4 Wks Post Op, 2 Wks in boot

8 07 2009

It’s been a very busy 2 Wks.   I was fitted with a cheap velcro crap boot to start with but had them order me a new boot so I could return to work. It took 3 days to arrive and is heaps more comfortable.   its an Aircast boot with air bladders in the sides to hold the foot snug when walking around(looks like a stormtrooper).   It costs $170 but with the private health insurance it cost me $40.   Not bad for something I have to wear for 12 Wks especially to bed.

For those with a manual I’ve been driving since I recieved my first boot.  My car has heaps of room around the clutch and I was driving for 2 wks with the tendon snapped anyway so using the whole foot is pretty easy.   There really is no weight pushing in the clutch.

I started back at work last monday.   Working in an industry that required safety boots provided an hurdle but I overcame that.   I had an old elastic sided steel cap boot that I chopped in half and carved the tread off.   This sits securely inside the foam under the frontstrap.   Works a charm.   The only problems i am having is by the end of the week being absolutelty knackered from lugging the boot around.   Also even though i am wearing my highest work boot on my right leg the other boot is higher and you rock as you walk.  This makes your right hip and calf ache like buggery and I come home every night and just stick my foot up with the boot off.

Because i am at work for almost 11 hours I take my boot off when I come home and put it back on when I go to bed.  So for about 4 hours I shuffle around the house in my socks sans boot.   My foot feels fine and I dont put any pressure at all on the tendon but all my weight is on my foot.   I must emphasise that I am very careful where I place my foot.   It gives a chance for my stinky boot to dry out.

Physio is happy with the way things are going, I dont go back for 2 wks and I just keep doing the excercises they have given me.   When I stretch it is getting further every day and there is no pain at all.

Keep on truckin everybody and think positively.

Cast off, Boot on, Start of Physio ! Yeahah

23 06 2009

Back to the doctors today for the cast removal.   He used dissolving stiches so he just removed some pads over the incision and it looks good.   Nice and neat.  Thats his part of the way and I don’t see him again.   The Physio is in the same building so next went staight in to her.

Straight up got fitted with a boot.   The doctor didn’t see the need for an angled one so it is straight into a 90 degree boot with full weight bearing.  Excellent!!!!   She said he has a fairly aggressive attitude to rehabilitation, which is right up my alley.   My excercises are the following

1 Active dorsiflexion (pulling the toes back toward your body then relax,  can use a towel wrapped around foot)

2 Passive plantar flexion (standing near a wall with toes touching and move your knee towards the wall till you feel it strain)

Do both of these for about 2 mins twice a day for 2 wks.   My knee should touch the wall by then they hope.   I have to wear the boot to bed to stop the foot being accidently flexed too much.

In 4 wks time I start more excercises and strenghtening.   I can now shower without the boot and give my smelly foot a good scrub.   The boot feels really good and I can walk with it no problem, straight out to the car and no more crutches. 

I think it’s time for a few soothing ales to celebrate the first major step on the road to recovery.

11 days postop and clomping around the house

22 06 2009

I went out to the club 3 nights ago to have some tea and a few drinks.   Bloody hard work on the crutches and my right hip got really sore.   The next day I started experimenting putting a bit of weight on my heel, just a little bit at a time.   Pins and needles at first and I was watching for any swelling or pain.   Yesterday I started to use walk using the heel of my cast, with my leg sticking out at an angle and my foot at 90 degrees.  I only go from the lounge to kitchen and back ( can carry a cup of coffee now) and can stand up in the shower.   I know I’m NWB and I’m really bad for doing it but I can’t help myself, surely there is no pressure on the Tendon if all your weight is going on the heel (some people may have detached the tendon off the heel, and it might be different for them).   I think it also helps bloodflow as well, no more pins and needles. 

 But what really is NWB?   Every time we put our leg on a pillow in bed or cushion in the lounge we are putting a load on the whole back of the calf, in the area of the incision.    I go to the doctor tomorrow afternoon to get the stitches out and be fitted with a boot, so I will find out if  I stuffed anything up.

I’ll keep you posted after doctor.     Always look on the bright side of life

Cam Walker Question

18 06 2009

Suerly somebody has come across this problem before. I work as an aircraft maintenance engineer and need to wear steel capped boots in the work area. I rang the physio about a closed in walker boot and she said that they only have the open toed models (especially in the moveable models). She had one patient before who needed one but he took all the time off work (yeah 10 more wks off, as if thats happenning). There are 90 degree models that have the plastic top come down to the toes then a soft front curve. Surely somebody would make a walker to cater for this, or I might have to modify an old work boot, chop off the toe and use that. Please drop a line if you chave come across this.
Also does anybody else wonder if doctors and physios around the world read sites like this. I think they would take a lot of good from it.

7 Days post op

18 06 2009

Having the slab cast on has been really been good, I have been moving my foot up and down.   The bandage allows me to move it about 1.5 inches, I can feel my heel moving slightly.   There is no pain at all, I don’t know if it is doing anything but it feels good.

I’ve stopped sleeping with a pillow under my leg now, thres no pain and I can lay on my side (which is great).   I have only had a few pins and needles if I rest on it or bump it a little.

I’ve started doing situps and pushups in the lounge room so I don’t start getting to big.

Only a week to go till I see the Doc again to take out the sticthes.   Apparently I will get a boot on and start physio.   Also start weight bearing again.   After some of the horror stories in here I hope it comes to fruition.

It’s been raining and cold outside almost everyday so it’s not so bad being cooped up.

My First Post 3 days after Surgery

12 06 2009

Hi everybody.  I would like to say that all the blogs and information on the net has really helped me through this period.   Some information that I was looking for i couldn’t find so I’ll start with that first.   I am 45 years young and reasonably healthy (carrying a few extra kilos though). I ruptured my left tendon playing basketball on April 21.  Normal reaction of “who the hell kicked me!” and could not put weight on my toes.  I have been injured lots playing, rolled ankles, torn and sprained calf muscles,corked thighs and they all seemed to hurt more than the ruptured tendon.   I dont like doctors or hospitals and being used to pain I just left it.   Limping around it started to hurt less and after a week it just ached if I walked too much, after 2 weeks it didn’t hurt at all but i was still limping, could not put any weight on my toes but i could fell tension if I tried. I then thought that it might be partly ruptured and after reading many posts on the net decided to see a doctor.  I had an Ultrasound on June 6 which confirmed I had a full rupture.  

I saw my surgeon on June 10 and he recommended surgery the next day.  Awesome , no time to worry or get nervous.

Arrived at the hospital at 9.00 for surgery at 11.00.   The anethetist recommended the spinal ga as a better option, I could be awake and talk but might feel some tugging on the leg otherwise they would give me GA with a tube down my throat to help me breathe, but laying on your stomach is not really comfortable.   As it was when they went to put the spinal in they gave me something to calm me down, the next thing i remember is waking up on my stomach with them getting ready to roll me over.   I had slept through the whole thing!

The one good thing about spinal is that my whole lower body was numb for about 12 hours, so no pain at all, he also put a bit of morphine in as well to help with the pain.   Stayed in hospital overnight and in the morning still had hardly any pain.   The Doctor had fut my leg in a backslab cast (From back of knee to the toes in a hockey stick shape) wrapped in a bandage.   This helps with the swelling as the bandage can expand, it is lighter than a full cast and I can scratch most of my itches!

My only medicines are panadeine forte for the pain ( which there isn’t much of), antibiotics to stave off any infection and a blood thinner(CLEXANE, to stop blod clots) which I have to self administer with a prepackaged needle into my stomach fat. Not that fun, my wife sqeezes the fat together while I inject ( she nearly faints)

At home now I have Set up my “Nest” in the loungeroom.   I have my chair set up in front of the plasma with a footrest.   A table next to me for remotes and munchies, the laptop on the otherside, books in a pile, my guitar handy and a stack of DVD’s.

Most of my house is tiles so I had a tall office chair up in my shed which has roller wheels.   I crutch myself to the chair and roll around the kitchen and back area.   My foot is not weight bearing and feels fine.   I can access the coffee machine, pantry, fridge, microwave, plates and cups.   This way I can make my own breakfast and lunch and my wife doesn’t have to do everything for me.  I made an Omlette for braekfast this morning. I don’t stay on the chair too long because it gets tiring letting the foot hang after a while.   But it is independence and I think it makes you happier and helps you heal faster.

When I’m sleeping i normally rest my leg on a pillow, only because it feels alot more comfotable that way.

I go back to the doctor on Jun 23 to get stitches out and get fitted with a boot and than start weight bearing and excercises.  He looks like he wants a fairly aggressive approach to rehabilitation which is fine by me.   After reading lots of posts on the net there are widely varying thoughts by doctors on how long to leave the leg in plaster, boots etc.   Read up alot and make up your own mind.

One of the only problems is its winter here in Australia and weve had a cold snap.   With my toes sticking out of the cast I had to cut up a work sock to cover my toes to keep them warm.

All the best for now I wll keep you posted from the Land Down Under