Posted by duke on September 23, 2011
I had a formal consult with the foot and ankle specialist the day after my injury. The resident came in first, examined me and sent me off for an x-ray to see if I had calcification in my tendon (none seen, a good thing). He reviewed a bit about operative versus non-operative management. He talked to me about something called a “wheel a-bout” (a rolling knee walker) that I could use while I was recovering. “The older ladies who break their ankles love zooming around on these things.“ Quite comforting.
I met with the orthopedic surgeon. We discussed operative versus non-operative options in detail including the risks of re-rupture and the operative risks (including infection and clots). He went over more recent data supporting a non-operative approach. He told me he might need to do a release to free up extra tendon from my calf and could possibly need to do a tendon transfer from my big toe as well. After weighing the issues, I opted for surgery and was scheduled for the following Monday.
He gave me a copy of his rehab protocol (which is fairly similar to this one: http://www.mcworthopaedics.com/pdf/mark-richards-achilles-tendon-protocol.pdf). I asked when he thought I could drive again (4 to 6 weeks) and whether he thought I might be able to return to work the week after the surgery (he thought it was possible if I could keep my foot up). He reassured me with some anecdotes about some of the patients he had successfully treated in my age range. I had a new splint put on and I was out the door.
That left me with a weekend to surf the web, prop my foot up and continue to debate with myself about whether the surgical approach was the best one for me.