8 weeks post op


Tying up the laces on my right shoe was such a trip. I felt like a normal person for once. One of the best feelings of my life.

Started some weighted exercises in physio. The rubber band thing and the seated calf raises are good. Finding that i really need to do a round of stretches before i can walk…The stretching does wonders. Gives me that extra range of motion that lets my foot moves a little bit more normal.

Im gonna try to drive a car for the first time this Saturday since my accident. We will see how it goes. If im not comfortable its no big deal im a pro at taking the bus/train. Although now that im in two shoes people dont readily give up their seats anymore.

Anyways will update again soon. Seems like things are starting to come together.

7 weeks post surgery

Hello Achilles land,

Since my last post i have made leaps and bounds. Still in the boot but ditched the crutches 2 weeks ago when i got to 75% wb and sported a cane. This week I am still in the boot but have ditched the cane as i am at 100% wb.

Seems like every day gets better. Just have to focus on going slow with all the snow and ice on the ground right now.

My biggest highlight was going to the winter classic on the 1st in ann arbor to see my lovely leafs play a great game against the wings. I got primetime treatment from the event staff and security as i was still on my crutches at that point. No security lines, no bathroom lines and most importantly NO BEER LINES! Almost backed out last minute as i was nervous about my achilles but more than happy i went. Something ill remember forever and ever.

Another highlight is that i returned to work on the 6th of January. 6 weeks minus a day after the ATR. First couple days were rough with swelling [though no pain, more of just that uncomfortable feeling of being trapped in a boot] Days got easier after the first two and as long i pop off the boot every couple hours and do some stretches then i feel great.

As far as physio goes all im doing right now is plantar, dorsi and side to side stretches. holding for 5 seconds, 10 reps, 3 sets / 4 x daily. I have an appt with my surgeon on wednesday and at that point im hoping to get the go ahead for some strengthening exercises and hopefully learning how to walk all over again.

Ive got 2 shoes in my sights! But from reading so many stories on here i know to take it easy, pace myself, have realistic expectations and enjoy the small victories.

Good luck to everyone else on here.


2 weeks 2 days post op December 13th 2013

Hello Achillesblog.com,

So last friday was the day my hard cast came off and my stitches/staples came out.  Have been looking forward to this day for a long time.  Have been in relatively no pain since i started weening off painkillers about a week after the surgery, however wasnt sure about how painful it would be to take out the stitches and staples so i took one painkiller about an hour before i expected to see my surgeon.  The same process i expect when going to the hospital to see the surgeon happened again.  Wait 2 hours, seen for 10 minutes.   The stitches and staples came out with little pain.  Mostly just pin pricks with the sensation of relieving pressure.

All looks good according to my surgeon and i was slammed into my fancy new vacocast achilles boot.  Ran into my achilles friend from before and he had to be recasted as his leg didnt close properly at the incision site.  Hes now a week behind me and i feel for the guy.  No one likes set backs and i can only imagine how it must have just bummed him out so hard.  Hes due to go back this friday to get it seen again and hopefully he’ll be able to go to the boot.

My surgeon also outlined my schedule for the next 4 weeks.  Week 1 - first physio conslt - Pos 3 in the vacocast @ 25% weight bearing.  Week 2 - Pos 3 in the vacocast @ 50% weight bearing.   Week 3 Pos 2 in the vacocast @ 75% weight bearing.  Week 4 - Pos 1 in the vacocast @ 100% weight bearing.  After 4 weeks of following her outline and seeing the physiotherapist i go back in to see the surgeon for another check up.

s out

I have some sweet pictures but cant seem to figure out how to attach them to a post.  I go to add media above the post im writing and go to the gallery and click add to post but all i get is a white screen overtop of my post page.  Any help would be appreciated!

Another week goes by - 12 days post surgery

Hello All,

Been a week since I last wrote anything.  Since I last wrote i have finished my antibiotics and have weened myself off of painkillers.  I have received my VacoCast in the mail and cant wait to get it on and get my hard cast off [comes off this Friday] and my stitches out.  Hoping everything looks good under there.

Have sort of “progressed” to a point where I no longer really use pillows under my cast anymore.  I find that as long as i rest on the side of my foot, that any surface will do to keep my leg up.  I am still keeping my leg up when i can as it is much more comfortable and i think my body has gotten used to the leg being up all the time.  Have had a few minor pinches of pain but nothing crazy and nothing that has really worried me.

Had made it out of my house for the first time on Thursday.  Went to Canadian Tire to do some Christmas shopping and to breathe some nice cold crisp Toronto air.  It was great.  Was out of the house with my girlfriend for about an hour and a half but by the end was dying to get my leg back up.  My parents came by Friday and i got out again for lunch.  Was out for about 2 hours before i was ready to get back.  The restaurant was great “Playa Cabana” on Dupont St.  They have the best mexican in the city and great service.  Provided me with a chair the whole time and lots of Kobe jokes.

Saturday night was a big test for me.  Company Christmas party @ a murder mystery dinner.  I still havent been back to work since my injury and dont plan on going as i am out of the office quite a bit and generally always on my feet.  So this will be my first time seeing my coworkers in almost 3 weeks.  I chatted with every single person from my office and received lots of well wishes and how things are falling apart without me.  I lasted from about 615-930.  I had to duck out during the first intermission as i was getting uncomfortable and irritated.  I can compare the feeling to being on a long plane ride that you just cant wait to get off.  One of my coworkers let me know that it was not in fact the butler who committed the murder but the grandmother….Shocker for my girlfriend and I.

I saw Kobe Bryant come back for the first time from his ATR and play yesterday.  Kobe against my hometown Raptors.  Raptors lit it up and Kobe looked human.  He looked good, a little slow, but im sure he will only get better the more he plays…

As i had mentioned before in previous posts my girlfriend is a nurse and she has a lot of weekdays off so shes not used to having me around all the time.  So im gonna take off to my parents for the day tomorrow and let her have a routine day without having to take care of me.  She deserves it.  Shes been awesome, but shes not one for babying people [i am the biggest] and i can tell shes getting tired of taking care of people at work and then coming home and taking care of me.  And itll be nice for me to get out of the house and stare at a different set of walls for the day… Yes i am excited to stare at different sets of walls.  This is what becomes of an ATR patient 1.5 weeks after surgery.

Some notes and thoughts

Throughout this whole ordeal I keep thanking that I live in a place with free health care.  Thanks Canada!  I cant imagine having to make decisions that relate to your health based on how much you can afford.  I keep watching CNN with people bashing obamacare.  Once its up and running it will be one of the greatest things to ever happen to the country.  Healthcare is universal and top care should not be reserved for the richest citizens.

I have also applied for short term disability from the federal government as I have been off since the 20th of November.  Will take a while to get my first cheque.  In the mean time I will dip into my savings.  Again very glad I live in Canada and that there is short term disability available.  Will hopefully be back at work maybe sometime next week.  All depends on how I feel.  I work in the engineering department of a communications company, so I am out of the office on site quite a bit.  I will have to talk with my boss about modified work, etc. for when I return.

My girlfriend, friends and parents have been amazing throughout this whole ordeal.  My girlfriend who I live with [just moved in together in September] has been amazing.  She is a nurse at a local children’s hospital so she has been good with asking medical questions and giving me great advice.  She has assumed all duties around the house and cleans up after me and basically does everything.  I try to do what I can but im pretty limited.  Shes already getting tired of taking care of me and I know it cant be easy for her.  GOD I cant wait to be healthy again.

Started looking into physiotherapy for after the cast comes off.  Its expensive but hopefully will have about $500-$1000 covered by work.  Will have to dip deeper into my savings to pay for that.  Its also difficult to find a place that I open after regular business hours [9-5] so I imagine ill be taking some early days off from work to make my appointments.  All in all if I do about 4-6 months of rehab it should run me about $4000.

Ive pretty much mastered the bath by now.  Wrap a garbage bag around my cast and tape it up.  I miss having showers but baths will have to do for the next couple months.

Post Op- Boredom

Heres a quick run down of what you do after your operation.  Lay on your ass, watch tv with your leg up.  I have already watched 3 seasons of breaking bad.  Luckily it was American thanksgiving so there was football all day Thursday and Hockey all day Friday so there was that to watch.  There’s not too much pain in my leg but I am keeping up with a regular does of Percocet.  Although I find I do get nauseous from time to time.  Still getting the pain from standing up where the blood rushes down my leg.  Also now that the post op swelling has gone down I my leg I do have some wiggle room in my cast.  I turned my ankle one way while moving around yesterday and a blast on pain emanated from my Achilles.  I could feel my Achilles scream "DONT DO THAT!".  Havent felt that same pain again but I have been more careful with my movements.


Wednesday November 25th

Arrived at the hospital Wednesday at 10am.  Checked in and waited until 11am before I was set up with hospital attire and a waiting room.  Once I arrived in the pre-op area I ran into Achilles injury 1a again and met his wife.  She seemed very nice as I expected.  We talked for a couple hours until he was wheeled in for surgery.  I then waited about 2 hours before I was wheeled in and met the anesthesiologist and had my IV put in.  I love getting put out btw.  Theres nothing else like it and it amazes me. [not sure why but it does].  They wheeled me into the OR and was given some oxygen.  A couple minutes later they told me here comes the drug cocktail to put me out.   Next thing I know im waking up around some faces I had seen in the pre-op area with a wicked case of cotton mouth.  About 5 minutes later my girlfriend came in.  I drank like 10 glasses of water and apple juice and devoured about 4 cookies while laying there.  I was actually coming out of it pretty good.  Not too drowsy.  Ran into Achilles injury 1a one more time and we swapped numbers and went home.  During surgery my girlfriend picked up all my meds as well - Percocet, Tylenol, aspirin, antibiotics and vitamin c.  Got home and ate a big plate of pad thai and went to bed.  Follow up appointment to get my cast off and stitches out has been set for December 13th.

Pre-Op - Playing the waiting game.

Wednesday November 20th - Tuesday November 24th

Lay on my ass all day Wednesday and did nothing.  It was nice to have a day off work and relax.  The pain from the injury at this point wasn’t too bad.  Mostly just that pain of blood rushing down your leg as you stand up.

Thursday morning my girlfriend and I went to the fracture clinic in Toronto to see a specialist.  I was the first one in and was seen within about 30 minutes.  They cut my splint off and again performed the Thomson test and confirmed [yet again...] that I had a ruptured Achilles.  They sent me upstairs to get an ultrasound [again...] and confirmed [yet again...] that I had a ruptured Achilles tendon.  When I got back downstairs I ran into a guy who had also ruptured his Achilles on Tuesday night but he was playing basketball.  They referred to us as Achilles injuries 1a and 1b in the fracture clinic.  We swapped stories about how it had happened and what we expected as far as treatment and surgery.

Eventually I was called back in to see the specialist.  He went over the pros and cons of surgery and let me have some time to make a decision.  After he left the resident doctor came in to check on me.  My girlfriend and I picked his brain about our options.  He said "You’re active, 28 years old and im assuming you want to have an active future.  I would get the surgery".   So the decision was made… Surgery would be my choice…  They took all my information and sent me home only saying "Sit by your phone.  You are on the surgery list and if something opens up you will hear from us and have to come in".

Didn’t hear anything from the hospital until Saturday night around 930pm.  They said a spot opened up for Sunday and that I needed to stop eating and drinking and be in on Sunday morning by 10am.  Woke up on Sunday morning a little nervous and wondering if I had made the right decision to have surgery.  They set me up in a bed in a room with an elderly Russian gentlemen.  He was very loud and kept farting the whole time I was there and had about 5 visitors.   The nurse came in and took my bloodwork and set up and IV.  I was getting psyched to have surgery.  Time started passing and as a die hard NFL fan I was sad I was missing out on sunday football.  My girlfriend being awesome set me up with the 14" in room tv.  As sson as I knew it the 1 o’clock game was over and the afternoon games were starting.  Started getting anxious around this time as I had been there for 6 hours already.  Around 5 o’clock the resident came in only to tell me that I had been bumped because someone came in with a brain bleed and took my OR.  He said "Pack your stuff and head home.  Sit by your phone you will hear from us when we have room".  I was not pleased.

Sat around Monday.  Bored.  Heard from the hospital that night saying Wednesday was my day.  Be there at 10am.  However I had to be in on Tuesday as well to do blood work and get more tests done.  Met the surgeon for the first time today.  She was very matter of fact and exhumed confidence.  I liked her immediately.

Got in Tuesday around 10am and ran into Achilles injury 1a in the lobby.  He was also in on the Sunday and was also bumped.  Got blood work done, an ECG and a bunch of x-rays today.  Was told there was no way that I could be bumped on Wednesday.

The Injury

Tuesday November 19th

Was playing rec flag football as usual on Tuesday night.  About half way through the game while playing defense I was backpedalling but tried to run forward to make a play.  As soon as I took one step forward all I felt was someone kick me right in the back of the leg.  I expected that with the force of the kick, who ever had kicked me would have tripped as well and be laying on the ground behind me.  As I looked around in pain on the ground, all I got was confused stares by others as I asked who clipped me in the leg.  I got up and was convinced I could walk it off.. I took about 10 hobbled steps towards the bench but realized that I couldn’t continue so I took I knee and was helped off by two teammates.  As I got to the bench I examined my own leg and noticed that I no longer had an Achilles tendon in my right leg.  This was the beginning of my suffering.  I googled it and kept coming back as a torn Achilles tendon.  Being from Canada (and yes this is what I actually thought) I assumed that only from a direct impact such as  from a skate blade [Erik Karlsson and David Bolland- both had lacerated Achilles tendons from skate blades] or something else could injure your Achilles tendon.  Only upon further reading on WebMD while I waited for the final half hour of the football game to finish did I realize how much trouble I was in.

Once the game was finished I got a teammate to drive me to the hospital.  When I got to emerg there was no line up so I was seen right away… The attending nurse confirmed that I had a torn Achilles after performing the Thomson test and an ultrasound.  I was put in a splint, given crutches and an appointment time to see a specialist on Thursday morning.