3 month marker
February 24, 2011, 7:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Now the fun begins.

Between month 2 and 3 huge progress has been made;

-I took my first two footed jump in the pool

-I did my first (very badly) heel raise in the pool

- I walk with not too much of a limp

- I passed an old lady walking :)

So what have I been doing? Sadly not physio (officially). I’ve been doing acupuncture every other day, biking on the stationary bike, and swimming almost daily. Doing the regular stretches and ROM stuff and icing at the end of the day. What I am missing is the massage for the scar tissue build up but I hope to start Physio next week to get that covered.

All in all a good month. But I’ve read this is the danger part - I feel good and might GASP want to push it a little. Like yesterday when my train was coming and I quickly hobbled. Oh how I wanted to run.

So off I go into the strength phase - gotta build up that sad skinny calf muscle I have

Now the fun begins - Rehab
January 30, 2011, 10:43 am
Filed under: Medical | Tags: , , , , , ,

Hi everyone. It’s been 8 weeks, and so much has happened since that infamous POP.

My Achilles Rupture was a high rupture, meaning the doctor actually recommended non-surgery and to cast. Seeing I live in Argentina, they wanted me in the cast for 8 weeks. After having read all the information hear I knew non-surgery was the correct choice but 8 weeks was definitely too long in a cast. So the fun began at week 5…

I had a friend bring me back the Vaco Cast for my achilles from the States. WOW. What a #%#@! awesome piece of equipment. Brooke at VacoCAST (Oped) was great and shipped it within 1 day to get it to my friend before she left to come back to Argentina.

I waited to the 5th week to get my cast off because I wanted to go straight into the VacoCAST. Unfortunately it took me seeing 3 doctors until one finally agreed to cut it off (the other two were like “that’s not how we do it in Argentina”). So into the boot I went, set at 20 degrees, and my calf half the size of its twin. Sigh…

So here’s a timeline now…

Week 0 - 5 In cast (Non surgical option)

Week 5 - In VacoCAST set at 20 degree - work on range of motion of foot and get acupuncture treatment daily

Week 6 - VacoCAST now set to 17.5 degree and continuing the above treatments with massage as well. Lots of swelling at the end of the day

Week 7 - VacoCAST set to 15 degrees. Swimming with a pool buoy between the legs. AWESOME to get some exercise in finally. On one crutch and Partial weight bearing (PWB). Continuing acupuncture and massage.

Week 8 - VacoCAST at 0 degree (so my foot is now at 90 yay!). Swimming without pool buoy. Getting acupuncture and massage. Limping in the pool. Range of motion has readily improved.

So here I am… some thoughts on the whole ordeal.

  1. The VacoCAST is worth every penny. Not only can you take it on and off (and have a normal shower!) the slow progression to 90 is a god send and it seems like the right thing to do.
  2. Showers with a chair suck.
  3. Acupuncture triggers the muscles to start working again. Highly recommend. I was going to Frances Ren - a great acupuncturist here in Buenos Aires (http://www.francesren.com)
  4. My wife rocks.
  5. I should probably have started PWB earlier (like week 5)
  6. My foot feels like it’s on pins and needles when I place it down and my heel is quite sore after a day of limping around
  7. This site is great for your mental health

Achilles and your wife
December 24, 2010, 10:12 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

How important is it to have an amazing spouse when your Achilles goes POP?

Very important.

It’s amazing how troublesome the simplest of things can be when you are stuck on crutches. How do you carry anything of weight? (Hint: A backpack is golden!). How far is the grocery store to go and get food? Driving? How about walking the dog? All these things, while doable, definitely help when a loved one is around.

Of course the first few days it’s ok to ask “can you…” or “could you…” and “do you mind….” But on day 21 or so those questions get tedious and you start to feel guilty asking. I’m lucky in that my spouse so far (fingers crossed) hasn’t gotten too bored of the constant asking of small little things. But personally I find it frustrating to have to ask. I’m looking forward to getting out of this cast and losing the crutches.

All in time…

Vaco Cast?
December 23, 2010, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Living in Argentina is sometimes like jumping in a time machine to the 1930’s. Ok, that’s being a bit mean. But you get the idea. This is what happens when you are put in a very heavy plaster caste, given wooden crutches with no padding (hello blisters on hands), and not treated properly until Doctor #3.

So this site has been a blessing. I am thinking of this for my recovery plan:

Plaster Caste: 0 - 4 weeks

Vaco Cast: 4 - 8 weeks or until necessary (4- 12 weeks)

The reason I want to get out of my Plaster caste is two fold, actually three:

1. It’s heavy and annoying

2a. The UWO recovery plan has people starting physio earlier and this could help

2b. I want to start doing acupuncture as soon as possible and unfortunately needles aren’t like Wolverines claws

3. Did I mention it was annoying?

Thoughts everyone? Especially on the Vaco Cast! :) Also, if anyone is done with their cast and would like to sell it to me I would really appreciate it :)

POP goes the weasel…or achilles
December 23, 2010, 8:30 am
Filed under: Medical

It really does feel like getting shot in the back of the leg.

Those were my first thoughts as I fell to the ground after trying to lunge forward in a squash match. My second thought was %#!@$.

My third thought was “It really does make a POP sound.”

And my last thought was of course there goes my Achilles.

So here I am. Maybe a little background. I’m your typical weekend warrior; highly addicted to playing sports with a memory of a 20 year old in a 34 year old body. I was playing squash and had been running around that silly little glass box for an hour. I tried to spring forward and POP. There it goes. I’m currently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the medical situation has been interesting to sy the least.

So what happened after the pop?

I went to the emergency (It was a Thursday) and had an ultrasound done on the achilles heel. No tear. Hmm. I swore I heard a pop. Plus I can’t stand on my foot. But I’m sent home (hopping on one foot no less) and told to come back on Monday. On Monday I trudge back to the hospital, this time on crutches (wooden ones - seriously?!), and am told I have probably torn my calf muscle. The surgeon is in on Tuesday and… yes you guessed it… come back later.

So I go back on Tuesday and lo and behold the surgeon said yes, I’ve torn my achilles. However, it’s an unusual tear in that it’s very high. Surgery or non-surgery that is the question. Since it is so high up surgery is not recommended. So into a cast I go, which he said should have been done on day one. Sigh… I hobble out on wooden crutches, in an archaic plaster cast, with an appointment for an MRI the next day.

Smile! Say cheese. Well, those are things you don’t do in an MRI. But I did anyways (remember, I did it in English and this is Argentina - no one laughed). I always fall asleep in MRI’s and this was no different. After my snooze I am told to come back in a week for results and see the doctor again. Joy.

Another week later with pictures in hand - the diagnosis is confirmed. High rupture of the Achilles tendon. Here’s Google Translates interpretation

consistent with reports in the medical order is identified image compatible with ruptureof the tendon fibers of the Achilles tendon, close to the Union miotendinous,approximately 85mm of the distal insertion site in the calcaneus bone. This strikingfinding consistent with a full-thickness rupture, or at least commit the majority of its fibers. proximally at the junction miotendinous and the site of rupture are mildinflammatory changes. The distal end shows marked increase in anteroposteriorthickness reaching approximately 11.4mm. in turn there are intrinsic changes in signalintensity inflammatory findings also finding that could be related to injury intrasubstance.”

The surgeon says to come back in 4 weeks (6 weeks total) and have the cast taken off and fitted for a nice shiny looking CAM boot. Joy.

And here I am…