Re-rupture

F@&#…apparently I’m now in the 1-2%.

Was at a party Saturday evening and, wearing the boot, stepped on the edge of a sidewalk.  Heard the POP again and went down.  Knew something was wrong, obviously.  Went to the doctor on Tuesday with tenderness above the surgical site.  Was able to press down with my foot but he wanted a MRI to check it out.  Had the MRI this morning and the preliminary report is that I have ruptured the Achilles again…above the previous tear.  The doctor is waiting to see the scan himself but we have scheduled surgery for Friday.

It’s really unbelievable to me.  Six weeks ago, everything is fine.  Now, I’m going in for my second surgery.  Before the first rupture, my mis-step probably wouldn’t have even caused a twisted ankle.

It’s hard for me to figure this out.  I thought the boot would afford better protection.  I was told that short of jumping off the dining room table the tendon was strong enough to withstand stress.  I have been diligently doing all the prescribed protocol.  I was supposed to start wearing two-shoes this week.  At least my doctor feels badly about this as apparently this is the first time he’s had this happen.  As he’s leaving the practice next week, he offered to hand me over to his associate.  I figure if he’s never had this happen twice, what are the chances of a third time then.

In any case, I am not looking for pity…I know everyone here cares.  Just wanted to share the bad news along with the good.  And I truly hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else here.  Needless to say, I will be taking a much less aggressive rehab approach this time around.  There goes my summer…again.

Achilles 2, Dave 0…spotting that little bastard a lead but I’ll win this battle.

dl

PS. Dennis, do I have to buy two t-shirts now?

45 Responses to “Re-rupture”

  1. Dave,

    What a %$#%ing &%$#!!!! I’m soooo sorry this happened to you! I hope you did not, in fact, sell your crutches. Those insurance bastards aren’t likely to spot you a second pair.

    We’re all thinking of you. And I have no doubt that Achilles may have won the battle… but DAVE will win the war. Good luck on Friday and ask for the really, really good pain meds. Dude, you’ve earned them.

  2. Thats a bummer dave , what are the odds huh? 1-2%? S%#@!! I wish you the best on the 2nd surgery .

  3. Dave - I was hoping like heck when I clicked on your “Re-rupture” post from the main site that I would read about some re-rupture stats rather than an actual re-rupture. So sorry about the latest rupture. Like Erie said, I hope you didn’t get rid of the crutches. But, it sounds like you have the right attitude and are able to roll with the punches. Good luck on Friday.

    Oh, and will your blog now be called “Basketball and Sidewalk Done Me Bad”?

  4. Holy crap! That sucks! I wish you all the best with your next surgery and recovery. Thanks for posting and alerting to the rest of us that we should all still be very careful.

  5. Well #$%&. I too, was hoping when I clicked on re-rupture it would say something else. I am SO sorry. Here’s a positive twist to this….At least you know you can make it through now. I know some of us have felt like we’d never make it. Its good to know the surgery was successful. My question now is: does having the surgery make your tendon strong in the spot that tore but weaken the rest of the tendon?
    Hang in there. At least you know how many friends you have going in to it this time. =)

    Damacar

  6. Dave sorry bud, that really blows…hang in there.

  7. Thanks, everyone. Guess I’ll have time to really read all of your blogs in the next few weeks.

    Damacar asked: does having the surgery make your tendon strong in the spot that tore but weaken the rest of the tendon?

    I asked my doctor what the hell happened. He said that it looked like the surgery part was fine. But the rest of the tendon was tight from being inactive and that I moved it just right/wrong to cause another rupture. Of course, I could have a genetically bad tendon but I’ve never had any issues or soreness with it previously. I suppose when he opens it up, we may know more.

    Oh…I did keep the crutches. Maybe I should have gotten rid of ‘em…you know, positive thinking and all…

  8. Really, Really sorry to hear that Dave! My thoughts and prayers are with you! Thanks for the warning to watch it still.

  9. daveleft -

    That’s really unfortunate. It’s really surprising that happened while you were wearing the boot. Let us know the results of the MRI and the surgery.. and we are all pulling for you here.

    Don’t worry about buying T-shirts. Once we get them all printed, I’ll mail one to you. What size T-shirts do you wear? (The T-shirts will probably be a bit slim fitting, in keeping with the current trend. If it changes, I’ll let you know.)

  10. Daveleft - I am so sorry, you know we are all in shock at your news. I too will have you in my thoughts and prayers.

    May this go as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

  11. re-rupture is probably our biggest fear. to hear it’s happened to someone just like us, who was following protocol is a shocker. if you’d said you’d been sky-diving then,well… everyone’s just backed off 25% by reading your post, which may not be a bad thing. i’m not in boot yet, but thought the danger period is immediately after boot gets chucked, not when you’re still in the darn thing?? what ROM did you have, and what angle of foot in boot? keep yer chin up, and all the best for surgery. offdibb

  12. Again, thanks for all the support. I debated posting this news because nobody likes bad news and I didn’t want the deluge of sympathy. But we share all of our ups and downs here. So, yes, this is a down but it will be followed by an up. And…as many have commented, maybe this will prevent the same situation for others around here.

    I’m still waiting for confirmation of surgery once the doctor reviews the MRI himself. Not expecting good news though.

    Offdibb, you asked that you thought the danger period is immediately after boot gets chucked, not when you’re still in the darn thing??

    Well, me too. Obviously, the boot isn’t 100%. It wasn’t much of a mis-step on my part but I didn’t see it coming. The shift of my weight was only partially deflected by the boot. The POP was, I’d say, about 25% as loud. And the strange thing is that there was even less pain than the first time when I had barely any at all.

    What ROM did you have, and what angle of foot in boot?

    I had pretty good ROM as I had been in PT for four weeks along with the home exercises. Early that week, I had taken out the wedge from my boot and only had a partial Dr. Scholl’s insert under my heel. Essentially at 90 degrees. I have to say, up until that moment, everything felt good and then…well, you all certainly know.

    As for the tee, Dennis. Let’s see if I gain or lose weight this time around. Guess I’ll be around these parts a little longer than I first thought. Thanks again for making such a supportive community.

  13. Oh my. I can’t believe it! I am SO SO SORRY you are doing a repeat of this. I appreciate you posting this because I better be damn careful. But you were careful too. It’s just a crap shoot whether recovery will go as planned or if there’s something else lurking around the corner. I guess we all need to go around in a bubble or something. I CAN’T BELIEVE that a simple stepping down on a sidewalk and poof…done. I AM THINKING OF YOU AND I’M SO SORRY!!! Dumbfounded….

  14. Best of luck Dave, and so sorry to hear this. I’m amazed at your positive attitude not only in your post, but your responses to the various comments.

    Appropriately, my spam word for replying is community. We’re all here for you and wishing you well.

  15. Appreciate all the good wishes…turns out they are more morale boosting than I would have expected. Thank you all.

    Craig–as I had once posted: You can be bitter or you can get better but you can’t do both. The choice was easy.

  16. Don’t know what to say, must be the worst feeling ever. All I can say is you know what to expect this time.

    I’m so sorry for you and wish you the speediest recovery possible.

    Annie

  17. Hi Dave,

    Sorry to hear your bad news, but, as you said it is better to feel better than bitter.
    My spam word today sums it all up ‘persistent’.

    Johnk

  18. Hi Dave,

    What a nasty setback, but your attitude is great. Reminds us all that stuff happens, no matter what recovery protocol is being used. Surprised it happened in the boot though. Here’s hoping for the best for your recovery here on out.

  19. Unreal. Hang tough. You seem to have a lot better attitude about this than I think I could ever have.

  20. Surgery set for 8AM Friday. Might as well reset my widget. At least I know where all the water stations are along the first 3.23 miles of the marathon route.

    A pseudo-funny sidenote…there was a slim to none chance that the surgery could be averted since the doctor hadn’t reviewed the MRI himself. So every time the phone rang, my heart jumped a little. I think I sorta know how those prisoners on Death Row felt when hoping for a call from the governor.

    I’ll let y’all know how it went shortly.

  21. Hope all went well.

    Thinking of you, told my physio about you yesterday, she was shocked.

    Annie

  22. Daveleft,

    No way you’re buying two shirts. I’ll buy the second one for you….We need to get Dennis to make sweat pants with a big red X at the AT.

    Sorry to hear about the re-rupture. We know you’ll beat this.

    Doc Ross

  23. Daveleft,

    This is just horse pucky. I just got all pissed off at the universe for you, to save you some of the hassle. I’ll go outside later and howl at the moon, as well.

    You’re strong and know that you can lean on us. We have enough good legs if we band together.

    Mike

  24. So sorry Dave. Take care and be patient. Sounds like you did everything right and just one of those freak things. I think perhaps we should all howl at the moon in unison. How about 11 p.m. EDT Saturday night. That would be 9 p.m. MDT and early in the morning (4 a.m.?) in the UK. That may get the message across to the ATR gods not to &%$#* with us. Or do it at your leisure. Same effect. Hang in there Dave

    John

  25. So sorry Dave. What a freak accident. Hang in there. We are all rooting for you and you will be able to get through this. Keep us posted — we’ll be thinking about you.

  26. Quick update: I’m at 24 hours post-op and all’s well. Surgery was successful and no donor graft was needed. The good news about this ordeal is that I know the drill and the first day was easy…in fact, my throat (from the intubation) is more painful than my foot.

    Thanks again for all of the heartfelt support. It really does help.

    dave

    John–You are on. 2000 PDT for me and my howl. Those ATR gods had better watch out indeed.

  27. Dave, congratulations on your successful surgery. You should ask your doctor for a “frequent flier” discount…

    I’ll howl at 8 with you tonight. We can cover the whole CA coast from San Jose to LA!

  28. Dave - Thanks for the update. I’m glad that the second surgery went well. I’m going to start tippin’ back a few brews in preparation for my 10 pm howl.

    This is maybe a dumb question, but did your surgeon make a new incision or did he/she open up the previous incision? I’m just curious about the procedure.

    Hang in there, I’m pulling for you.

  29. If I can stay awake til 11 EST I will be howling too.

    Dave - good news, we hope more to come from you.

  30. daveleft -
    Glad to hear that the surgery went well. Looks like I was a little late to the howl, but I hope I woke up the neighbors. :)

    Hang in there and take it easy for the next few days. We are all in this together, and we are back on track to recovery!

  31. Congrats on the first 24 hours! Hang in there.

    Hope you can hear the cheering from across the Atlantic! Good luck.

  32. I know exactly how you feel Dave - I am 11 days post surgery for my re-reputure too. I knew exactly what happened the moment it happened.

    I had the same experience as you - not as much pain or pop - much less. I could feel the “hole” in the tendon above the repair and then the horror set in of what happened and what it meant. I was 3 months past surgery, doing the exercises, PT and saw my Doc for a check up the same morning. Everything was going great…….only thing I can think of is I did too much too fast. Just had my first flying trip and I am glad it was two short flights. The swelling got uncomfortable. My thoughts and prayers are with you. ‘

    Did your doc talk about anything different for this time around? I am shocked you did it when wearing the boot! I was out of my boot for about 3 weeks and in flip flops. I was thinking the boot would have made a difference.

    Let’s stay in touch and get through this together. I am searching for recovery from this - have you found anythign specific? I will look on this site too. We can handle this!

  33. Hey there! Thinking about you and hope that the 2nd time around is more bearable…???…yeah right! Hope you are resting up! Hang in there!

  34. Hi Kristin,

    Nice to hear the shout out…actually, I was thinking of you during my doctor’s appointment last Thursday. The PA started to lift off my dressing (I was at Day 13) and saw a lot of blood/goo. She stopped and says, “Maybe I should let the doctor take a look at this.” Oh man…I’m thinking, great, it’s infected. How many of these low-percentage clubs do I have to join. The doc pulls off the dressing and it’s not as bad as it seemed. To be safe, I’m back on the Keflex for another week and changing my dressing every two days. Have to go back in this week just to be safe. I did change it this weekend and the open part of the wound is healing and not looking too bad.

    They wanted to put me back into my boot. I said, “Are you fucking crazy? Give me a tall boot.” They said it’s gonna be $95 and then looked at me like I was the one who was crazy when I laughed. $95 for peace of mind? Gimme two! This boot has three straps up the leg and feels a million times more supportive than the short boot with one strap. Was that the reason I re-ruptured? I’ll never know.

    In any case, to answer your question. Yes and no. The second time is easier and much worse. The good: knew what to expect, pretty handy on these crutches, a little easier bounce back after surgery. The bad: much more invasive surgery, longer healing time (both for the wound and rehab) and the calf muscle is turning into goo with no end in sight. It’s a bummer to realize that I’m looking at about fourteen months for recovery from the initial injury but hey, I get more time with my blog buddies! Thanks for asking. Hope your healing path continues along the straight and narrow.

    dave

  35. daveleft -

    Glad to hear that you are progressing nicely, and that your incision wound is getting better..
    Tall boot? Did your original boot that you re-ruptured on come up to your knees?

  36. Thanks, Dennis. Changed the dressing and it’s getting closer to being healed over. Man, it’s taking a long while this time.

    My first boot was only up to mid-calf:

    http://achillesblog.com/daveleft/files/2008/05/boot.jpg

    I have to say my new boot, which goes up almost to my knee and has three support straps on the leg, really does feel a thousand times more supportive. I was told the first boot helps prevent calf atrophy. Well, it might but it also leaves you at severe risk for a re-rupture…IMHO.

  37. David - It looks like link doesn’t work.. can you post the picture again? I’ll also put it on the main site and mention that it’s not as supportive as the knee-high boots. thanks.

  38. Dave:

    My doc put me in a knee-high aircast boot - has been working well. The air pockets are particularly helpful - I forget who on the site recommended this, but messing with how inflated the pockets are allows my AT and calf more or less mobility (depending on how I am feeling and whether I want to stretch it a bit)…

    Ed

  39. Dave,

    I really need your help asap, PLEASE. Do you remember if you had your MRI with contrast or not? I am going to get my MRI done and my jerk Dr does not know a thing. I need to know if the MRI has to be with or without contrast to show re-tier.

    I appreciate your help in advance!

  40. You can get good MRI pictures of the Achilles without using contrast.

    Did any of you folks who have had MRIs done have an IV placed to give contrast before your MRI?

  41. Dave and all,

    I have had a surgery and a possible re-rupture. The person on the phone in the radiology office told me that I may be better off with contrast since I am post-op But she would not confirm.

    I can not rely on my Dr who does not even talk to me. Any other suggestions?

  42. My MRI was done without contrast (or IV) because, as I recall, my doctor was looking simply to see if it was a full or partial tear. I suppose a contrast may be done if the doctor wants further detail to determine what extent there is of a partial tear (I was told that I could avoid surgery if it was less than a 75% tear).

    The biggest problem with a possible re-rupture is that most doctors have little experience and, as a result, there is no consensus or strategy to deal with them. I discovered that you have to become proactive/self-advocate once you go into these uncharted waters.

    I sent you a pm, mshap. Here’s hoping it is only a partial tear.

  43. mshap & all - my MRI was done without contrast. The tendon was very clear in the image. However, my MRI was done 18 months after my initial surgery, so there was no swelling. I’m not sure if swelling plays a factor in the quality of the MRI. IMO, contrast wouldn’t be required, but I guess I would go along with the radiologist’s recommendation. I supppose it could be helpful if the tear is small/minor.

  44. Dave, tomtom, Doug,

    Thank you guys for such timely help. I had my MRI done toay and they confirmed that I did not need contrast. Now I need to wait my result sometime next week.

    Thanks once again,
    Marina

  45. Just to put my two cents worth in: IV contrast for an MRI (or CT for that matter) makes blood vessels stand out differently than they would without contrast. So, contrast is good for looking at vascular things or when looking for bleeding. So, yeah, contrast wouldn’t be needed to look at a tendon.

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