Achilles Tendon Rupture Recovery

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Day 32 - Get my Boot on

March 11th, 2008 · 70 Comments

Achilles Icon PWB
My second post-op appointment was today. The nurse took my cast off, and it felt great to let my leg breathe.
I knew that my calf muscle had been atrophying, but I was still surprised to see it so puny. The skin was loose around the muscle! So it looks like I have a lot of rehab ahead of me.

I saw the surgeon this time, and he cleared me to ditch the crutches and start walking in the CAM boot. When not walking, I can take the boot off and move the foot as much as I want. I can shower and finally wash the foot that hasn’t been washed in over a month.

I’ll be doing physical therapy at around 5 to 6 week mark. The scrip says:
“PT 2-3x week / 8 weeks,
ROM, Strengthening, modalities, evaluate & treat”

He said that I should do some exercises while I am home as well. I forgot to pickup the exercise guide, so I’ll have to get that tomorrow.

He also mentioned that from what he recalls, my surgery was fairly routine and there wasn’t any other damage. He trimmed off the damaged ends, put sutures on both ends and tied them together. In addition, he wraps more absorbing sutures around the reattached tendon for added support.

He does 3 to 4 achilles tendon surgeries a month, and that’s the bulk of the ATR surgeries at that particular hospital.

So the follow-up was fairly brief, with minimal examination as I didn’t complain of any pain or other complications. In fact, I don’t even think he laid eyes on my heel, which I think is bizarre come to think of it.
But who knows, maybe it’s all like that.

After the surgeon left, an orthodist (sp?) came in and fitted me with a boot. She showed me how to put on and take off the boot, along with some helpful tips like: When indoors, wear an indoor shoe on the other foot so that it feels more level.

Here is what the boot looks like:

Air Walker Boot

I don’t see any model number on the boot, but looking at their website, I think it’s MaxTrax Air Walker made by DJ Ortho.  It looks like they also make the Aircasts. Not sure why they brand them under two different names though.  It has a single air pump in the front that inflates the air bladder in the padding for more support.

That sort of reminded me of Dee Brown when he won the Slam Dunk Championship.  He pumped up his Reebok Pumps before doing his “I can dunk without looking” dunk.  Well, I am not sure how that’s relevant. ;)

I don’t feel comfortable walking in the boot yet, but it’s better than fumbling with crutches. I limp around, but it should get better as I get more and more comfortable with bearing weight on my left foot.

To all of you who have boots instead of casts, do you have an indoor boot and an outdoor boot?
Do you sleep with the boot on?
If you do, how do deal with tracking dirt onto the bed? Cleaning the sole is one option, but how clean can you really get them?

So I drove home, parked the car in the garage, took my crutches out and put them in a dark corner. Hopefully I’ll never need them ever.

(On second thought, at some point, I am planning to have an arthroscopic surgery on my right knee to repair my articular cartilage so I better not throw them away. And then I’ll be 100% healthy on the basketball court again!)

Tags: Day * · crutches · doctor visits · early weight bearing · physical therapy · recovery · weight bearing

70 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ross // Mar 11, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Congrats…
    Happy that it went well..
    start moving….asap
    Heat for about 10 minutes, then do the ROM exercises, massage, then if any swelling ice if not put more heat on for about 10 minutes..
    I am envious of where you so keep us posted on the day to day accomplishments…
    also recognize that some days you will be discouraged and frustrated but don’t let the bastard keep you down..
    Doc Ross

  • 2 brendan // Mar 11, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Awesome post Dennis…looking forward to my day in the weeks to come. I’m with Doc…keep us posted on your progress with movement. I move my toes a little in my splint right now and am scared to death to do it, but have read tons of stuff about little movements being fine early on. Hey..do either of you know if if doing some gentle leg extensions (to work my knee joint more than anything) is bad for my surgical repair? It doesn’t feel like it’s strechting anything in my calf/tendon area…but thought I’d check if either of you are doing that?

  • 3 johnskier // Mar 11, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    I was told it was okay to “move my toes”. I also do straight legged lifts to work the quads…I was told that was okay too.

    I move my foot around in a circle and also massage the area gently. that’s not under specific instructions I just think it makes sense.

  • 4 johnskier // Mar 11, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Great Dennis! Thanks. It would be great to know specific exercises after you go to PT. Do you have a picture of your boot? Mine I don’t think technically is a CAM boot…it’s an Aircast (with bladders to pump up around my foot)

  • 5 dennis // Mar 11, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    johnskier -

    Yes, I’ll post about PT exercises when I start. I am looking forward to it, actually. I’ll post the pictures of the boot soon. I think it’s the same company that makes the Aircast. Mine has one bladder that you can pump up.

    Do you have one or two? I am not sure about walking around outside all day and then wearing it in bed. It’s one thing to walk around the house with it, but I don’t know about tracking dirt into the bed.

  • 6 dennis // Mar 11, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Dr. Ross -

    Thanks for the tip. I have a heating pad and some ice packs so I can start tonight. Tomorrow, when I get info from my doctor about exactly what kind of exercises to do, I’ll keep a good log of what I do everyday so I can stay on a schedule.

    Yeah, I am sure I’ll have some down days during the rehab.. but I know it’s going to be a long journey. ;)

  • 7 dennis // Mar 11, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    brendan -

    Thanks, the days actually go by fast so you’ll be off of crutches sooner than you think.

    I think it’s okay to do leg extensions.. as long as you don’t work your calf muscle, it’s fine. I think Johnskier mentioned something to that effect as well when he talked to his doctor.

  • 8 johnskier // Mar 11, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I asked if I could isolate the calf muscle (isometric) and my doc said that’s “exactly the wrong thing to do”. They were okay with other acivity (quads, upper body, etc.) I basically stretch out my leg, tighen the quad and lift. then I take a drink of beer. then repeat. :)

  • 9 johnskier // Mar 11, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Doc Ross and everyone - the first few weeks are so exhausting. I was just to tired and it’s in part just getting around but it seems to me that your body is also working so hard and dedicating so much energy to healing. Hang in there - I promise it gets better. I’m in the 4th week post op and my leg doesn’t throb anymore and I feel like I WILL get through it. Still NWB and on crutches and all that. It’s awesome when you can take your foot out of the boot, take a bath, massage the achilles, move your foot, etc.. Hang in there!!

  • 10 brendan // Mar 12, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Thanks for the words of encouragement…I think I see the light up ahead, but it never hurts to have a little help keeping my head pointed in the right direction. Hey all..quick question…the bottom of my foot, near the ball, feels like it’s swollen, tere is a sensation that the bottom of the splint cast is pushing back onto the ball of my foot…even when eleveated. I reached in there with a finger and noticed it’s pretty sensitive/sore. I’m thinking it’s just some bruising…but wanted to check if anyone else has experienced that. I have my post op appt in two days, Thanks!

  • 11 Tom // Mar 12, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Dennis - Congrats on taking the next “step”. It is liberating to get back the use of your hands. Within a day or two you’ll get comfortable walking in the boot - it doesn’t take too long. I’ll offer a little bit of advice as you start to do some ROM and re-stretching of the AT. Try not to look at the progress day to day, but rather week to week. You’ll have some days were you won’t see much improvement and it’s tempting to let that be discouraging. But, if you think back to where you were the previous week, you’ll stay more positive. I guess you’d call it glass half full vs. glass half empty.

  • 12 Tom // Mar 12, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Brendan - I experienced a similar discomfort that you described. I believe it is the muscles in your foot contracting because they are not being used. When my ortho removed my cast before I started wearing the boot he commented that my arch had risen. He described it being a little like Plantar Fasciitis. If it’s like what I experienced, it should subside as you progress to FWB. But, you should mention it to your MD.

  • 13 dennis // Mar 12, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Tom - Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.

    Walking around has been liberating. We went out to dinner last night to celebrate, and it was good to get around without the crutches.

  • 14 brendan // Mar 12, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Tom - thanks..i’ll mention it in a few days when I go in.

  • 15 johnskier // Mar 12, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Dennis - I’m wearing the Aircast to bed but I do loosen it up some. My PA told me a horror story about a patient at her last job that did not wear the boot to bed, then tried to go to the bathroom at night and fell. Not good. The story scared the crap out of me though.

    My Aircast has 4 bladders - back, front and each side.

    I was debating with myself asking for a splint to wear to bed (and only that purpose)…which would be a lot less bulky.

    As for dirt in the bed…?

  • 16 rckclimr2 // Mar 12, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Dennis-
    I was told to leave the boot on at night, unless I was very confident movment would be minimal. I didn’t want ot take that risk. I am jealous of the air boot. Sounds pretty tricked out. I have the DJ Ortho with some sort of adjustable dial that makes it look high tech, but it’s actually useless for my purposes. It would be sweet to find something a little less industrial for sleeping. I haven’t tracked much in on the boot as i am still on crutches building up to 50% weight bearing this week.

  • 17 admin // Mar 13, 2008 at 12:08 am

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  • 18 Alexandra // Mar 14, 2008 at 4:09 am

    It’s really good to hear about other peoples’ experiences. I ruptured my achilles tendon completely on 16th February 2008 at netball, one day after booking a snowboarding holiday to Lake Tahoe to depart on 12th March - good timing! Although I heard a pop and was convinced someone had attacked the back of my heel, until they told me at A&E that I wouldn’t be able to snowboard on 12th March it really hadn’t crossed my mind that I would be immobile for so long. I wasn’t sure that I’d have the operation but the experts recommended it for me so that was good enough. I was very lucky as I was called in the very next morning for surgery and managed to get myself discharged on the same day which was good as this is the NHS and I was on a ward with very noisy old people!. I can honestly say that up until 12th March I was pain free as my foot had been fixed in a cast for the previous 24 days. On 12th March my cast came off and I was given an XP Aircast Walker boot. It’s amazing and really allows you to control how much you want to stretch your tendon but the pain I felt when attempting to stretch my tendon for the first time was tremendous. I am now starting day 3 with the boot and it is definitely getting better, even with every hour. I am still not weight bearing and am on crutches but hopefully I will try to get rid of them soon. The only thing that really concerns me is that I have numbness from the middle of my outer ankle bone all the way down the top of my foot across the two smallest toes and around the side. I know it’s because of severed nerves during the operation but was wondering if this feeling comes back?

  • 19 Tom // Mar 14, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Alexandra - My understanding from the research that I’ve done is that sural nerve transmits sensation to the outside of the foot, as you described. Sural nerve damage is definitely one of the complications from surgery. However, most of what I’ve read has indicated that the feeling will come back, although it can take up to 3 months. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll probably want to speak with your surgeon just to make sure.

    Good luck with the recovery and keep updating with your progress.

  • 20 johnskier // Mar 14, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I have exactly the same “numbness” and it’s definitely less numb on the “inside” of the foot. (little toe and second toe are somewhat numb but the big toe is not). At my first check up, the surgeon was checking it out in various places on my foot and asking about the degree of numbness. He told me it would diminish over time and I believe it has. As Tom said, definitely ask about it.

  • 21 brendan // Mar 15, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Dennis - how’s the walking going?

  • 22 dennis // Mar 16, 2008 at 2:06 am

    I’ve been happy with the walking boot. Of course it looks a bit awkward walking in it, but it’s not too bad.
    There are some tenderness around the heel area, which I am sure will improve with time.
    I can pretty much walk anywhere. I have to be careful in certain situations so that I don’t trip and accidentally strain my foot, but other than that, it’s been good.

    How are you all doing with your recovery?

    I’ve driven like 7-8 hrs (injury was on the left foot) with no problems, and I moved several heavy boxes into storage without any problems.

    I basically haven’t elevated my foot at all today since I’ve been out most of the time, and I don’t see any signs of swelling.

    The heel does get a bit tender, especially at night and in the mornings, so that’s something that I have to keep my eyes on.

    I’ve felt “the pin pricks” on the bottom of my heel, but it’s getting less noticeable.

    I move my foot around freely as much as I can when I am not wearing the boot. I try to point the toes up and stretch the achilles without applying external pressure, and I think that’s helped a lot. That exercise guide has been really helpful. I do some of the exercises that I feel comfortable with.
    (Thanks Ross!)

    Troy, I have a copy of the operative report. I’ll type it up and post it tomorrow.

    Well, I walked a lot today (several blocks), so I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

  • 23 johnskier // Mar 16, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Dennis…I know your’e in a boot and they appear to be quite stable…but nevertheless, I’m concerned that you’re doing too much. I was at a function yesterday and was told by a friend about someone that had “turned 9 months into 2 1/2 years” and “really made a mess” with a rerupture. My son’s soccer coach and long-time ski instructor implored me to “be patient, it takes a long time” So Dennis, please be careful and listen to your team and your body. I’m not sure that a “tender” heel is necessarily good.

  • 24 brendan // Mar 16, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Dennis - glad you are getting around so well…I would echo JS though…don’t over do it. I know my doc is still concerned about me getting into a boot after 4 weeks…and that the only reason for it is so I can work on ROM stuff, still NWB. As i posted, he had someone who didn’t actually rerup, but he was using his AT too much while in the boot and stretched his AT….so he lost some long term strength/explosion. I’m visualizing this recovery as a battle between keeping ROM and letting the AT heal. Strength and retraining the AT comes after that for me.

    Dennis - how did it feel after all that work yesterday? I guess I struggle..as I know we shouldn’t let fear drive my rehab…but I have to keep that re-rup stat in my brain to keep me from overdoing it.

  • 25 dennis // Mar 16, 2008 at 9:41 am

    johnskier,
    I think you are right about that. Thanks for your advice. I need to be a bit more careful. I actually didn’t have much of an option yesterday, but I don’t have to do the extra running around for a few weeks. I am going to be a lot more careful as I don’t want to risk a rerupture. I’ll elevate my leg and do some work at my desk today.

    I’ve been very good about always wearing the boot when I am moving around. I don’t wear it to bed anymore though. If I need to get up in the middle of the night, then it’s a bit of a pain strapping the boot back on, but I leave the boot nice and ready before going to sleep now. That makes it a lot easier.

  • 26 dennis // Mar 16, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Brenden,

    What you said about the guy who stretched his Achilles tendon is a bit scary. I’ll have to remind myself of that every once in a while. I wonder how much he over exerted himself to stretch his AT. If you could ask your doctor the details when you see him, that would be great.

    The thing to be careful of is that my ATR didn’t hurt that badly, so it’s probably in a region where there aren’t as many nerves. So, if I am doing damage to that area, I probably won’t feel it as much as other regions.

    But what does stretching the AT really mean though? During a rupture, it snaps into two, and the surgeon stitches them back together. I hope all the regions outside of the tear site are same as before. So does it stretch in the sutured area? It would be nice to have an orthopedic surgeon on this forum. Maybe one of us can coax our doctors to come here and answer some questions every once in a while. ;) I’ll ask my doctor in my next visit. I guess the worst thing would be for him to say.. “sorry I am too busy.”

  • 27 johnskier // Mar 16, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Advice is worth what you pay for it :) …I just know that I’m up for slightly conservative treatment in terms of a longer healing period before PWB, PT etc.. I am doing some ROM stuff. Doesn’t mean that’s the “best” answer but it feels right for me.

    Last night I didn’t wear the Aircast to bed…I “couldn’t take it anymore”. I found some cool “night splints” on- line (Swede O and Pro Tec) that appear interesting if there was a concern about moving the foot accidentally. They seem to be designed more for Plantar Fascitis and it looks like the foot might be at closer to 90 degrees in those (and I think that’s the goal with that ailment)??

  • 28 brendan // Mar 16, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Dennis -

    What my surgeon said, was this guy got back to the gym too soon, at least that’s what he thought. Since there was no MRI/Ultrasound done, all the doc has is a theory. His theory is that the AT stretched at the repair site…basically some of the collagen fibers (think of the two mop head analogy) streched during the healing process. For all we know, this might be one of those “urban legend stories” that docs have to keep in their back pocket to keep us from doing anything against their protocol :)

    I am in the same boat with you as far as pain goes, I had no pain with my tear. Given that I was just doing a walking back pedal up the court at the end of a game…I am convinced that I was comprimising my AT throughout the course of the game, whether that was stretching all the fibers simulataneously or breaking them one by one, I’m not sure of. Regardless, there was no pain felt throughout the game at all. So I like to think of my recovery in reverse of that situation, where i know my AT is comprimised now, and if a walking backpedal (or Mitch’s bending over in class) can tear it…that’s not much force…so I’ve just got to give that repair time to heal. And to top it off, if I can’t feel that I’m overdoing it…that is kinda scary!

  • 29 johnskier // Mar 16, 2008 at 11:22 am

    It seems odd that sometimes the AT ruptures with very little force at that partiuclar time…seems like it may be cumulative over, perhaps, years. Not sure what the research indicates. Good question for the next visit.

  • 30 Tom // Mar 16, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    John - My understanding is there are generally precursors to most AT ruptures. I’ve read that a number of patients have reported some level of tendonitis prior to the rupture. Also, a lot of rupture victims suffer from degeneration of the tendon either from a hereditary condition or more likely from years of physical abuse from running, jumping, etc. All of these events can slowly breakdown the fibers over time. That is why it often doesn’t take a significant force for the full rupture to occur.

  • 31 ross // Mar 16, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    I know this is going to be overkill but this is a great overview of tendons and ligaments…
    It will give you some background on the properties, healing and yes I know I can be anal at times but I try to be very thorough.

  • 32 ross // Mar 16, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    here it is sorry I hit the submit without posting the website

    http://www.redwingbooks.com/html/catalog/desc/TL_Extract.pdf

  • 33 dennis // Mar 16, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Brendan,
    I found this, and I think this is what we did. I guess running backwards is not good for the AT.

    What accounts for the number of non-contact Achilles tendon tears?

    Dr. Barnett: There is a situation we refer to called an eccentric load, when a load or stress is applied to a tendon that’s already being stretched. An example of this would be an athlete running backwards. This is the opposite of a concentric load, in which you are applying a load to a muscle that’s being shortened, such as when you are doing toe raises and walking up a flight of stairs.

    What we think happens in a number of ruptures of the stop-and-start variety or the backward-to-forward transition, is that the tendon has a concentric load applied to it followed quickly by an eccentric load or vice versa. Think of a quarterback dropping back to pass and then stepping up into the pocket, or a tennis player that rushes the net and then retreats for a lob over his head.

    http://espn.go.com/trainingroom/s/1999/0915/59775.html

  • 34 Philip // Mar 16, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Hi AT Gang,

    It has been a couple weeks since I checked in. I reads as if we are all moving along quite well. I am now in my 5th week post-op and in the second cast (below the knee). Frankly, I have been doing extremely well. Absolutely no pain or tenderness. I have been very careful to remain totally NWB and have become quite strong and adept on the crutches. I did finally give up on getting the I Walk Free. No insurance coverage and too expensive for a couple months of use.

    We leave on our beach vacation this Wednesday. I bought the Dry Pro Waterproof Leg Protector. It it made out of a very thick rubber and has a pump that pumps out the air. I hope it works as I really want to swim with my kids. I will have my computer and will report on whether it works well or not.

    March 31 is my next appt to remove this cast and put on the boot. I can’t wait to use my hands again.

    Philip

  • 35 brendan // Mar 16, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks Dennis. When I visuaize my AT in action it is clearly under more stress when running backwards (tendon stars unflexed, and than pops taught at the end)…as opposed to forward running. This would hold true with the quick transition from backward to forward. And I have to say…I was in decent shape when it happened, but still have to consider myself under the “weekend warrier” category. One thing is for sure, my definition of “stretching/warming up” will be very different in the future. 5 minutes of quick 10 sec streches of the various leg muscles…just doesn’t cut it when you reach 30!

  • 36 dennis // Mar 16, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Dr. Ross,

    Thanks again for that link. I’ve added it to the main site as well.

  • 37 dennis // Mar 16, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Brendan,

    Yep, I totally agree. If I am going to play basketball, tennis, or volleyball again. I am going to make sure that I am in shape and 100% healthy (and properly stretch as well).

  • 38 dennis // Mar 16, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Philip,

    Glad to hear that the recovery is going well. Keep us updated on your progress, and I hope the waterproof cast protector keeps you nice and dry while you swim.

    Have fun on your beach vacation, and be sure to take some good sunscreen with you. (I’ve heard that Bullfrog Sunblock is the best.) :P

  • 39 dennis // Mar 16, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    johnskier,

    Yes, I agree with you, I’ve slowed down now. I am taking good care of my achilles, and I’ve been doing those exercises and I’ve limited my walking to bare minimum. I think my heel is feeling a lot better today because I’ve rested.

    I’ll have to remind myself to be patient. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Thanks for reminding me! :)

  • 40 johnskier // Mar 17, 2008 at 12:13 am

    You’re welcome Dennis - you’re the blog founder and spiritual leader.

    Hey, I copied my Operative Report into a post at: http://achillesblog.com/johnskier/2008/03/16/operative-report-21608/ for your reading pleasure (I’m not sure how to link it Dennis). It’s interesting the different styles. For example, my surgeon went into into details such as the “extremely frayed” tenden and “copious irrigation”, etc. My guess is from a liability standpoint (if there were any complications) then that’s a good thing for him and the hospital.

    Philip - I just ordered one of those dry pro rubber boots last night for our spring break trip…so I can snorkel with my family. The doc gave me the option of a gore tex cast and now that I’m in an Aircast that I can take off from time to time, I can’t bear the thought of going back into the cast. So I ordered the dry pro and I will either use it with the Aircast (I doubt that it fits over it) or will ask for a splint this week that I can wear in the water under the dry pro. That’s the plan anyway.

    Tom - what you say makes perfect sense and seems consistent with information that was posted by Ross.

  • 41 dennis // Mar 17, 2008 at 12:25 am

    johnskier,

    Well, I am happy to be just the blog maintainer. (Definitely not a spiritual leader. It usually ends badly for those folks.. :mrgreen: )

    Oh, the link works fine.

    When you go, have a great time snorkeling! The near weightlessness feeling of being in the ocean is wonderful.

  • 42 Jeff // Mar 17, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Hey man,
    I just saw the comment you left on my blog and thought I’d come and check out your chronicle of misery here.

    You’ve brought back a lot of painful memories for me, but your page is doing a great service for the achilles-torn community. Kudos!

    It’s been about a year since I tore mine–also playing basketball. I’m playing again, but my game is diminished and I’ve had to accept that. It took a long time to regain strength in that leg and it’s still weaker than the other one. But my day-to-day life has been back to normal for quite a while, so that’s a good thing.

    Get well soon!
    Jeff

  • 43 dennis // Mar 17, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Jeff,

    Thanks for your comment. I’ve briefly spoken to people who are at about 1 1/2 year mark, and they say they are still seeing improvement even after all that time, so I think it’ll continually get better with time and physical therapy.

    Can you tell us more about your rehabilitation protocol and your experiences with physical therapy?

    Many of us are only a few months into the recovery, and I think it’ll help us a lot if you could share your experiences with us. Thanks!

  • 44 Philip // Mar 17, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Johnskier,

    I have my aircast boot from before my surgery. I believe from looking at your blog that we have the same boot. It will be very difficult to pull the drycast over the boot. I suggest getting the splints. I will pull it out tonight and see if I am right.

    So just a little personal comment. My last comment was about how well I have been doing. I have tried extremely hard to keep positive and shrug off this recovery as just another of life’s little bumps. And frankly it is. I would hate to be my friend working at Bear Sterns right now, or any number of people in worse shape than me. With that being said, wow, did I get slammed with a crappy mood and a lot of self pity yesterday and last night. I could not pull myself out of it. I was truly feeling sorry for myself as I (and we) are dealing with a crappy injury. With that being said …. a little sleep and a really big hug from my kids I am much better today. My father said it is alright to have those moments. I feel as if it was a real weakness. I don’t know. I am just very tired of relying so much on so many other people. I usually take care of everyone. Well ….. I am sure all of us have those moments.

  • 45 Philip // Mar 17, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Dennis,

    BTW, I have come up with another positive of the AT surgery. If any of you are like me, you love your wine and liquor, which can get very expensive at dinner and at home. I have saved a fortune by not drinking as I am so scared that it will cause me to fall and hurt leg again. I guess the good thing for me is that I have now proven once and for all that I am not an alcoholic, just very appreciative of a great bottle of wine or scotch.

    PK

  • 46 brendan // Mar 17, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Phillip - thanks for being honest with your note to JS…this is a crappy injury..there is no doubt about it. I think it’s OK to have days where we feel sorry for ourselves. It’s part of the process. I also think that if we don’t have those down days, there is nothing to compare the good times too (can you see I’m a relativity guy)! The low points give us a benchmark…a little mental note….I think about them often when I’m riding the good life. Comparing the two, makes the good days feel better! I was riding high a few days ago as I had my first post op and things looked great. Then just last night and today, my good ankle is starting to hurt (realistically from the all the extra stress of crutching around everywhere)…..well I’ve been so nervous that my other AT is about to pop, I can’t even concentrate. My wife has been giving me the “get over it” speech..which is what I need. Sometimes we just have to let go of that fear and anxiety…and move forward…one foot…two crutches…one foot…two crutches….

  • 47 Philip // Mar 17, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Brendan,

    Thanks. I have too have gotten the “get over it” speech from my wife. It is usually followed by the eye roll. BTW, thanks for giving me another thing to worry about ;-) I had not thought about tearing my other Achilles. I mean really with all the hopping I am doing I am surprised it has not popped yet.

    Johnskier - I just tried to pull the DryCast over the boot. It may stretch over it, but you are likely to rip the rubber on the hard plastic. It is probably not a good idea to use the two together.

    PK

  • 48 johnskier // Mar 17, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Brendan - you read my mind. My other achilles is getting a tad sore from all the hopping around. So I was getting paranoid that i would “do that one’. So I’ve been really careful about not hopping too much so I don’t put as much pressure on it. I was thinking…if I blow up this one, I’m really &^%*$# ed.

    Phillip…I’m sure you’re right…that I’ll need the splint but I think the doc will do it for me. I think he really “gets” the mental aspect of this and that I NEED to be soewhat normal on vacation and go snorkeling with my kids.

    Brendan & Philip - you’re right, it’s a crappy injury. Here’s how I put it in perspective….I have a high school friend who’s on permanent disability after a stroke at age 46. She can speak and get around but not work. A friend of ours became a quadraplegic in her early 40’s in a car accident. Another friend has cancer, and she has an incrediblly positive prognosis. But she does have nasty chemo treatments for 15 weeks and I tease her that she’s a “beautiful bald woman”. And she is. You get my point…so I’m inconvenienced for 8 - 12 months. Yes it sucks but oh well. Like your wife said…get over it. I hope this makes some sense…this is how I get over the self pity thing. Hope this doesn’t sound like I’m preaching…that isn’t the intent.

    BTW…I have bragging rights, I get to show off my nasty scar!!

  • 49 johnskier // Mar 18, 2008 at 8:09 am

    I apologize if I offended anyone with a previous comment. Sometimes I forget that this is a public forum and treat it as a conversation with friends. What I was trying to say is that we all know people, like my friends, who handle much more challenging circumstances with incredible grace, courage and class. I truly admire people who are able to do that.

  • 50 ross // Mar 18, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Nice to read the stories. It seems we are all going thru the same things. We had planned a trip to London for over a year and then I did my ATR 4 days before we were to leave…no trip…very frustrating especially when you get hit with the cancellation fees. Golf season, springtime, triathlons…canceled…
    so I am redesigning crutches…attachments for picking up things, golf club head, rake, gun barrel….LOL
    Give me your ideas??
    Hope today is better than yesterday…we’re one day closer to the end
    Doc Ross

  • 51 johnskier // Mar 18, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Ross…like to hear about your redesigned crutches and attachments for picking up things…

  • 52 dennis // Mar 18, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Yes, it looks like yesterday was not a good day (at least for me). I guess I needed to vent a little too. Let’s hope everyone is in better spirits today.

    Johnskier, I don’t know who you were directing the apology to, but at least I wasn’t offended. Thanks for sharing that story. I know that our injury is very frustrating to deal with, but I should also know that I should keep it in perspective. It’s not as bad as I think sometimes.

    I am glad that this has become a nice gathering spot for a great group of people. Let’s just all get better soon! ;)

  • 53 Tom // Mar 18, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Hey all - Looks like I missed out on quite a bit of conversation last night. Was out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day as I’ve gotten over any fear of reinjuring myself while enjoying a few cold ones! Anyway, I just thought I’d try to pass along some encouragement to everyone. It is okay to have down days, it’s probably to be expected. However, I think we’ve all been able to put this injury in perspective and realize that things could be a lot worse. It’s a temporary impairment to our lifestyles, but the good news is that with time, there’s a very good chance we’ll all get back to doing the things we love. Hang in there - it’s getting better for me, and it will get better for all of you as well.

  • 54 Mark // Oct 23, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Thanx for this nice job…Human body is not a strong like a iron.A lack of iron in your body during menstruation. This often contributes to dark circles, which is why some women have a tendency to develop dark circles during their period.
    Apply Vitamin E to the area Dark circles under eyes. You could open up a Vitamin E capsule, and apply a little oil. Swallow the rest of the oil. This not only helps you get rid of dark circles, but also reduces puffiness around the eyes. In addition, regular application of Vitamin E delays the onset of wrinkles.

    Dark circles under eyes and baggy eyelids need not be a continued skin care concern now that you know how to properly treat this common occurrence. A little bit of applied knowledge is often the key to younger looking, age-defying skin

  • 55 Kaylee // Jan 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    I was told by my docter that you could put your boot in a pillow case and then tuck the pillow case in the top of your boot, or a rubber band around it. I find that it works very well. I just wipe off my boot a bit then put it in the pillow case and tuck it under my top velcro strap. Then wala, no dirty,messy,stianed sheets.

  • 56 john // Jan 31, 2010 at 12:22 am

    is it comfortable i really want one just for fun

  • 57 Dez // Feb 27, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Had surgery 3 weeks ago yesterday. Got the boot now and started PT this past Tuesday. (Non weight bearing ofcourse. )I am a 1st grade teacher. How long were you guys sidelined after surgery? Dr says 2 more weeks of no weight bearing. Then what ? Im sooo bored with tv! Help!!!!

  • 58 dennis // Feb 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Dez, please check out:
    http://achillesblog.com/atrpt.php#stats

  • 59 normofthenorth // Feb 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I followed your link, Dennis, and discovered that I was listed as over 54 weeks to PWB!! I’d put in a date in December 2010 (instead of 2009) by accident.

    Fixed now, and the average time to PWB dropped by a day, from 5 wks to 4 wks 6 days!

    Oops!

  • 60 normofthenorth // Feb 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Dez, the quickest protocols seem to get very good results. E.g., the study I linked on my first blog page — at http://achillesblog.com/normofthenorth/2010/01/19/second-atr-first-non-surgical-cure/ — introduced PWB at 2 weeks, and FWB (As Tolerated) at 4 weeks. That was BOTH for post-op patients and for those that got no surgery.

    It’s been working pretty well for me — without surgery this time, my second ATR (done both sides now!).

  • 61 victoria // May 7, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Help me please I have a Maxtrax air walker walking put, and i had it lil over a month it began to smell bad so i had washed it. However when i took it apart i remember where each piece of foam went, but somehow i fell asleep and woke up with a complete blur on how the pads go back together. i have looked all over the internet and youtube and can’t find a video or tutorial on how to put my boot back to together. if you know of a website or have a picture of the inside of your boot i would really appreciate the help. thank you very much.

  • 62 eagle73 // Sep 8, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Thanks for this great site. It is great to talk to people who pass through the same injury.

  • 63 CELESTE // May 25, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I have completely ruptured my Achilles (2 weeks ago). Surgery is not an option and I have been told I am in cast for 13 weeks before I can be considered for an Airwalker Boot. I am gutted! I cannot imagine being NWB for so long. any Advice/shared experience welcome!

  • 64 kristian // May 25, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Celeste i’d say no surgery is good news. However 13 weeks NWB sounds terrible. What was the reasoning for this? This sounds very old fashioned. Unless there is some other reason why you have to be NWB then have a look at some modern early weight bearing protocols and speak to your surgeon again. If they still say NWB see someone else. Your tendons need some weight, stress and contraction to help form strong collagen. NWB for 13 weeks makes you much more likely to re-rupture compared to weight-bearing from 2 weeks in a boot. Also weight-bearing in a boot from 2 weeks is much more functional.

    Have a look at my blog for the protocol I am using. I am 5 1/2 weeks post injury, conservative management and walking around the house and work FWB without any crutches

  • 65 Katrina // Jun 16, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I found this site on the internet. I have a different injury, but was looking for more information on the drypro cast cover over an aircast. I just wanted to let everyone know that I just tried a drypro cast cover over top of my aircast and I had no problems getting it on and getting it to seal properly around my leg. The trick is just to really stretch out the opening as you are putting it on. I won’t deny that it takes a bit of work to get it on. It appears to be made out of the same thick rubber stuff they make scuba gear out of so I imagine it’ll stand up to a little bit of roughness and it has a lot of stretch to it. I don’t think it’ll tear that easily. My big fear, and the reason I was on the internet to begin with, is how successful it is at keeping water out in a pool situation when used with the aircast as opposed to a fiberglass or plaster cast. The aircast has a lot more grooves, bumps and air pockets.

  • 66 Waterskier60 // Sep 24, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Thought I’d post my experience, Aug 13, 2016 ruptured my AT while waterskiing. I’m 60, fit, and just thought I’d turn it up a notch like I did at 30, in retrospect not a good idea. Aug 24th had surgery, splint for 10 days, 19 staples removed and fiberglass cast for 3 weeks. Its now Sept 24th, had the fiberglass cast removed Sept 21st, and moon boot with PWB.
    Yes, its sore when I put weight on it, little needles sometimes in my heel, but for the most part bearable.
    I start with a PT Sept 30th, until then doing home exercises per doctors suggestion.
    I’ll update more if someone would benefit from my experience.

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