Day 20 Post-Tear, Day 9 Post-Surgery

Today I went in to visit the Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Joshua Nadaud of Mid County Orthopaedics in St. Louis MO, for the first post-op check up. I had been in a split with soft cast to date and was hoping to be able to go to a boot and be more mobile.

Dr. Nadaud’s Nurse Practioner (very cute), removed the soft cast and splint and it was weird seeing my leg for the first time in a week. The incision was very small and minimally invasive. It was healing well. I thought I would want to move my foot and leg, but it really was fine just dangling there doing nothing.

I could press down, left & right with no pain. Dorsi-flexing the foot on the other hand was about impossible due to lack of muscle strength. When manually manipulated it hurt like a MF’er. My attempts at looking fine were betrayed by my facial expression.

My hopes of getting a boot were dashed, likely b/c I am very active and they probably know I would have tried to do something I should not have and that possibility had them opt for a hard cast.

I have never had a cast, so my mind was thinking a big cumbersome plaster thing. There I was pleasantly surprised as a light weight fiberglass mesh material was used. It is actually lighter and more manueverable than the soft cast was.

The foot is plantar-flexed to maybe 5-10% and is not painful at the moment. I am to go back in one week to have this removed and then hopefully go to the boot then. I will have to be more believable in my comments about not doing anything stupid or trying to go to fast.

At least w/ the hard cast I am more confident of being mobile b/c if I have to fall or put some minor pressure on the cast I’m not worried about re-tearing it. Tomorrow I may venture to the gym and begin to resume doing upper body weights and some core work.

31 Responses to “Day 20 Post-Tear, Day 9 Post-Surgery”

  1. Hey Douglas I had the same type of routine that you’re going thru and I’m not that far ahead of you. I had the soft splint for 10 days. Then a hard cast for 3 weeks. I also thought after the soft splint I would get a boot, but only found I was going to a cast. I can tell you I practiced moving my foot a lot in my boot and worked on my range of motion. I also lifted weights upper body during this time but only on my total gym bcuz I couldn’t maneuver the weights onto the equip. This past tues I went to a boot, no heel lifts, pwb, and a strength band to use to build strength back. Pt is going great, pwb is great, and I feel fine walking with almost no support. From my experience that cast time was needed, and my calf didn’t look any different then it did the first time I got the splint off, something I was really worried about. I can tell you from my experience that I feel gaining that range of motion inside my cast helped me greatly. Each day got better. Now I have no sweeping each day, no pain, and I feel like my foot is ahead of schedule.

  2. Good post. Remember to keep your toes clean in that cast because it can get funky down there. Also, keep those toes moving if possible, and do some Atrophy work on the good leg (heel raises).

    Hopefully, they will move you to a boot soon. Being active is what I thought would have had them move you to a boot sooner, which is what I did. I went from splint to Vacocast boot in 1.5 weeks.

    at any rate, good luck and keep us posted.

  3. Hi.

    I kind of feel like I’m at an AA meeting,” Hi. My name is Tony. It’s been 24 days since my last Achilles Rupture”. Well, actually it’s my first rupture and hopefully the last.

    My surgery was on NYE (31st Dec 2013), so day 1 of the New Year heralded my Post-Op recovery period. It’s now Day 24 Post-Op and I’m amazed at my progress. I just hope I’m not pushing things too fast. I have experienced no pain to this stage and everything seems organic in nature. I’m following my own rehabilitation path, with guidance from a PT friend of mine.

    I was in a cast for the first 12 days (fixed @ 45° PF) and into my Vacocast (Vacoped) boot Day 13 @ 30° PF), I began PWB exercises immediately. I have adjusted 5° increments almost on a daily basis, never with any pain. Day 17 : FWB @ 15° PF with the Vacocast wedge sole. Day 20 : FWB @ 0° PF with the Vacocast flat sole.

    I’m at Day 24 : FWB, +15° DF (setting Vacocast ROM at 10°).
    Walking around in the boot, comfortably without any pain.
    The surgical incision has healed nicely, it’s still intact despite the ROM. The tendon is feeling great. I will now concentrate more on strength rather than flexibility, as I’m quite happy with the +15° DF I’ve attained thus far.

    I was back at the gym on Day 3, Post-Op, working on upper body & core strength exercises. I think the faster you get active again, the quicker the recovery period.

    Remember, everyone needs to go at their own pace and this is by no means advice on a rehab protocol to follow. It’s just my story to this point.

    Anyway, good luck on the recovery Douglas. I’m about 2 weeks ahead of you and I hope my story gives you some encouragement. The recovery gets better and better on a daily basis.


  4. I am 6.5 weeks post injury and 6 weeks post op.

    My surgeon did the small horizontal incision with the gnarly tool. My incision was maybe 2 inches across and healed in about 3 weeks. I wast cast for 2 weeks then aircast. I was on crutches until about 4.5 weeks when I was full weight bearing in boot.

    I had my 6 week appointment yday and he took out 2 of 3 heel wedges and said that I should take the other out in a couple of days and will likely be able to go to 2 shoes in about a week (so about 7 weeks post op).

    I have not missed a day of upper body workouts (even between injury and surgery) and started riding stationary bike (with boot) at about 4-5 weeks. With the boot, the doc said it would be hard to hurt anything so he was cool with me doing the bike for cardio as long as it didn’t hurt.

    I start PT next week and my doc thinks 2 shoes at 7 weeks and starting light jogging at 11-12 weeks.

    I am a biiig fan of the small incision. It healed so quickly, the pain was not too bad and I feel like I am getting back to activity at a pretty quick rate compared to my expectations.

    Good luck to all.

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