dan914’s Achilles Rupture Blog

Ok, well,  I’m a retired dentist, 65 years old, active, fit, healthy, all of which led me to try pickleball.  I was very eager to try it. I used to play a lot of platform tennis, and have been watching pickleball grow in popularity, even among us old gray-haired types.  First day on court I ruptured my right AT.  Friday, August 31, 2018.  In the evening, on the Friday of Labor Day Weekend. I knew immediately what it was. Got to ER in a few minutes, and they put me in a boot, gave me a shot of Toradol in the butt, gave me some crutches and sent me home. Emotionally I was devastated. Being a long holiday weekend, I was unable to even get an appointment made before Tuesday. I did get a call from a surgeon associated with the ER, who was willing to see me on Labor Day Monday in the ER, and if I wanted surgery would do it the next day. When I asked him if he’d done many ATR repairs he was honest and said “no”.  He was also gracious enough to contact the guy who everyone says is “the best of the best” in the area, and I was able to see him, Thursday, 6 days post-injury. When my injury happened I assumed everyone got surgery. What the 6 days did for me was to give me time to research the web and learn that I wanted to take a non-surgical approach. The surgeon was OK with that, but he was pretty clear that he felt surgery would offer me a more predictably good result. I was unswayed. So he had me casted up, and made an appointment to see me in another two weeks, which will be tomorrow. So in the intervening 2 weeks, more time to research, and I’ve come to decide that I want to get into a boot tomorrow and start the limited weight bearing PT protocol. I called the surgeon’s office to make sure this was what was planned, but alas, no.  He’s planning on 6 weeks immobilization in successive casts. I explained to his nurse that wasn’t what I wanted, and told her to make sure that prior to my appointment with him he gets the information of how I want to proceed. Who knows if that will happen, or what his reaction will be?  She was pretty condescending to me, even telling me “that’s why we don’t want people going on the internet doing their own research”…I bit my tongue, but it wasn’t easy. I think I have another surgeon who will manage me the way I want, if this doc is not willing to. But it has been a stressful couple of days lining that up, and to do it I had to contact a former patient of mine who is an orthopedic surgeon who will be getting me to a partner of his, should my current doc prove intransigent in his thinking.  I am optimistic that he’ll be OK with it. As far as my condition, just the normal, trying to stay optimistic, not in any pain. Sometimes my cast is bothersome, but mostly OK…It’s hard to not be able to do the things I like doing, like golfing, and walking, and climbing into a boat on the lake I live on etc etc… That’s about it.  I’ll let you all know how my appointment with the surgeon goes tomorrow. Oh, I got an Iwalk 2 yesterday.  Took some practice, but I’m getting the hang of it.

2 Responses to “dan914’s Achilles Rupture Blog”

  1. I know one person in their blog had a link or links to the studies that show that early weight bearing is a good alternative recovery path. You might do a search for that and print out some of the study summaries to bring to your doc tomorrow. Also - early weight bearing isn’t always appropriate. It really depends on the exact nature of the rupture. If your doc is NOT OK with it tell him he needs to explain why. He should have a medical reason to not allow it - not a “that’s the way I do it” reason.

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  2. Thanks, cserpent. In fact I have a folder with several printed articles supporting early weight bearing. I haven’t come across any articles or studies favoring the 6 weeks immobilization protocol over “early mobilization”. I also haven’t come across any explanations of conditions that would contra-indicate early mobilization. I have read some comments that it “may” work better if the ends are in close approximation, but I’ve also read that is more of a “well it would sort of make sense” observation, as opposed to something that’s been actually studied. I think the “that’s the way I do it” mentality is a more likely roadblock. We’ll see. Thanks for your input.

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