2 weeks in for 2nd AT rupture

Got my cast off at the 13 day post-surgery and stitches out. Attendant said “I have never had anyone so still and quiet while I took stitches out - and there were a lot of them!” I think they had loosened up a good bit and I had made conscious decision to wait the full 2 weeks for cast off rather than go at 9 or 10 days. Partly because of waiting I was able to get foot to neutral so doc let me go into boot, no second cast this time. The leg and foot actually looked very good. A stripe of black and blue under ankle area and stitches nice and straight. Not much swelling and no real discoloration apart from surgical bruising. This time around both for first week and continuing every night pretty much all night, I have kept foot propped up. This has seemed to help a great deal to reduce swelling. Also use icepack on and off when sitting still.

I am eager to see if I don’t have as much problem with all my little feet muscles (of which there are MANY) atrophying this time. That was the first thing I noticed with PT first time around - I was surprised by the soreness of lots of little places. I think because I can now move and do ROM exercises 2 weeks out rather than 5 weeks I will progress (or at least not regress) faster.

Got clearance for anything non-weight bearing. Which meant I went for a 1 mile swim the next day followed by an hour of Pilates, which I had done once before with cast and some on my own. The swim felt very good to have freedom in the foot. I strongly feel like swimming last time really helped recovery and flexibility. I did not consciously ‘kick’ with my foot, more from my knee on the bad side but it did get flutter and movement going and felt it loosen up a bit about 10 laps into it. The pilates I just didn’t do any weightbearing and all was well. Nice to get back to gym and I came back the following day for a longer swim.

Also tried for a short drive around the block without boot. The automatic cars are so easy. Accelerating no problem at all and can rest heal on floor. Braking was fine but had to keep foot off floor, which meant pointing it and got tired pretty quickly. I will not be going on any significant drives soon but it does mean I can transport kids short distances and allow enough time not to be rushed - a good general rule when on crutches or injured.

6 Responses to “2 weeks in for 2nd AT rupture”

  1. Sounds like you’re doing well. Congratulations! Be very careful if you are going to drive. An emergency stop could put people at risk.

  2. Duke, was the 2nd ATR same foot or other side? I did my 2nd 13 wks into recovery. I’m now 5 months post 2nd, had surgery first and non op 2nd time. But I did the same one, the stitches all tore and partially healed scar let loose. After seeing all the posts here about 2nd timers, I get a little paranoid. Not for the healed one but the good one going bad. :(

  3. Hi Scott -

    I did the opposite side (Right). 15 months ago was left (you can look at old blog). What you might be interested in are the comments left on my first entry of second blog a month ago - someone sites a study that showed a 6% rupture rate of contralateral (other side) achilles for those who continued their sports. And they only tracked them for 4 years, so am sure it is higher than 6% (which still isn’t high but relatively…)

    I am REALLY sorry to hear about the re-rupture. That is tough to take on many levels. Was it a full rerupture? I don’t know how such a thing would heal itself without surgery. Good luck to you and stay safe. Do checkout my prior entry and comments left.

  4. Duke, you can check out Scott’s progress — with his unusual (unique?) non-op approach to a post-op rerupture — on his blog. Touch wood, it seems to be working remarkably well.

    Your story all sounds clear and successful, but one part puzzles me. Do you brake with your left foot? Where I come from, the driving instructors all teach using your right foot on both gas and brake. I think it’s partly to avoid that panicked gas-plus-brake thing that seems to have caused a lot of Toyota’s problems.

  5. Duke, as usual I saw the first post after the submitting my Q? Yes the retear was complete with 2 cm gap. I really need to catch up my page. I an not the average ATR recovery by any means.

    I was I believe a “test case for my OS. I had given him the UWO info and a few links. He was a bit aloof about conservative care but he is smart enough to realize that the studies show good results. His fall back was well if it doesn’t work out for you “I can always fix it later for you”. My tendon has reconnected well, I’ m 5 mo’s in and have gotten to the point of a struggling 1 leg calf raise. My big concern isn’t mucle strength but tendon strength and the area where the stitches pulled out when it rerore in june. I’ve read about the internal stitches on the blog and wonder if I’ll actually need mine removed in the future since they were pulled out of the tendon and re healed somewhere in there??? I’ve been told the 6 mo window is a good milestone, I m close to that, then its the 1 yr.

    Good luck in the healing process, I know mine wasn’t like yours but when you have insight to the healing process from your previous time, I believe it isn’t quite as bad the 2nd time around. Still I don’t wish this injury on anyone……

  6. Normofthenorth, I do not brake with my left foot. I, too, was told not to drive that way when I learned. Everything works just great with my right. When I am accelerating I can have my heel on floor and all is as usual. When I brake with my right I actually do so in a planterflexion (point) with ball of foot and also lifting my thigh a bit off the seat - no strain at all on tendon so I can brake hard with no worries if necessary. When I come to a stop I usually hold down the brake petal with left foot to rest my right leg. My braking was a bit jerky for the first few stops but adjusted quickly. I would never drive my kids around if I had any concern at all it might not be safe.

    Going to look for Scott’s blog now. Very curious.

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