I am a 47 yo nurse and, until the last couple of years, an endurance rider. My husband and I rode our horses in 25-50 mile marathon races. Over the last 15 years, I have had progressively more pain in my heels and AT after I rode that I ignored - I put it down as part of playing in distance events. But, I noticed that my hubbie didn’t have this problem…
As I rode, my heels acted as “shock absorbers” for the horse’s bounce. We would ride for 6-10 hours on a 50 mile race in the mountains, so there was a LOT of wear & tear on my AT’s. I developed micro tears in both AT’s, developed bursitis and excess bone formation on my heels. I ended up going up 2 shoe sizes - the bumps looked like golf balls on the back of my heels. Over time, I lost all flexibility in my AT’s and had constant pain. PT, anti-inflammatories and braces didn’t help the areas “calm down” anymore. I decided it was time for surgery.
On Sept 24, 2008, I had the tendon detached from the left heel, damaged portions debrided, a tendon lengthening in the mid calf area, then the whole thing re-anchored to the bone in my heel. I thought that I would bounce back after a few weeks - NOT! I am not a patient and inactive type of person.
My doc put me in a splint for 2 weeks until he removed the stitches & staples, then gave me “The Boot”, but NWB for a total of 6 weeks.
Crutches were a real treat coming home. I spent the night at the hospital and was over-medicated. My blood pressure was in the 60/40 range when I left. When I got home & tried to make the big step up from the garage to the house, I lost my balance and fell face first! As I sat on the ground, I tried to figure out just HOW I was to get up with just one good foot! After my hubbie hauled me up to a chair, I decided to tackle the stairs up to my own bed. One look & I decided to go up the stairs sitting down. At the top, the PT had suggested standing up near the top, sitting onto a chair, then getting on the crutches. Hubbie chose a chair with a vinyl seat - part way onto it, I had visions of sliding off feet first to the bottom of the stairs! I was never so glad to get to my own bed. Looking back, it is humorous, but not at the time.
Hubbie has set me up in “the dorm room” upstairs - our home office with an added frig & microwave. I look out onto the pasture to see the horses - hope they still remember me! I bought a knee scooter and ditched the crutches. It has been a wonderful way to get around, except when our Rotts lay in the hall like speed bumps & refuse to move.
I’m slowly removing heel wedges in the boot to get to a true 90* angle for my foot. As much as I want to start weight bearing, I worry that I might pull out the bone anchor if I start too soon.
So here I am, waiting impatiently to get outside & start walking again. I’m just not looking forward to doing the OTHER foot next year.
17 Comments »