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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    November 2011
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  • ATR Timeline

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

      562 wks  2 days Post-ATR
      561 wks  5 days
         Since start of treatment

6 weeks–post-op check and FWB

Posted by duke on November 4, 2011

I had my 2nd post-op visit this week.  I saw my surgeon and had a chance to get some of my questions answered.

-details of the surgery– sounds like it was straightforward, he opened up, stitched the tendon together.  I had several years of tendonosis but he said thee tendon itself had some thickening but was surprisingly healthy looking at the time of the operation.

-numbness of my heel– not in the distribution of my sural nerve.  He is optimistic it will get better over time (and it is definitely better over the past few weeks)

-a big question was about stretching.  I have done no ‘active’ stretching outside of PT (even though it is on my rehab protocol) but my ROM is almost to neutral.  He reassured me that I can stretch ‘as tolerated’ with pain as my guide at this point.  Having read so much here about healing long, I remain nervous and quite honestly will like continue only with using my anterior tibialis to improve my ROM.

-the biggest question –> driving.  He gave me the okay as soon as I could tolerate FWB

He was satisfied with my progress, healing of my incision, the feel of the tendon, swelling (which is minimal)) etc.  He gave me permission to work on getting the wedges out of my boot and gave me a heel lift to put in my shoe for when the time comes.  He was optimistic that I would be into a shoe within 2 weeks.

I saw my therapist the next day, rode the stationary bike without a boot for the first time (official FWB), walked without crutches and had a wedge taken out of my boot (bledsoe achilles boot–had 3 to start so I still have 2 wedges in).  My plan is to take the 2nd wedge out over the weekend (as per my PT’s plans) when I don’t have to deal with being at work and on my feet.

In retrospect, I was starting to get depressed about this whole process earlier this week.  While driving home I had seen some people out jogging and I wondered when that would be me.  Sick and tired of crutches, boots, trying to figure out who was driving me back and forth each day, etc.  Getting the okay to put my crutches aside (I can use two hands again!), the okay to take my boot off to drive my car, encouragement from my surgeon makes me feel like I am on the right track.  I feel like I need to continue to take a ’slow and steady’ approach.

Reading posts on this blog makes me feel like I am too far ahead of other folks.  I have had no sharp pains and am getting good reports.  This is the rehab protocol my surgeon follows and the data shows it is no worse than slower approaches.  The reality is, I would be chafing at the slow pace if I was still in a cast (and complaining about that too) so I just need to roll with it.

One brief side note in this lengthy post.  While picking up at the pet store the clerk shared that she had torn both of her tendons while running track.  She also told me she has ‘never been the same’ (which  I am going to put out of my mind and continue to keep my head down).

Best of luck to everyone reading.  I can’t believe it is 6 weeks from my injury and hope to keep reading about progress from the folks on this site.

4 Responses to “6 weeks–post-op check and FWB”

  1. ryanb Says:

    Thanks for the great update Duke- it sounds like you are making great progress.

    It is easy to get lost in the day to day tedium of rehab; sometimes you have to take a step back and look at the big picture. Consider where you were just a few short weeks ago, and how far you’ve come since then.

  2. Duke Says:

    Ryanb–thanks for the encouragement. I have been telling people that there is a lesson for me to learn…and that right now I still am not ready for it. The patience needed is not my style. That being said, there are many struggles that people face every day that are greater and I have great support (both virtual and physical).

    In the big scheme it hasn’t been long since my injury. My wound closed without any problems, I have no significant pain AND I can drive!

  3. ryanb Says:

    My PT (somewhat jokingly) told me that there’s a reason we’re called “Patients” :-)

  4. housemusic Says:

    Hi duke,
    Good to hear you are making progress!
    My ATR timeline is similar to yours…Today I celebrated my 7th week anniversary from ATR surgery.
    My journey has been difficult and I am still dealing with nerve pain but slowly getting better. I’ve been PWB in a Vaco Cast boot level 1 for a while. Next week I will start PT and set the boot at neutral.
    Its a long road ahead, and staying positive is a challenge. Keep us posted of your progress.

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