Need advice on new shoes

It has been 14 weeks since surgery and physical therapy has been long and slow but progressing as expected. Since I have been permitted to wear shoes, I have been using my New Balance 1569 mid-height light hiking shoes. My therapist says it will provide good support for the ankle and the cut-out at the Achilles lessens irritation. Has anyone had any other suggestions for good shoes to wear during the recovery? I can’t wear the same shoes every minute of every day for every occasion.

Vacocast sole

Any assistance would be appreciated. Just changed planter flexion angle of Vacocast Pro Achilles from 10 degrees to 5 degrees, as doctor wants a 5 degree change every 10 days. Vacocast says that at 5 degrees to switch from wedge sole to rocker sole. With rocker sole, walking is now very difficult with smaller steps and my knee seems to want to get hyperextended with every step, and my lower back hurts. I went back to the wedge sole, but I am concerned that this will delay recovery and/or mess with the healed Achilles tendon. Any advice? With the rocker sole I also removed one of the EvenUp layers so my knees, hips, etc., are level. The boot is still locked so my ankle is still immobilized and I have no plantar or dorsal flexion while in the boot.

Physical therapy problem solved

6 1/2 weeks post op and had first physical therapy. Supposed to move foot in circles. It would not move. Therapist said to move the uninjured foot in circles. When I did, the injured foot also moved! Put foot flat on floor and was told to raise heel. Would not work. Therapist said to do the same with the uninjured foot. It worked! My injured foot followed the actions of the uninjured foot. Amazing! No matter how hard I tried, nothing in the injured ankle would work until the other one showed it how! So cool!

6 weeks post-op and antibiotic question

Doc said to start physical therapy. Have first one in 5 days. Those first few weeks were so depressing, but I made it through and now start the hard work. Then he also said to go from 50% partial weight bearing to full weight bearing in 10 days. And to get rid of the crutches and knee scooter. That’s a bit scary to me, but at least I’ll try. Want to get back to driving asap. I checked my medication history and saw that I took a specific antibiotic a few months prior to the ATR, and that the antibiotic has a warning about tendon ruptures. Then I checked when I ruptured my other tendon years ago and it looks like I had been prescribed the same antibiotic just before that rupture. Anybody else have this occur?

Boot and pants suggestion

5 weeks post-op and 6 weeks post-ATR and things progressing as expected with partial weight-bearing while using crutches, except for increased aches and pains, and swelling which ice and elevation seems to help. Using a Vacocast boot, I had to buy a few pants at REI online that are convertible into shorts, and have a zipper on the lower part so they can be worn over the boot and have the zipper mostly closed. They are a bit pricey, but worth it.

Happy 4th week post-op visit

This morning I had my fourth week post-op doctor appointment and he gave me approval to be 25% PWB and some non-boot foot movements.  It might not seem like much, but I was worried that he would say a few more weeks NWB.  Just to be able to put any weight at all on my surgery leg felt like heaven.  He also took a good examination of my Vacocast boot, and seemed to be impressed.  Looking forward to physical therapy in a few weeks.  Big concern is the long-term outlook for strength and range of motion in the repaired Achilles.  Well, one step at a time.

My second ATR

I was 44 and playing in a men’s volleyball league when I leaned forward to return a serve and heard the POP echo in the gym as my left Achilles snapped apart. I had no idea what happened. Just the pain. I had surgery where the ortho overlapped the broken tendon, and after months of great physical therapy was back to normal strength and range of motion, with just a slight bump in the tendon at the overlap.

Now it is 21 years later. I am volunteering in an after school program with middle school students and am watching them play kickball. I take a step backwards with my right leg, put my weight on it, and there goes the POP again. I immediately knew what it was. You don’t forget the sound and the pain even after 21 years. Paramedics got me to the ER where they did an ultrasound and x-rays and misdiagnosed it as a partial Achilles tear and tried to get me to walk on it, which of course I couldn’t do. They didn’t even do a Thompson Test. Just wrapped me up with an Ace bandage, gave me crutches, and sent me on my way. No splint, no cast. Suggested I see an ortho and get an MRI.

Next day I went to the ortho practice that did the surgery on my left Achilles 21 years earlier, and they immediately did the standard Thompson Test and said surgery was needed immediately. So I had a spinal and a nerve block (thank goodness for the nerve block which lasted a good 36 hours), and the surgery was not quite the same as the left leg. The result of the first surgery was extreme plantar flexion because of the overlap. This time the plantar flexion is not very noticeable.

My first post-op doctor visit was 3 days ago and I was put into a Bledsoe Achilles boot with only 2 wedges. From the first, I knew this wasn’t going to go well. From the aluminum frame, to the yards of Velcro sticking to everything I came in contact with, to the strange wedges. Went home to take a nap which was impossible. I immediately phoned the Vacocast people and the next day had the Achilles Pro, a spare terrycloth liner, and the Even Up shoe cover on my front porch. I know that my health insurance will only pay for the first boot, and the Vacocast will have to come out of my pocket, but the difference is like night and day.

Biggest difference between the two ATRs is that I am now 21 years older, and the crutches are not nearly as easy to handle. I had just finished 2 months of PT for pain in my back and right arm caused by cervical disc problems, and after two days on crutches, all the pain was back again. To limit any further problems, I got a knee scooter for home, and one for my office so I can eliminate most of the use of crutches. The scooters bother my right knee, but I ice it a couple times a day and it is bearable. There is the issue of the Vacocast boot vacuum valve being just below my knee, and at times I kneel on it which isn’t pleasant. Having the standard velour liner and the second terrycloth liner is great because one can be laundered while using the other. Also, while I am at present NWB, when I do start some weight bearing, the sole of the Vacocast is easily removable so that at night I won’t be carrying into bed all the crap I may have stepped on during the day. And they provide 2 different soles. The Vacocast has other advantages. It is designed with the end user in mind.

Not looking forward to the next few months, but I have to remember to take it slowly, which I find to be very frustrating. Now that I have been overusing my left leg, the Achilles which had been repaired is becoming sore. That has me very worried.