One month down, 2 more to go

June 26, 2009 | |

Today, 6/26/09, marks a big day for me in my recovery.  I have been casted in full equinus for 4 weeks now, and today had my 2nd cast removed (I was casted twice because I thought there was a bit of “play” coming into the first cast, which now that I look back on it, there really wasn’t-just paranoia:).  My doctor wanted to increase the angle for the 2nd cast, but I asked him to keep me in equinus because it would be less awkward for when I practice yoga.  Plus, I wanted to give my achilles more time to heal that way.  You would think the longer you keep the mending ends together the better.  The doctor didn’t argue with me, but said that it may take a little longer for me to get to neutral.  I got my 2nd cast on 6/12/09, and then headed off back home to be with my family-Yeah!  Workers comp is a great thing :)

Although this has been one of the most serious injuries I’ve ever incurred, it has also been one of the least painful.  I’ve had more than one person say ”oh, it must have hurt so bad”.  The truth is, this has been a virtually pain-free injury.  From the moment it happened, the only real suffering I’ve been through is mental and emotional.  For example, when I ruptured it, there was no pain at all.  I didn’t even realize I’d hurt myself until I thought about it for a second and then looked at my heel.  On a scale of 1-10, I’d say my average pain has been about .05.  I had a little bout of pain day 2, which I’d rank about a 2. I did read an article that said about 1/3 of those who go through this experience a pain free rupture-I guess I’m one of the lucky ones in that sense.

Getting back to today, I believe the pain is about to begin.  I’m feeling pretty vulnerable without my cast, as I was able to hobble around quite well with it, even loading weight onto it going up stairs.  I told the doc today about my “cheating”, which he says was probably good for it.  I believe that is true, because moving it stilmulates collagen production and blood flow.  I don’t have too much atrophy either, and no problems with joint stiffness.  All in all, I think I’m in good shape for the next phase of this.

I am quite used to this injury now, and am left with only an ace bandage and my crutches for the next week.  In my opinion, this is the scariest week.  I can see and feel that the ends have reattached themselves, and I don’t want to mess that up.  I don’t want to trip or put too much weight on it (which I’ve already done accidentally), so I have to be super careful.  If I’m not, the pain will be immense-I can tell!  It is quite sore & tender when I try to move it to neutral.  I am excited about being out of the cast, though.  It feels great to finally move it around (my leg was getting clostrophobic, if that is possible).  After I washed it (and shaved my leg :), I massaged it.  I have a crampy kind of pain in my calf, which goes off when I sit back on my heels.   I’ve been out of the cast for about 10 hours now, and the whole ankle started swelling up about 5 hours ago.  I have a feeling the massaging may have triggered it, and maybe the little bit of exercise I gave it too. 

I go back to the doctor in next week to get my boot.  He said I should be in neutral by then (provided I work on moving it around with no WB at all).  I’m doing ankle circles, ankle alphabet, pointing and flexing, side to side, and theraband work to strengthen it.  He also suggested the hot tub soon to help loosen it up.  I’m thinking a few beers to go with that time in the hot tub would be nice (my sister the bartender tells me it helps increase blood flow)!  That’s what I need, more blood flow!   Anyway, he said I should be in it for a month, which again surprises me.  I thought the boot was to be worn for 2 months?  My doctor seems to be moving me right along, which is great, but at the same time I don’t want to rush it.  Does this timeline sound fast to anyone?

Time to go to bed–I can’t wait to see how it looks and feels tomorrow :)


3 Comments so far

  1. cactus on June 27, 2009 4:55 am

    Hi gymartist,

    There are a few of us going down the conservative route on here, keep up the good work and don’t rush things.

  2. lopo1969 on June 28, 2009 10:50 am

    HI there,
    I live in the UK and after i sustained my ATR
    my doctor recommended that I go down the conservative route. I have been really perturbed by this as most poeple on this site seem to have been steered to surgery. It’s really reassuring to read your blog and we seem to be at the same stage too. I’m back to the doc on Wed 1st July for my final 90 degree cast. Your positivity is wonderful to read and I feel inspired by you. Best of luck and happy healing, Louise xx

  3. waynu on June 29, 2009 9:39 pm

    Hi there!

    I’m 3 weeks in, and looking forward to getting the next cast - I’m also going down the conservative route.

    Great blog!

    Best of luck..


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