1st post: surgery was on 3/25/2014

Hey everyone:

My name is Greg and I underwent ATR surgery at the end of March. It has been about 4 weeks since my surgery. I am not used to writing blogs (this will be my first) but I will do my best to share my experience in the hopes that it will help someone else or create a good dialogue and aide in my own recovery. I have a unique situation in that I am an orthopedic physical therapist who treats patients very often after ATR surgery. I am not used to being on this side of the waiting room so to speak. Here is my story so far…

Injury : Every year I get to do a "Guy’s Weekend" with some old high school and college friends. Its the one weekend we get a hall pass from the wives and basically camp out at my friends house for the start of March Madness. We play golf every morning, start watching the games about 9:30 and this continues through Sunday. We had a larger than usual group this year and Friday night we started to shoot around on the 1/2 court in the backyard. Messing around turned into a game of HORSE which turned into a mini 3-on-3 tournament. 40 mins in I went to drive around someone, pushed off with my right foot and "POW!!". Instantly fell to the ground and looked behind me to see who kicked me. No one was there. And my friend Drew who was guarding me said, "I heard that pop". At that point I new exactly what I had done.

Surgery : Luckily because of what I do I started calling some of the orthopedic doctors I know. I got a hold of 2 of them who said there was nothing I can do this weekend; just keep it wrapped, elevated, use ice, and do not walk on it (i.e. use crutches). I saw them on Monday and surgery was scheduled for the next day. Surgery went well. Last surgery I had was back in high school and I did not do well with the anesthesia. However, this time after the surgery I literally felt like I just woke up from a nap. Also, they did a nerve block to help with the pain (I highly recommend this!!!!) and my leg stayed numbĀ until the next morning. I was given pain pills and the world’s biggest cast. I was then told to come back in 2 weeks to get a smaller cast. I was also told not to shower (i.e. had to sponge bath it). Of course I have a 2 story place with my bedroom upstairs. Luckily my left leg was up to the challenge and I was able to hop up pretty easily. I was actually shocked at how well I was feeling. Later on that day I got the laptop out and was able to do some work and charting from home. I thought this was going to be a piece of cake.

After lunch the next day, I could feel my nerve block wearing off. Leg started to tingle and the pain started to set in. I usually have a good pain tolerance and I hate the effect pain pills gave me. I took 1 thinking I would be OK. It did not help much so I went for a 2nd. Then I got the feeling I hate" delayed eye reaction, brain just feels slow, etc. Sadly, I had to put up with that for 2-3 days for if I tried to reduce my meds, it got really uncomfortable. Long story short, by day 4, I no longer needed the pain meds.

2 Weeks post-op : at the 2 week appt I got the massive cast off and it felt so good to wiggle my foot a little. It was short lived as the new smaller cast got put on. I was now getting around on a scooter for work and going out and about, but then just using my crutches at home. I was horribly bored from staying home from work and very excited to go back 3 weeks after my surgery. Had to promise the surgeon I would not do anything stupid though. In 2 more weeks he would remove the case and then transition me into a CAM boot with a heel lift. I would wear that for 4 weeks and then see where I am at.

4 Weeks post-op: Here I am today after my 4 weeks s/p appointment. I got the case off and that felt even better! My swelling was a lot better than I expected. I should have known better though doing what I do. I was so looking forward to just getting my boot and then walking back to the car. But it was not that easy. My leg was sore with every step (could feel my calf and Achilles stretching) and my leg was so uncoordinated. I ended up using crutches and just adding weight into my leg. Got a feeling I am going to be very sore tonight. Now I cannot wait for 4 more weeks so I can start to stretch my Achilles an calf more aggressively.

9 Responses to “1st post: surgery was on 3/25/2014”

  1. A little disappointed with myself. I was hoping I had more mobility. But I realized my tendon was really stiff. Could barely life my foot. The doctor told me to flex it upwards daily. I was hoping for more freedom when I got my boot on.

  2. There is not need to be disappointed. You are at where we all have been mentally and physically. This is normal. The trick is not to try for too much without knowing the affects. Listen to your doc and PT and use the resources here as a guide and ask questions if you are not sure. It is a long road to recovery and it is early days.

  3. Just a little disheartening. When she said can you flex your foot up for me and I can only move it a little I was disappointed. I saw the boot as a sign of freedom but doesn’t feel that way anymore. I’m still relying on the crutches to get around

  4. Joey - be patient! As I recall, you are just 4 weeks post-surgery. I was on a pretty fast protocol. 10 days in a splint, two weeks PWB in the Vacocast at 20′, then FWB for four weeks, first at 10′ and now at 0′, so I really was not FWB until the one month mark. Because you were NWB in a cast a bit longer, you will be a bit later. If allowed by your OS, just start putting a bit more weight on your injured leg each day, and you will be ditching the crutches before you know it. Once allowed, the transition for me from PWB to FWB went very fast - about two days. Once I forgot where my crutches were, I knew I hade made the leap! Get your scoop on the ATR timeline so you can track your progress - I found it to be very helpful.

  5. What Jeff said! :-)

  6. Joey

    We understand your being disheartened, disappointed, and all the other disses that you are probably contemplating - you have time on your hands and you spend it worrying.

    Really and truly, in a few weeks you’ll wonder where the time went - and let’s get realistic here, this is not some life-threatening condition, it’s not cancer, or a stroke, you don’t need chemo or anything like that.

    It’s a few weeks out of your life, relax, read, listen to some music, talk to friends, plan for your successful full recovery in a few months time.

  7. Thanks guys!! Love this site. Any of you guys tried wearing compression leggings to aid healing? It’s seems to be all the rage for athletes.

  8. Ya, socks or leggings/tubes, lots of people love them. Mostly to control swelling, but maybe also for a psychological boost. I didn’t ever love them as much as R,I, & E, but many do.

  9. Joey - it may be good for you to start your own blog page as it looks llike we have hijacked someone else’s a bit. Sorry Greg. Haven’t heard how things are with you since the 4 week mark and I notice you are at 10 weeks. Hope all is good. Anyway Joey, the boot will soon give you some freedom to walk but it is there to do a job as well so for now you have to accept the restriction. At least you can take it off and wash the leg. You will see improvement but it may take a week to notice some things. Although my injury was years ago I still remember how it was. Now I am recovering from another tendon rupture and am sidelined again for some time. At least this one is in the arm but it is my dominant. The things I learned from my AT injury are helping me get through this one better but I also wish I was further along. The anit spam word this time is patience and that is what we all have really being saying to you. Diversion is also good. Find something else to keep your mind working on or start some upper body exercise.

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