Cast Is Off! Can you share you experience with me please?

Hey Achilles recovery crew, so it’s a milestone in my recovery so far. Cast is off and Vacocast boot is on. So far I definitely like the boot and my doctor/nurses were pretty impressed with it too.

I had my cast on for 5 weeks total (2 weeks cast #1 then 3 more weeks cast #2). The whole time I was non-weight bearing. Now my doctor says I can do weight bearing as tolerated (non partial weight only). It’s going to be partial only in the beginning but to have the ability to put my foot on the ground when sitting is a relief to me.

Here is what he has instructed me and this is where I would like to hear your experience as well.

- Start physical therapy right away, he would like my foot to be at neutral position by 2 weeks from today (1/6/16). So that would be on 1/20/16.

- My foot is currently at 30 degrees planter flexion and he wants me to keep it like that until my PT gets my foot to neutral during therapy. He didn’t mention anything about gradually changing the angle in the boot. This is a little weird to me since it seem most people make gradual changes in the angle of the boot as they go on. He wants the boot at 30 degrees for the entire two weeks and then if my PT gets my foot to neutral position within 2 week during the sessions (or when I’m home), then I can just move the boot from 30 degress to neutral. Did any of you do this?

- Then I am to continue my PT and see him 4 weeks from today (2/3/16). He said if I can’t get my foot to neutral by 2 weeks from today then I should call him.

- Called the PT that I want to go to (they work with athletes) and they can’t take me until 6 days from today! What should I do until then. He told me to start right away. Should I do the basic exercises I see on YouTube or read that people do when they are first able to do PT?

- I’m participating in a Achilles study with the University of Delaware PT department and they are going to be Ultrasounding my achilles tomorrow. Maybe I can ask them things to do for now.


My foot is flakey, dry, hard, and with dead skin. What did you guys/girls do to help with this? Today I did a foot soak, washed with fragrance free body wash, and put fragrance free lotion on it.


This part is actually scary. I was excited to get the cast off and have the ability to clean my leg but to not have the comfort and protection when in the shower is pretty scary. Do you have any showering tips when you have nothing on your recovering leg? I have a shower stool..It’s harder to prop my leg up though without the cast or boot on.


Did anyone feel like their foot was numb? My cast is off and when I feel my heel on it directly or on the side it feels numb. It’s also numb around the incision site.

As I get more experience and learn myself I’ll share as well. Thanks you in advance to anyone who comments and shares their experience.

Vacocast has arrived!

Just got my Vacocast today. I get my cast off this coming Wednesday for which I really can’t wait. This thing has been super annoying. Plus it’ll be nice to move onto the next stage of my recovery. My ortho said I can begin the rehab process after then too!

I picked up the following:

Extra Liner (I want to swim at the gym)
Some extra soles because it’s winter now and been pretty wet out. Would rather have separate soles for indoor use.

I read so many good things about the Vacocast that I hope it works well for me too. I’ll keep whoever is reading this posted.

UPDATE: I wanted to mention that while I have not used the Vacocast yet, their customer service has been awesome.  I ordered some extra accessories that arrive with the boot and I was in correspondence with Elaine from Vacocast and every time she was prompt and helpful with her responses. She responded back very quickly each time. Now fingers crossed the boot works well for me.

Achilles Recovery Domination Part 1 - 4 Weeks Post-Op

Achilles Rupture

This picture above is 2 weeks post-op after I got my first cast off.
2nd cast stays on for 3 weeks (1 more week to go!)

What’s going on everyone! So I joined the achilles rupture club on Thanksgiving of all days.  It happened to be a warm day in New Jersey on Thanksgiving so I was outside playing some basketball with my family.  My brother had the courage to challenge me to a game of one on one and like the winner I am, I accepted.

He really didn’t have a chance to be honest. I was winning 17 to 11 (game to 21) and went to do my patented cross over and drive to the basket and then BAM someone kicked me right in my heal!  They came out of nowhere!! Sometimes I wish that’s what happened, but it’s not. No one really kicked me. It was just my Achilles telling me it had enough and didn’t want to work anymore so it snapped in half.

It really did feel like someone kicked me though.  I looked behind me, around me, and all over and no one else was in the area.  I thought I might have tripped over another basketball, but nope that didn’t happen either.  I knew what happened to me right away. It’s obvious at that point even though I didn’t really want to believe it.

I had a lot of things going on in my mind, especially since my career involves being active and martial arts (I’m a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and teach people all over the world). So that was a bummer. However it was Thanksgiving and I wasn’t going to let it ruin my holiday.

I had to make a choice, go to the emergency room or eat turkey with my family. I chose my family. They thought I was crazy but after reading all over google on my phone after it happened I made the decision not to go right to the emergency room because it probably would have not made a difference. So my brother went to the only drug store that was open and picked me up some crutches. I sat on the sofa, iced/elevated my ankle, and then hung with my family.  Also had an awesome Thanksgiving dinner too.

On a random note I started telling people that I got injured participating in a club (Live Action Role Playing) lol.  When someone asks me what happened sometimes I’ll say I was LARPing with real medal swords and the other person chopped me right in my ankle. You should see their face after I say that hahaha. Then after they look super surprised I tell them I was just kidding and let them know what really happened. After telling the same story over and over again it’s fun to play around a bit.

Even though I’m injured and can’t walk at the moment, it’s my attitude that determines my day and how I feel.  If you don’t have the power to change something then it shouldn’t get you down.

So on that following Monday I was able to see an Ortho. He gave me the Thompson Test and immediately says to me, “Yup, you have a complete rupture”…which I thought already. He then said I can operate on it tomorrow or next week. My response…”Let’s do this tomorrow!”

I chose the surgical route because I’m 35, active, and my job involves activity as well. So since it’s statistically the option that has the least rerupture rates then that’s the option I chose.

From this day I got surgery 4 weeks ago and so far so good. I don’t feel any pain now even though the cast I’m currently wearing is very annoying and I’ve made due with not having the ability to walk.  For those who want a quick outline of what I’ve done and gone through since my rupture, here you go:

11/26/15 - Ruptured achilles playing basketball (I was winning 17 to 11 though)

11/30/15 - Saw ortho and was confirmed that I had a complete rupture

12/1/15 - Got surgery this day. Everything seemed to go well. My doctor and his staff were very nice. I go drugged up, passed out, woke up, and then done.

SIDE NOTE: I bought this thing called an iWalk so I could walk without needing crutches and have the ability to use both of my hands. It took me a while to get my knee comfortable with it but not it’s much better and it’s been very useful. Check out my pic of me with it below. I still use crutches for quick things but the iWalk gave me the ability to do some real Christmas shopping.

iWalk 2.0

When my friends see me for the first time with the iWalk they think my leg was cut off! :-/

Week 1 - This week was the hardest week because everything was fresh. The doc put on this big uncomfortable cast that was actually a split cast so it could expand with the swelling of my leg. I only took the pain meds for the first 3 days so I can sleep, then after that I didn’t need them anymore and only took Tylenol as needed.  I didn’t really need pain meds a lot. I’ll be honest, the first 3 days were pretty painful but it got better.  This was the learn how to survive with one leg week.

Week 2 - Not much changed really. I bought a Knee Rover scooter to help me too but honestly the thing sucks and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. At the end of week 2, I got my first cast taken off and then my doc put on a much lighter and cooler looking cast. The new cast gave me the ability to actually wear jeans if I wanted to as well. I do toe wiggles and flex/extend my toes as well.

Week 3 - Still in the new blue cast, used the iWalk to go christmas shopping..Oh and I joined an Achilles study for a University. They monitor my activity with a pedometer FitBit and give me 5 or 6 free ultrasounds throughout the first year to study my recovery and give me information on how I’m healing. So that’s pretty cool.  I’ve had some moments where I’ve walked over 10,000 steps with the iWalk on.

Week 4 - All good in the hood. The cast gets annoying sometimes and it’s a pain sitting down to shower but I’m getting through it.

Just started week 5 so not much to talk about then. Here’s a list of things that might help some of you too from my experience.

  • I got an iWalk 2.0 to help me walk like a some what normal person. It does help a lot actually.
  • KneeRover knee scooter isn’t good in my opinion
  • I sleep with my leg elevated on a bunch of pillows
  • Make sure you buy a shower stool
  • Also make sure you have something you can prop your leg up when in the shower (maybe another stool)
  • Get a cast protector for your cast in the shower. They help a lot.
  • Don’t rely on grabbing towel bars in your bathroom lol…I did and almost paid the price.
  • Use grocery bags to help you carry things when you are using crutches
  • If you are wearing a cast and it’s cold outside then a cast toe sock might be a good investment.
  • I’ve been taking my multi-vitamins, vitamin C, omega-3, probiotics, try to have a good healthy body.
  • Learn to prop your leg up on everything
  • Ask for help when needed
  • ALWAYS know that your leg is injured. Don’t forget, that seems like how people get hurt again.

That’s about it. This first one is a long one because I just started my blog and I’m 4 weeks after surgery already. Hope it helped or at least you can share your thoughts and experiences.