It’s official

I met my orthopedist today, and the ATR became offical; complete tear about 2 inches above the heal bone.  My surgery is set for this week, July 24th at 10 a.m.  My original blog said the ATR was on the 19th, but I obviously wasn’t thinking straight.  It actually occurred on the 18th at 4 p.m.  SO that is not too bad to get the surgery six days after injury. 

Anyone that has any words of advice from preparation to the first few days after, please let me know.  I am pretty bummed right now because my son turns 4 on the 28th.  We had to cancel plans to Legoland, and we didn’t have anything else planned for his birthday.  Any chance I will feel up to going somewhere with the family on Saturday?  Has anyone here used a wheelchair in their recovery?  My freakin’ pits are already hurting from the crutches.  Has anyone here gone with a local block instead of general anesthesia?

I just want to thank everyone so far for the great words of wisdom and sound advice.  This site has already made a difference for me.

9 Responses to “It’s official”

  1. You will not want to do anything after surgery, some people are in quite a bit of pain and require regular painkiller usage. I had little pain PostOp but your foot will swell when not elevated above your heart so you won’t want to move around. If you’re just around the house then a wheelchair might be a bit much but the first week you won’t want to move long distances on crutches, tiring, better on wheelchair. If your armpits hurt then you’re not using the crutches properly. The crutches should never poke the armpits, very sensitive blood supply going through there - I’d suggest lowering the crutches, make sure your elbow is bent - only your wrists should be sore. Good luck.

  2. Hi my advice

    Rest, lots of it, elevate as much as possible. I had local block, I used elbow crutches not underarm ones, they are far simpler to use. I borrowed a wheelchair for the first month that way you can go anywhere, and if you are going out with the family for the day it is a neccessity.

    Good luck

  3. I understand the block takes longer to come out of than the general anesthesia….so maybe in the hospital a little longer.

    Sorry to say this, but by 4th day post op, I think your leg needs to be elevated. I would only plan a very short outing. Maybe delay legoland for 2 weeks?

    Good luck, you will do well, and post on your surgery.

  4. I had my surgery on the 16th and I guess I have been pretty lucky. I had some pain the evening of the day of surgery, but figured out how to manage that with Percs, elevation and ice. No pain since then and I weened myself off of the meds by day 3.

    I got a contraption called a roll-about. It is 1000 times better than crutches. I have taken up residence in the family room. It’s easier than the risk of kicking my wife and I can watch the TV programs that I want.

    Anyway, I Went out ot dinner with about 20 people 3 days post op and was out pretty late. I didn’t use a wheelchair, but the roll about worked great. My knee was more sore than my ankle. You just need to be careful and take your time. You can only sit on your butt for so long before you come up with innovative ways to get things done.

    I don’t have a shower on my main floor and you can go up and down steps easily on your butt. You just need a helper to meet you at the top or bottom with your crutches or roll-about.

    It’s amazing how every story is different. I ATR’d last
    Sunday and got a boot on Monday. I had surgery on Wednesday and am back in the boot. I was told to elevate and ice for the first 48 and then up as tolerable. Whenever I am sitting I put it up. Above my heart if possible, but on a chair or something if I am sitting. I have my first post op visit next Tuesday and will update then, but so far so good considering the circumstances.

    By the way, does anyone on the sight play golf? I have a tournament about 14 weeks post op and was wondering if anyone has any stories about playing golf. I had a friend that walked 18 holes in his boot and shot 76 at a course where they played the Senior US open (Caves Valley Golf Club).

    Anyway, make the best of it and take your time. Good luck.


  5. If your surgery is anything like mine was, I wouldn’t plan anything for at least 3-5 days following surgery.

    I had general anesthesia and a nerve block at the knee. I checked in for the surgery at 8:45am, had my surgery at about 9:45-10:45 and was out the door before noon. The nerve block freaked me out a litte because, not only could I not feel anything below the knee, I couldn’t move anything (wiggle my toes). It completely paralyzes the lower leg. At about 1am, I started getting the tingling sensation back in my toes and I could wiggle them, but I was so concerned about feeling and moving my toes that the pain already set in and I was too uncomfortable to sleep (strong, dull pain). I doubled up on my percocet 3.5 mg scrip and took them about every 4 hours for the first 2 days . . . very comfortable. After 2 days, the percocet was making me feel strange and I stopped taking it. I wasn’t in any pain after that. From what I understand, the general aneshesia irritates the nerves and the first day or two of pain is at least partially due to that.

    I would suggest you take your pain meds shortly after you return home from the surgery and you’ll avoid the pain altogether.

    I had a half cast and an ace bandage for the first few days following surgery. Then I had a full cast. For the first week or so with the cast, I couldn’t stand up for more than a minute or so without feeling very uncomfortable. The ankle area swells with pooling fliud at the surgery site and the cast doesn’t give so I was feeling a lot of pressure there. As soon as you raise your casted area above your heart, the fluid drains out . . . instant relief. Keep your cast elevated for at least the first week and you’ll feel much more comfortable.

    I’d be carefull trying to go to an amusement park anytime soon. If you do, I’d suggest a wheel chair, especially since the crutches are giving you problems. I am about 5′10″ and I set my crutches for 5′9.” You should have at least an inch under your pits and shouldn’t be resting your body weight on your pits.

    After a few weeks, your good leg and your upper body will get much stronger and you’ll fell more comfortable crutching around.

    Take it slow and be a little selfish with your recovery. You gotta take care of yourself first.

    Good luck!

  6. One other thing on the time from ATR to surgery . . .

    I have read several articles on this and it seems that 7-10 days from injury is a good time because the surgeon will deal with less debridement (trimming the loose tendon fibers and slough).

    After a week or so, your body will have started healing some of the frayed ends of the tendon, making it easier to stitch up the tendon. After 10 days or so, the tendon can start to curl up and make for a higher tension suture.

    Anyway, that is my non-doctor interpretation of some of the articles I’ve read on the subject.

    Again, good luck with your upcoming surgery.

  7. My own reaction to your idea of Legoland? People pushing! Kids running! Junk on the ground to slip on! And above all, unconscious behaviors that could lead to your getting further injured.

    I am 3.5 weeks post-op, and limped with friends downtown here in San Francisco yesterday, one block total. The crush of tourists at Union Square scared me. So even if I were in a wheelchair, I would not feel secure; people are not looking, and they’re hurrying. If you should get further injured, imagine the hassles!


  8. Rich - interesting about the time frame. i was out of town playing in a tennis tournament when i heard the pop and fell. Another player who happened to be a doctor came and checked me out but never said anything about the tendon. i think he was more concerned with a break or twist in the ankle. since i still had range of motion, just couldn’t put weight on the toes, he suggested icing it down, stay off of it for a few days and keep it elevated. When i asked about going to the ER and would they be able to do anything, he said no, just needs time. Anyway, after 9 days of hobbling on it and having it throb unmercifully on the 4 hr flight home, I went to the doctor the next day and was diagnosed. Surgery came 12 days after the rupture, but maybe delay wasn’t much of an issue - other than the whole still walking on it thing. Well, limping. :)

  9. hi. i am 7 days out from surgery, and i have two young kids, so here is what helped me. elevate elevate elevate. it helps with general swelling and related issues as well as the pain. take your pain meds on schedule (don’t mess with it because you are feeling better, i did, and i regretted it on day 3). really take it easy that first week, and hopefully it will get you good results…i just came back from my first post-op appointment with a boot instead of a cast (yay, appreciate the little things), and my general outllook is good: low swelling, good movement, still nwb but at least i can watch the incision with the boot, and it is not as constricting. oh, and get a knee walker (or knee racer as my kids call it). they rock (and roll). sorry, couldn’t resist. good luck with the surgery!

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