So I’ll start by saying I didn’t have ATR. Rather my achilles was cut and reattached in order to remove a LARGE bone spur/growth that was behind it. Here are the happenings and pictures from the first 2 weeks.
I’ve spent most of my time laying around with my foot elevated since I had surgery on 2/17. I’ve had a bone spur/growth (Haglund’s deformity) under my achilles since at least 2004. That’s the earliest date I can find for when I went to Vegas for a soccer tournament. I "discovered" this growth after my first tournament when I was hobbling around in pain. Went to see a doc about it and was told about the bone growth under the achilles. Went through PT and continued to do the exercises off/on from that point on since they told me both my achilles were REALLY tight and might snap if I didn’t keep working to keep them flexible. I suspect my small feet (size 6.5 women) and height 5′ 8" may have something to do with the creation of this too. I have these growths on both heels but my right foot is much worse, probably because I’m right footed.
Anyway - fast forward to 2007 when I saw another doctor about it because my achilles was continually annoyed and more so when I played soccer - which I do 3-4 times a week. He gave me the run down to fix it - surgery followed by 3-4 weeks in bed with elevation 90% of the time and no weight, 3-4 weeks 50% elevation and no weight (aka NWB), then start doing weight bearing in a boot and PT and hopefully in 9-12 months back to normal. This doctor was very blase about whether I could play soccer again. Since that is a requirement and he was so non-committal I passed on the surgery, put more pads in my soccer shoes, wore clogs/crocs most of the time and started using a silicone gel pad slip on when I put any closed back shoes on my right foot.
Fast forward to 2015 when I saw a doctor again - turned out it was the same guy I saw in 2007- sheesh!
Here’s my foot before surgery - isn’t that a lovely protrusion? The dotted line is sort of the bone area that will be removed.
Well fast forward even more to the end of 2016 and the annoyance is more and it is more debilitating. I was also starting to get random shooting pains when I’m just sitting so things are getting worse. I tried a new surgeon and he was much more enthused about making sure I can play at least as much soccer after healing as I do now. He couldn’t promise anything but if things go normally then I’ll be back on the pitch maybe in September. He also didn’t call me a "soccer addict" as the other doctor did. He wouldn’t say I would be able to play more than before - LOL! My foot limited me to 1 game a day and I could not play in full game tournaments that have you playing intense soccer for 4-5 days in a row.
I liked this surgeons attitude and verified that he has done the surgery many times before and planned to have the surgery in February after I got back from my Tucson buying excursion. I also started exercising more intensely (Monday - weight lifting class, Tues - high intensity interval training or a soccer game, Thursday - high intensity interval training or a soccer game, Friday - Orange Theory, Satuday - soccer, Sunday - soccer) in order to get stronger and to lose a little weight. Turns out I didn’t lose much weight but I did get stronger and found out I gained muscle mass based on how my weight changed after my surgery - LOL! Hubby and I are both consulting so he can be at home when I’m in non-weight bearing mode and so I had the surgery on 2/17.
Here is the foot the day after surgery on the pillows, raised above my heart. Turns out part of the bone spur broke off so I’m sure the random pains I started getting were from that bone piece poking me.
Before the surgery my doc kept warning me that this was going to be very painful and, honestly, he definitely had me a bit scared. I have never had any surgery before. He said he was sorry that this would be my first surgery since it would be so painful. YIKES!!! Well, fortunately, I never really experienced any pain. I did take percocet for 3 days at the full dosage so I’m sure I stayed ahead of the pain (another lesson learned from my mothers many surgeries) and maybe that’s why I never really felt any pain. I knocked it down to 1/2 dosage for 2 more days until I had my first post-op appointment. I didn’t know what would happen there and wanted to be ahead of any pain. That appointment was pretty non-eventful. My elevation kept the swelling down so the only visible swelling was due to the surgery and the incision area looked good. They rewrapped it and sent me on my way. I’m sure being able to keep it elevated most of the day and night helped a lot in not having any noticeable pain.
Unfortunately I’m in the "Princess and the Pea" camp when it comes to sleeping so once I was off the percocet sleep has been hard to come by. I usually sleep 2 hours wake up, move around, try to get comfy, repeat. I’m getting maybe 4-5 hours of sleep if I’m lucky and not all in one shot. The wrap/cast/splint on my foot and having to keep it elevated REALLY bugs me when I’m trying to sleep. Can’t even get naps in! Ah well a full nights sleep will be that much better when I finally have a foot that is free of casts/boots.
Anyway here is the foot at the first post-op appointment - Franken-heel at its best! And notice that my ankles aren’t too visible at this point.
And here is the knee scooter I’m using. This is wonderful since I found out, the hard way, that crutches and I are not good friends.
I went in for several redos of the wrap/cast/splint since the cotton padding would compress after about 2 days and then the splint going over my heel would really start to annoy it - yes I’m Ms. Princess and the Pea. The last time (last Wed) they put me in a plaster cast which is much worse than a fiber glass splint so I’m going to nix that idea if they are still splinting me today instead of putting me in a boot of some sort. I’ll just have them send me home with some padding so when things start pushing on my heel I can take off the ace bandage, add more padding and wrap it back up myself. Here is my foot last Wednesday. I have ankles, tendons and bones visible! And the heel is so stylishly shaped - LOL! - no big bulge!
And the incision (this is 12 days after surgery).
I am still doing some exercise - knee pushups, hamstring raises with my good leg, V-ups, situps with my legs on on an ottoman, lifting weights for my arms (either sitting or kneeling), hip flexor stretches on both legs, leg lifts. I’m going to do some of the Classical stretch classes I have recorded if I can do them on my knees.
Of course I mustn’t forget to show you my steady companion on the bed - Gino! He was quite perky when he wanted me to share the dried apricots and almond snacks I had. When I was taking the percocet I ate ginger snaps to help with the nausea, apricots to help with keeping things regular and was quite surprised both the dogs loved the ginger snaps!
And here is my regular visitor - Max. He’s not into just hanging so he comes upstairs several times during the day to check on Gino and I. He may bring a toy up and if he does I’ll get on the floor and play with him for a bit. If he REALLY wants to play he’ll jump up on the bed with the toy. No mean feat for a little guy like him since we have to put a hassock next to the bed for him to use to get up on it.
And, finally, the soccer blanket that keeps half of me warm all night when my right half is outside the blankets so the foot can be elevated on pillows. I bought this years ago from a soccer pals sister who makes these blankets.
No Comments »