Do I Need Surgery? Or Not?

Hi my name is Manuel, I ruptured my achilles on June 30th, 2010 , playing softball:  rounding 2nd base, i tripped over 2nd baseman,  felt a pop on my achilles, fell to the ground , but made it to 3rd base !!!!!. I could not walk on my own power, i had to be assisted to truck. I was able to drive home ok. ( luckily it was my left ankle. I can still drive.) I choose not to go to ER. i thought it was like any other ankle sprain. Boy was i wrong. One week after injury, i played in a softball tournament. I could not run, just hit. I played first base, I did well. I hit 4 home runs that day( we won). I know it sounds crazy, why would I play when i have an achilles injury. I guess it is safe to say i have a high tolerance for pain!!!!!… And can not and will not let anything slow me down.

August 1st, 2010

I waited around one month before I saw my primary doctor. I was now able to walk on it, but now with a bad limp, needed a cane. had a lots of swelling still.I did not use an im-mobilation boot, just a plain ankle brace. I was not even told by by doctor that it might be torn . we thought it might be a sprain that needed some PT. He recommended that i start exercising it. I declined to go to PT, i said i can do this on my own: Pool, weights, ice, etc… I could not do the following in a swimming pool: walk forward or backward, do calf raises( i felt pain on my achiles where the tightness was.).I had a large tightness in my achilles over 6 inches long. this is what was keeping me from recovering.I would feel  a lot of pain if i tried.

After 2 more months:  Oct 1st, 2010, I was now making lots of progress, doing  my own therapy. I was using a TENS unit to assist with pain, swelling. I was now able to walk in pool forward, walk backward in pool, do calf raises in pool, did not need a cane any more, but still limped a little bit. The  tightness in my achiles in now reduced from over 6 inches long to around  2 inches. This has now enabled my to walk without a limp, do cardio for over 20 to 30 minutes long. (walking treadmill, Precor 750, Stairmaster.) I feel no pain at end of my cardio session. Great news, I may be able to beat this?????? with out surgery??????…

I also went wakebording in September, but did not feel good about jumping the wake, so i just stayed behind boat. I felt good after I was done.  My ankle is holding up very well at this point. But now i started to realize I ‘am at a platua, and I am not seeing any more improvement. I went back to my primary doctor, who decided to refer me to specialist. ( HMO Insurance). I was advised by my Doctor to be very careful and not let the foot specialist operate on me right away. I guess he’s convinced  my recovery is going very well.  Do MRI and see what are the results, and how I am progressing on my thereapy.

Oct 15th, 2010 I  had an appointment with foot a specialist, He looked at the size of my ankles and said my bad ankle is way smaller that the good one. I could not see what he was talking about, it all looked the same to me. But where he got me is where he asked me do a single calf raise on the good foot, then the bad one. I flunked badly, i could not even raise my ankle at all off the ground. He said is due to the complete tear in achilles. I asked him how come I’am progressing. He says it is because it is healing wrong. ( term he used is healing long). He is recommending surgery to repair achilles tendon. Also plans to take some tendon from big toe and insert into torn achiles. May take me 6 months to 12 months to fully recovery. So now as of Nov 2nd I still awaiting approval from Insurance to approve an MRI.

I plan to do MRI, and see if they can put results on a CD so i can get a 2nd opinion from other specialist. I very against surgery on my Achilles. I would rather live with some limitations, than take a chance on surgery that does not offer no guarranted results. I may be better off doing my own therapy. May also see if i can get an im-mobilation boot to wear part time, when not doing PT? hope that this is possible.

I will keep you all posted when i do my MRI, so in mean time I will keep doing my own PT: weights, cardio, swimming.  go to gym around 5 times a week.


11/3/2010: In response to some questions that normofthenorth has:

1: I can lift my toes off of the ground while flat footed. ( both toes are same distance from floor,around 2 inches)

2: I can touch the wall with my knee while flat footed:

a: good foot around 6 inches

b: bad foot: close to 4 inches . ( it starts to hurt where my tightness in AT is)

3: Walking up the stairs: I cannot do this properly. I have just about my entire foot on step as i go up. If not i will start to feel a lot of pain in AT ..

thanks for you advice. Also MRI is now scheduled for wed 11/10/2010.

11/15/2010: MRI Results;

I went to Specialist today to finds out my result of my MRI. It is partially torn, with approx 20% of tendon left.There is a gap in my AT. He said  running and jumping can totally rupture AT. He said that they would take a pig intestine and insert into AT to make up gap.They had me take CD of MRI home with me.

My question I have for some one out there,  is this really sanitary to have a pig intestine inserted into a human body?????????

He said he would like to get me in surgery ASAP. If I choose not too, there is a chance that it can fully rupture. If this happens he says that they may not be able to repair it. This has now got me really thinking. I am beginning to think that surgery is the only road for me to take now!!!!…