10 days since op. What can I expect ?

Hi, 1st time on site. Played rugby back on 09/05/09 and tore my left achilles. Straight to A & E,(excellent advice from physio on pitchside) and Consultant there said complete rupture. Back to fracture clinic on Monday and operated on 12/05/09, told by Consultant op went well. In front slab cast until 26/05/09 - when stitches out and will be put into full cast for a further 4 wks, but cast altered. Then into trainer with wedge underneath. Can anyone tell me of their experience relating to this kind of rehab ? I have physio lined up for 6 wks after injury. but feel mega cheesed off as really active rugby player (good standard) and runner / weights etc etc and now nothing ! Will I be able to partially weight bare even in a normal cast after 14 days from op ? Anyone sharing their experiences would be really appreciated. This is the 2nd rupture for me (10 yrs) ago did it, put in cast for 10 wks and then physio, running within 4 months. Cheers Henrys Cat,.

6 Responses to “10 days since op. What can I expect ?”

  1. hey Henry,

    back luck with the injury, your second one, what a bummer!

    From what I have read on this site, everyone’s recovery timelines and procedures are completely different. My Orthopedic Surgeon, for example, has basically told me nothing yet except that I can start Range of Movement exercises after week 4 (I am currently almost 2 weeks post-op). However, I don’t know what that means in terms of wearing a cast or boot etc. really have no idea.

    Can relate about the gym, I was also an active AFL (Aussie Rules) player and did the injury playing. Not getting to the gym drives me nuts, so I have been going up and down the stairwell in my building with my crutches in lieu of the bench ;)

    I am seeing the physio already, who is putting some kind of radio waves on the bad achilles to help with the scarring and healing, as well as the electrodes on my quads to keep the muscles going. Maybe you could try this to help speed up the recovery and ensure you are good to go when the cast comes off?

    Tom

  2. Thanks for the message. I think going from being very fit and active is incredibly hard to take, also having to stop eating and being realy careful with food is difficult. Is anyone taking extra protein or supplements for example ? It would be handy for some kind of timeline as I have six weeks until my plaster comes off and then a wedge under my trainer, there seems to be some excellent info on here, but there are plenty of diff orth surgeons who do things differently.
    Cheers

  3. Hi Henry 152,

    I pretty much had the same protocol as yourself. In three different casts for a period of 6 weeks post-op non weight-bearing and then in two trainers (sneakers) with heals/wedges (full-weight bearing). I did request the aircast boot for a period of about 7 days inbetween cast and trainers. I am now 10 weeks post-op and things are progressing well. I can walk for around 30-40 minutes a day - I cycle (stationary bike) for about 25 minutes a day and at times do the cross trainer (lowest resistance) for 10 minutes. I still find that my foot gets sore - but things do speed up after the casts. Regardless of what you do - you will experience muscle wastage and this can only really be re-built after your casts and once you start walking/physiotherapy.

    With regards to diet - I would not recommend taking extra protein as protein can be difficult to digest - especially if you are not that active/mobile. I would recommend a diet loaded with fresh fruit/veg and fibre and just eat/drink sensibly. I think there was someone on the blog who mentioned that vitamin C helps with pain in the tendon - but I’ve not come across any scientific papers to vouch for this - however, a small dose of vitamin C will not cause any harm.

    Anyway, hope your healing goes well.

  4. Hi Henry,

    If you have any choice at all, you should really try to get in a walking boot of some sort. It may not affect your long-term recovery results too much, but it will make your quality of life for the next months many times better. You should be able to walk in a walking boot (aircast, CAM walker, vacoped, etc) within 2 weeks of the surgery. I know for me it was a huge improvement to be able to walk, bike, and generally exercise my thigh on the bad leg. Also, being able to remove the boot to shower your bad leg is good for preventing infection, etc, and you can take it off to do ROM exercises and gentle stretching which should give you a head start on rehab and prevent certain complications arising with extended immobilization. Don’t let them put a cast on you!

  5. Henry — best of luck with the recovery.

    I also blew out my right achilles 9 years ago, and just did my left a couple of weeks ago. I ruptured both during squash matches. I was treated for the previous right tendon in the UK, and this time, am now in the US for the left. Both protocols however seem to be the same — 6 weeks NWB (3 weeks in hard cast, 3 weeks in walking boot), followed by another 6 weeks PWB to FWB with PT. I am only on week 2 as we speak sadly
    .
    With regard to diet — I agree, vegetables, fruits and fiber is key. It may be an old wives tale, but I am also taking Mega Men (GNC multivitamin), Glucosamine Chondroitin (for joint flexibility) and recently heard MLM is also good to take. I’m wary of not trying to pack too many pills particularly if they are all placebo’s anyway!

    Hiking around town on your crutches should be a good way to keep in shape (at least upper body), as I’m finding out again….

    Sunny

  6. I’m 9 months Post OP. I was in a none weight bearing cast for 4 months, full weight bearing cast for 2, waling boot for 2, then back in two shoes. PT for a months and here I sit 9 months Post OP.

    PT I had was basic for my injury. Stretch, foot lifts etc. Strengthening is key.

    Good Luck

    Glen
    San Diego

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