35 Days Post Injury and I Walked (In a boot, of course)

The Title of this blog says it all!!!

On December 29th, 2010, they took my cast off and put me in a boot. Because I had mentioned the protocol suggested on this site (and pushed my MD to let me try it), he put me in a boot with no riser… and OK’d a modified version of the protocol… still, pretty aggressive, though.

48 Hours later, while attending a New Years Eve party, I was hobbling around on crutches and trying to stretch a little… That night I felt my heel touch the “floor”. My foot was flat in the boot! Yipeee!

12 Hours after that I was visiting my father and I took my first tentative steps without crutches… I had some anxiety about it, and it was awkward, but I did it! 35 Days post injury and I was walking

Two days later I began PT. This entire time I have felt absolutely NO PAIN whatsoever… Including when doing PT. I went twice a week for 2 weeks and really improved greatly. In 2 weeks time I was able to push up on to my toes with 10% of my body weight… my Range of Motion was just about as good as my good foot… and the therapist was very thrilled with the progress. I felt like a champ!

After PT one Friday my wife went to have her car washed… I got out of the car and walked across the parking lot… then realized I’d left my iPhone in the car, so I turned back to get it. While walking across the parking lot I stepped on something and lost my balance!!!

I felt a “POP” and a BURN!!!! at the injury location… I just knew I’d re-ruptured my achilles!!! I was terrified!!!

Ten minutes later the burning subsided… very carefully I tried to point my toes (in the boot)… I was able to do it with no problem! WHEW!!!
I knew I hadn’t re-ruptured it… I still thought I might have slightly torn it… especially because all weekend long I would make a normal step (by my previous standards) and it would HURT!

That’s the first pain I ever felt associated with this injury… and it scared me. I took the next two weeks off from PT… I just did some very simple and easy ROM stuff and just gave it some time to heal … (besides, my Doctor was out of town and I couldn’t see him anyway). My Dr. got back in town and I went to see him finally… He checked me out and said I was fine. Suspects I just ripped some scar tissue all of a sudden… Told me to get back to PT.

I’ve been doing PT ever since… Yesterday (3 Months to the Day post injury) I was told I could quit wearing the boot!!! YAY!!! He’s given my therapist to do whatever he wants regarding my therapy :) Said I just need to build up my calf muscle now… and in 8 months or so I should feel just fine.

I gotta say that this has not been as bad an experience as I was lead to believe it would be. Not being able to drive for 3 months has sucked… Having to scoot around on my knee walker for 6 weeks was inconvenient - but a broken bone in my foot or leg wouldn’t have been any different…. The long recovery time is kinda lousy…. BUT, I’ve had other injuries along the way that were far more painful and harder to deal with. This injury is rather simple: Just take it easy and give it some time and everything will work itself out… Very minimal pain or discomfort (in my experience)…

Got a camping trip planned for next month… Have been given the go ahead but told not to do a lot of heavy lifting or any stupid/difficult hiking… Really looking forward to it!!!

2 Responses to “35 Days Post Injury and I Walked (In a boot, of course)”

  1. Icky, I’ve been thinking that maybe open-heart surgery to get a new heart valve isn’t that big a deal, but that’s not a popular opinion! Like you, I had very little pain through BOTH of my ATRs and recoveries. My second one especially — with no surgery, and a nice fast rehab protocol (only 4 weeks on crutches) — was remarkably “easy”. But lots of people have a lot of pain and discomfort.

    Also, the psychological “pain” we feel from being sidelined for weeks and months varies hugely from person to person. Interestingly, it’s largely under our own control, but it sure doesn’t seem to be at the time, for most of us.

    Your progress sounds good. I’d be very careful on the camping trip! Doesn’t your R ankle still feel very vulnerable to twisting and rolling over into a sprain? When I first showed up at my sailing club last April (maybe FOUR months post-non-op), the place was covered in huge pine cones, and my ankle kept saying “Yikes!” — maybe every time my EYES saw one coming! I’d expect a lot of hazards like that on a camping trip, too, so. . . Watch Your Step!!

  2. I told the Dr. I’d be wearing a heavy duty pair of hiking boots that prevent any ankle roll overs and allow only minimal dorsiflexion… He said, “OK. Just take it easy and don’t be stupid.” :)

    I plan on letting my brother and father carry everything … AND Collect all the fire wood ;) … I’ll just walk very slowly and carefully… and once there I’ll just have a seat and enjoy the peace and quiet of it all.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.