2nd post op visit (6 wks)

I have to admit that I haven’t been the most compliant patient. At 4wks, I began to slowly start weight bearing on my foot.  I quickly progressed to being comfortable in shoes since my boot was very heavy and uncomfortable. As I approached my 6 wk visit I debated about whether to go to the next appointment in the shoes I had progressed into or to put the boot back on and use crutches. I decided to wear the shoes. The Physician Assistant was a little disappointed that I hadn’t been wearing the boot.  The doc said that I had good muscle tone and my foot is at 90 degrees. He examined the achilles and did the Thompson test. He seemed happy with how I am healing. He asked me to wear the boot for 6 more weeks. He didn’t really have a “scientific” reason why the boot was so necessary. He said it was helpful to support and protect the tendon while it continues to heal. I told him that, honestly, I would not wear it. He gave me a very supportive, small, lace-up, lightweight ankle brace that has two straps that wrap under my foot and attach at the sides of the ankle. It also has a wide strap that goes around the achilles area. Combined with a heel wedge and my running shoes, this brace feels awesome! I feel great and am getting around well! I have a limp and can’t finish the push-off part the stride, but it is getting a little better each day.  I feel like I’m at a point that I can live with for a while. I can definitely continue with the ankle brace and heel wedge for 6 more weeks until my next appointment.

3 Comments »

  1. housemusic Said:

    on December 23, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Congratulations on your speedy recovery!
    It’s interesting your doctor did not provide a scientific reason to wear the boot which most of us have to wear for about 8 weeks. Seems you have taken charge of your healing, and you’re doing better than with the standard protocol most of us have followed. As far as limping, I am 15 weeks post op, in two shoes, and I still limp. That push off part of the stride seems elusive…Were you given a date to start PT?
    Keep us posted!

  2. ryanb Said:

    on December 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Gottarun-
    You’re following a schedule pretty close to what I did (2 shoes at 5.5 weeks). At this point, think of the boot like a motorcycle helmet, or a seatbelt in your car. If you don’t crash- they don’t do much for you. In fact, because the boot immobilizes your foot, it will cause your other muscles to continue to get weaker.
    But, if you “crash” (fall off a stair, trip, slip on some ice, etc.), the boot can be the difference between re-rupturing and not. No matter how good you feel, don’t get fooled into thinking your tendon is full strength- you are at elevated risk through *at least* 12 weeks.
    I’m not suggesting you need to go back into the boot (I didn’t). Just be very careful and diligent about being careful and sure-footed at all times. For the next ~6 weeks, your most important goal is to not re-injure yourself.

  3. Rome Said:

    on December 28, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    @gottarun that’s great to hear, congrats on your accomplishments. i just had my 4th post-op appointment on tuesday, and i left disappointed. i thought i’d be going into a boot, but i didn’t. my doc told me that i had to get my foot to 90 degrees before i could get a boot. they took the soft cast off, so i’m now walking around on crutches w/NOTHING on my foot/ankle. needless to say, i feel very unprotected! doc gave me a theraband to stretch my achilles tendon out to the needed 90 degrees. after 2 days, i’m very close to being to that point. i had also ordered the vacocast achilles boot. i put it on yesterday to attempt & go PWB, but the boot fits odd. it’s bulky, made me feel like i was walking on the side of a hill, and my ankle hurt w/the limited amount of weight i was putting on it. thus on friday, i’m going back to the doc to get the boot they prescribe to their patients.

    @ryanb that’s absolutely NUTS how at 5.5 weeks post-op you’re in 2 shoes! i can’t even begin to imagine that i would be in 2 shoes that quick. my doc told me that it would be 10 weeks until i was in 2 shoes. plus i won’t be starting my PT until the last of january or first of february.

    any advice from you guys on how to limber up my ankle/foot, dealing w/swelling & bruising, and how to approach wearing the boot?

    thanks!
    rome

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