off to figure out an alternative means of transportation. I spent my time reading books, watching movies, and getting good and playing the good ol’ Xbox360 again, which I really hadn’t touched much since I graduated from college.

2. I haven’t used my crutches in 4 days so I guess you could say that I’m FWB in the boot now. However at the end of the day the top of my foot is a little sore, nothing a little ice and elevation doesn’t take care of though. At my 2 week post-op I was told I could start walking as tolerable. So since June 8th, I slowly started to increase the amount of weight I was putting on my foot, and by the 12th I was walking in the boot without crutches, well hobbling around as my co-workers call it.

3. I’ve had 3 sessions of physical therapy. I’m currently doing 2 sessions a week and eventually I think I’ll be dropping down to once a week. For now we’ve just been working on range of motion. Started to do a little bit of resistance today with some of the exercises, but nothing that caused me any pain.

4. My range of motion seems to be getting better at every PT session. I don’t remember what my initial range of motion was, but it was not 0. Last Thursday I was at 0* (90 Degrees, but they call it 0). Today I was at 5* So I am slowly progressing. My therapist has told me that I’m progressing very well.

5. My first day at PT it was hard for me to move my ankle around without having the therapist help it along. Now I am almost able to point my toes straight out and bring them back up on my own.

6. We’ve begun taking the wedges out of my boot. Took one out today and he expects that by the end of next week I wont be using the wedges anymore. (I started out with 3 wedges in the boot after surgery)

7. The best part of all! I can finally sleep without that boot!

At first I thought that the recovery procedure my surgeon outlined for me was pretty aggressive compared to what I’ve seen on here, but since we’ve started I don’t feel like I’ve strained my ankle anywhere near the point of re-rupture. For the most part everything seems to be coming along nicely. The incision is healing nicely, the top half of it no longer has any scabbing while the lower half still has a little bit. I’ve been using Sterile Strips to cover the incision so that it’s not rubbing on the boot while I am walking.

Anyways that’s it for now!

I had my 2 week post-op today. They were pretty busy, so I got to hang out with my Doctor’s PA for the duration of my appointment. She took all the bandages off and removed all of the staples. She said that the incision looked like it was healing very well at this stage. I’m back in the boot for the next month, but she said that I can start walking with the boot as I feel comfortable with it, take showers again without putting a bag over my foot, and take my foot out of the boot while I’m relaxing, but I still have to sleep with it on. My next appointment with them is July 8th for a re-evaluation of things. At this point the PA said I should be able to start wearing two shoes again.

I also start physical therapy tomorrow. No weight bearing activities or strength building yet, just going to be moving my ankle around.

Here’s a pic of the incision thus far…
ATR Incision

I think I’ve lost a little muscle already…
Legs

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