The day after

September 21, 2010

I had surgery yesterday on my right Achilles. Looks like surgery was the right call in my case as my doctor said the tendon had separated by a couple of inches. I suppose that couldn’t be seen on the MRI? The doc said he had to use longer and more sutchers than he initially planned. Also mentioned something about having had to leave some sort of stitch that is permanent? All this is a little hazy since at first I didn’t even remember talking with him.
Today - in a brace and have a lot of pain. I read that 20% to 30% of surgeries have moderate to severe pain. I had a nerve block that wore off about 10pm last night. Took the first painkillers last night at 4:30. They seem to take the pain from extreme to bearable. Hopefully this won’t last too long.
Sounds like the plan is 3 weeks with nwb then to a boot. I was wondering if anyone has tried the boot advertised on this site (vaco cast) and what their experience with it has been? Any thoughts or advice on any of this will be appreciated.


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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rsn  |  September 21st, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    also went the surgery route. took percocet for 3 days then pain totally stopped. recommendation based on my experience: some painkillers stop you up, if you know what i mean. begin to take counter measures asap.

  • 2. jla2010  |  September 21st, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Hi DrewT. Do a search from the main page using vaco. Since some people call it the vacoboot and others the vacocast, vaco will yield the most results. From the posts, I’ve seen since I joined this ATR community this summer, the vacocast seems to get nothing but praise from those who have used it. There’s a great video on youtube of some guy swimming in it and then wringing out the liner.

    Sorry to hear about your pain. Hang in there.

  • 3. normofthenorth  |  September 21st, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    The intense pain should pass fairly soon. Think of it as a test of inner calm and self-possession!

    As JLA said, ‘most everybody here who’s tried the Vaco seems to rave about it. gunner was one of the first, but there have been a handful of others. It’s called VacoPed in Europe, VacoCast in No. America. I’m a big fan of hinged boots in general, and it seems to be one of the best. (I’ve used hinged boots, but not the Vaco.)

    I’ve reviewed the evidence elsewhere here, on gap size as a factor in the surgery vs. non-op decision. You probably don’t want to hear it. (If I’m wrong, you can search for it, or ask.) Let’s just say that in science, the evidence often DISproves “common sense” conclusions!

  • 4. Gerryr  |  September 21st, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    As far as the internal sutures are concerned, they are permanent. The problem is there is really only one kind of absorbable suture, and it is absorbed completely in 2-3 weeks. The surgeons don’t believe that’s long enough so the use this braided crap that says there forever. Unfortunately some people, like me, have a body that rejects the suture material and that creates all sorts of problems. There are a few other folks here who’s have the same problem. If, later on, you have trouble with the incision refusing to close, the internal suture material is most likely the cause. My original surgeon refused to even consider the possibility when my incision wouldn’t close.

  • 5. firstdayofsummer  |  September 21st, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Sorry to hear about your pain Drew and hope it will wear off soon.

    I have used the vacocast starting about week 2 (I went the non-surgical route) and loved it! Not that I can compare it to any other boot but I was able to walk without crutches at about week 4 which made life way easier. I found it to be very comfortable, easy to put on and take off, and the fact that I was able to shower with it was a BIG plus (just make sure you order it with 2 liners in order to put on a dry liner after the shower).
    Oh, my OS thinks that the boot speed up my healing process considerably :)
    Good luck to you and happy healing

  • 6. dtaylor  |  September 21st, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for the help! Sounds like the thing to do.

  • 7. dtaylor  |  September 21st, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Yeouch. Thanks Gerryr. I’m not sure I want to know what happens if that is the case for me.

  • 8. dtaylor  |  September 21st, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Interesting…too late for me - cant put the baby back in as they say so I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that it will fix me up. Thanks for the info!

  • 9. dtaylor  |  September 21st, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you jla2010! Will do.

  • 10. dtaylor  |  September 21st, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you rsn - hope you are doing well with yours!

  • 11. phlavor311  |  September 17th, 2011 at 1:12 am

    1 week in to my ATR. Ordered the vacocast yesterday as I’m going non-surgical. Hope the vacocast will make the recovery somewhat bareable

  • 12. Daisy Darlington  |  September 18th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Good Luck with all, Phlavor311! It really does get better though at your stage, I know it feels pretty wretched! I hope the Vacacast is wonderful! I did the surgery and have an Aircast which has worked very nicely.

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