duke’s AchillesBlog

Just another AchillesBlog.com weblog

    • duke has completed the grueling 26.2 ATR miles to full recovery!
      Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
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    October 2011
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  • ATR Timeline

    • Name: duke
      Location: Pennsylvania
      Injured during: basketball
      Which Leg: R
      Status: 2-Shoes

      600 wks  5 days Post-ATR
      600 wks  1 day
         Since start of treatment

Archive for October, 2011

scar massage and sleeping without a boot

Posted by duke on 25th October 2011

I had a follow-up session with my PT yesterday.  Scar massage, passive stretching and then standing stretching and strengthening (minus the boot).  The massage was uncomfortable but no ’sharp’ pains and my tendon feels better today.  I felt like I had quite a workout by the end of the hour.

The physician assistant told me I could sleep without my boot at this point following the surgery.  I talked it over with my therapist yesterday.  He encouraged me to sleep without it when I felt ready.  He wants me to spend as much time out of the boot as I can and reminded me to not try and walk without the boot at any point right now.

I took the plunge to sleep without the boot last night.  One advantage of dealing with achilles tendonosis for years is that I am used to sleeping with my foot off the bottom of the bed.  I got in the habit of sleeping with my toe towards the ground with my ankle bent over the years.  This helped keep my tendon from getting ‘tight’ overnight from pointing my toe.  Tendonosis is now yesterday’s news but I have to say I slept well and was happy to be free of the boot for a bit.

I see my surgeon next Wednesday.  I am ready to get behind the wheel and my fingers are crossed that I will get the okay to drive.  Having to inconvenience other people to get me back and forth to work is getting old.

Until next time…

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3 1/2 weeks post-op, partial weight bearing

Posted by duke on 20th October 2011

This is my second week back to work and I have been using my rolling knee walker to get from place to place.  I’ve been getting used to it but I have found that I am tired by the end of each day.  I’ve been happy to be out of the house–and I’m sure my wife has been glad that I’ve been occupied as well.

I had my second PT appointment yesterday.  Partial weight bearing was the order of the day.  He warmed up my calf, did some scar massage and then I did some range of motion exercises with him.  Up to the parallel bars and I put my booted foot on the ground with weight for the first time in nearly 4 weeks.  Very nerve wracking, but I had absolutely no discomfort in my tendon repair.  Next up was walking with the assistance of my crutches.  I’m not entirely convinced I was putting much weight down on that side, but its a start.

I am still sleeping with my boot because I am just too nervous to go without it yet.  Hope to be getting more brave over the next few weeks.  Until then, I am just going to be happy that my foot is (sort of) on the ground again and keep working on my therapy exercises…

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first PT visit

Posted by duke on 10th October 2011

I had my first therapy visit.  I really like my PT.  He spent about an hour with me.  He gave me a pep talk about recovery from this injury.  He was pleased with the look of my incision and the status of my tendon.  He told me he has had good experience rehabbing fellow patients of my surgeon.

Funny enough he described my PT protocol as ‘very, very, very conservative.’  He explained that since I was in a boot early his job was to keep me from jeopardizing my repair over the next 4 weeks or so.  The initial goals are to work on range of motion in my ankle without stressing the tendon.  In contrast, he says patients he sees who have 6 weeks in a cast have stiffer ankles when he sees them but he can work more aggressively from the start.

One of his patients recently re-ruptured his tendon 4 or 5 weeks post-op after putting his full weight on his foot (without his boot) , a slip in the kitchen that undid a month of work.  My biggest fear is re-rupture in the next few weeks.  Frankly, this scared me and reminded me how vulnerable my repair is right now.

He gave me some inversion/eversion exercises and level 1 theraband exercises to do (no raising my toe with any resistance).  He massaged my atrophied calf (which is full of knots), I got some stim and compression/cryotherapy.  I am eligible for 20% weight bearing.  He told me this is really for balance and doesn’t have much to do with my recovery.  I am planning to skip it until I can put more weight on my foot (50% next week).

I am going to work on my own over the next week and see him in follow-up when he can introduce some new things for me.  I am nervous but feeling more optimistic about my recovery…

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post-op visit

Posted by duke on 7th October 2011

After much anticipation it was time for the post-operative visit.  My splint came off and despite being prepared for atrophy after 2 weeks immobilized it still was tough to see.  I can’t imagine what things would look like after 6 or 8 weeks of casting like some of the others on this site.

My sutures came out, the incision was closing, there was no sign of infection, although one small area was lagging behind.  After a discussion with the physician assistant (got my paperwork for a temporary handicapped tag, prescription for physical therapy and the rehab protocol).  I met with the gentleman from orthotics and I was fitted with my boot.  Fixed angle brace with heel lifts.  My floppy chicken leg was situated in the boot.  I was given permission to wash my leg and once at home it got a good scrubbing.

Despite good news from the visit and knowing that my PT appointment is on Monday, after putting my legs side by side it came home to me just how much work is ahead to get back to normal again.

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