Aug 13 2013


I’m joining the ATR club

Posted at 2:05 am under Uncategorized

Hi guys, so I am little late after my ATR, but here goes my story.

So I ruptured my achilles on July 21 playing in an ultimate frisbee tournament. Towards the end of the 3rd game, I ran hard for a huck and a jumped high to grab it. Well on the way up my right achilles gave out and luckily I landed on my left left clutching my right ankle. I knew right away I did something bad, and I had a feeling it was my achilles. Well the trainer came over iced and and wrapped and basically said that the emergency room can’t do anything for me. So I had a friend drive me and my car home. Luckily my friend and neighbor was an orthopedic surgeon and he came over and checked me out. He tentatively said that it was a rupture and that I’ll need an MRI, surgery, etc… So on that Wednesday I had my surgery.

The doc elected for tendon transfer which I am now upset about. Basically, he used the big toe tendon the strengthen the achilles. This procedure gets you walking faster (no wedges or angled casts or boots). Two weeks after surgery I get the partial cast off and I’m in a boot (that is too big so I had to go back get a new one just two days ago). I was allowed to bear full weight pretty much right after my surgery, but I still elected to use crutches to move around outside because its faster.

As for the tendon transfer, I no longer have movement in my big toe. I am really upset about that. I would rather have my big toe and a longer recovery time than vice versa. I’m not sure what my gap was, but my doctor was not very forthcoming with information. I hear he’s a great surgeon, but his bedside manner is quite lacking.

I have two scars, one at the arch of my foot, and the normal achilles scar. Both have healed really well over the past 2 weeks since I got the cast off. Honestly, I think they are completely healed. My dad major surgery a few years ago so I had some of his left over Skintegrity hydrogel that I used. really sped up healing over the 4 days before it ran out.

So I mentioned my cast was too big. I was really upset about that. I hope it didn’t hinder my progress. But now I have to adjust to a new boot. I don’t know about you guys but it took me a few days to build up my heel pad in the boot and now my new boot hurts too. I went from a Maxtrack Airwalker to an Aircast FP walker. The aircast is more snug and the footbed is shorter so its easier to walk around. But its more plastic so it does not breathe at all. It also had a small heel pad which I think put pressure on my achilles, but I took that out. In my old cast, my ankle was a bit sloppy because it was too big but I never had any pain in my achilles. In the new boot, every now and then I get a sharp, shooting pain. It very brief and only happens when sitting.

I tried to get insurance to cover a new boot, but they said no. The office billed my insurance $300 for a $40 boot (the first one). The second one they gave free or exchanged it, but that one only costs $80 online. What a scam, a vacocast is $300 bucks out of pocket. I could submit a claim, but no guarantee that it will be covered. What a scam.

I see my doc in 2.5 weeks to for my second follow up and to start physical therapy. Supposedly, I will be in two shoes after that, but we’ll see. I could use some words of encouragement, especially those with a similar treatment plan.


July 21st Rupture

July 24 FHL Transfer Surgery & Partial Cast

August 6 Cast & Stitches Removal

August 29 New Boot

(September 10 Boot Removal & PT Schedule).

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “I’m joining the ATR club”

  1. seaweedon 22 Aug 2013 at 7:51 am 1

    Welcome to the club hashish! I’m going the non-op route so it was interesting to read of the consequence of the tendon transfer surgery. I have not tried the other two boots you mention but find the Vacocast quite comfortable. Odd that the pain is while sitting, are you dorsiflexing to stretch and that is what might be causing the pain? Hope all goes well over the next few weeks, I also get out of the boot in early Sept and am looking forward to it!

  2. sallycolellaon 22 Aug 2013 at 11:47 am 2

    Welcome to the blog. I ruptured Aug 6 and had surgery Aug 8 - just the traditional surgery. I was actually in a splint post surgery - I stiff board down the back of my leg and under my foot wrapped with gauze and tape and moved to a boot with a huge wedge that makes my toe point down two days ago. I find the boot very clumsy but it is tight - it is a “bubble boot” and I can pump it up with air to keep my ankle and foot supported - I am not having any pain and I wonder if that is expected. Sorry I can’t share exact experience but I am re-adjusting to life at a much slower pace! Hang in there.

  3. hashishon 22 Aug 2013 at 4:02 pm 3

    Thanks seaweed and sally for the comments.

    So I am upset because everything happened so quickly and that I was never given my options. I thought at the time, that surgery was normal and didn’t know of non-op was a route. My father-in-law is a radiologist and he talked to my ortho and said that he came off as a smart doctor and knew what he was talking about. So I assume my gap was too large for a normal surgery.

    I am dorsiflexing but probably not enough. My doc told me to scrunch or curl my toes also, more so than dorsiflexion. I was told to not really stretch my achilles too long.

    The hardest thing to adjusting to the boot if you are FWB is the sensitivity of your heel pad. Mine is feeling better today eventhough I just walked about 4-5 blocks with out my crutches.

    I had a partial cast after surgery, and my foot was at 90 degrees. Now that my boot fits better, i can walk around better and its not as clumsy.

  4. kellygirlon 22 Aug 2013 at 7:04 pm 4

    I guess at this point you just have to assume that you got the best treatment possible and move forward. If the gap is too large, surgery is the preferred option. (Maybe that’s why the tendon transfer.) In my limited experience, Dr.s in the U.S. lean hard toward surgery–I had to get a second opinion to find a Dr. willing to treat me non-op and even he said that most of his patients are surgical.

    I can sympathize with the insurance issues. I had a co-pay for my boot which was the same amount to buy the boot on-line. I’m not sure why they call that a co-pay. Anyway, I wish you a speedy recovery and hope that you can regain some strength in your big toe.

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