Update - no more crutches!

August 30th, 2012

Hooray!  I can walk again.  OK, I still have to wear the air boot - but then my foot won’t fit into a normal shoe yet! It is so amazing to be able to just get up and go, makes such a difference to my mental outlook.  Camping trip ahoy!  Next test - walking my very mad and bouncy dog and not getting pulled over……………. hmmmm!

It’s been almost 15 weeks since the original injury and it took a long time to get up and about but once I did it once it became easier the next time!  Thanks to everyone on here for their support and advice, Physio tomorrow - going to be interesting to see what happens next!

I think this is progress but I’m not sure…..

August 10th, 2012

So today I got sick of looking at the dust and the washing up and decided to try and get sorted.  I just got up and started walking without the sticks!  I didn’t mean to do it but they were leaning in a corner and I needed something from the other side of the room.  I went and got it!!!  I then bimbled around some more whilst I tidied up and didn’t use the crutches.

After about 15 mins  I had to sit down and rest because my ankle and calf were hurting - more achy actually but as I type they’re feeling ok.

I’m wondering just how risky FWB can be at this stage?  I’m on week 12 ish and spent almost 9 weeks NWB.  I’ve been PWB and doing PT exercises for 2 weeks to try and strengthen the calf and the achilles and my physio didn’t want me to FWB yet but I have an Aircast boot and it seems easier to walk with this and no crutches than it does to walk with crutches and no boot.  When I don’t use the boot I have difficulty in rolling my foot from heel to toe and it hurts my knee.  In the boot I can rock the foot properly and don’t have pain.  I don’t see my physio for another week to ask and the NHS don’t do an advice line.

So far I’ve done exactly what I’ve been told to do but it seems such a slow recovery…. At 12 weeks I must be strong enough to FWB, I feel like I am so I’m going to try and mix it up and see how it goes…. so far,  so good.  Apart from having to wash up again!

Shopping Success!

August 2nd, 2012

Well, I got to go shopping this week.  My lovely friend picked me up and drove me and we wandered around slowly for a few hours trying to find an outfit for a wedding that complemented my Airboot!  OK - I had to stop for several coffees and chats but I spent most of the day walking around using my crutches and my AT didn’t hurt!  In the end I bought 3 outifts because I couldn’t resist a bargain! :)

When I got home I did my physio exercises, one of which involves rocking my weight from my right (good) foot to left (injured) foot.  due to the swelling under my heel and on the sole of my foot it usually hurts and it’s the one I like doing the least.  I did it.  I didn’t need to use my crutches to support my weight and it didn’t hurt!!  I think the extra exercise is really paying off.

I’m walking about the house barefoot, with sticks still, but trying to put more weight on the foot.  So far so good…. will take the advice I’ve been given (thanks Sheena and eva10) and push myself a bit more.  I’ve been really scared about doing more damage but I think I’m getting my confidence back.

I’m determined to get a camping trip in this summer…….

D-Day…… Or the story of how I snapped and partly healed my achilles!

August 1st, 2012

This is for therapeutic purposes and it also helps relieve the boredom of sitting around! Wish I’d found this site 10 weeks ago…..

MAY 19th 2012 Day 1: Watching the mighty West Ham win the play off final against Blackpool Town,  I jump up and down to celebrate and feel a ‘pow’ in the back of my leg.  I immediately stop jumping because I think someone has stood on my leg, or kicked me.  That’s how it felt, and as I try to walk it off  realise my foot isn’t properly connected to my leg and won’t do what I want it to.  Off to A&E on a Saturday evening, they put it in a pointy cast with an open back and tell me that I’ve ‘probably stretched my achilles’ and I’ll need an Ultrasound at some point in the coming week but the technician isn’t in today! Given crutches, told not to put any weight on the foot and sent home.

Day 2: Ultrasound Technician calls on Sunday and says he is free, can I come in and have the scan?  Off we trot to hospital - scan reveals a complete rupture of the achilles tendon approx 6cm from the back of my left ankle.  The picture is really interesting, all swirly ends and a big gap between them!  Once again I’m plastered up and sent home, awaiting an appointment with a consultant on the following Friday.  I spend the week trying to hop around one legged in agony!

Day 7: Off to Fracture clinic to meet the consultant.  I wait for ages (1 and 1/2 hours) and finally get chaperoned into a cubicle where a nurse tells me I’m going to be put into plaster.  I ask about surgical options and she seems really put out and huffs off to get a doctor.  The doctor is very negative about the surgical option; risk of infection & waiting times and explains that there really isn’t a difference in healing times between surgical and conservative treatments and no real benefits to surgery.  He does say that I can have surgery if I want it but that I will start the treatment from day one again. By the time I have the op 2 weeks will have passed so I will need to consider that.  I opt (although it doesn’t feel like there’s much choice) for conservative treatment and am put into an Equinus cast (ballet pointe) which is at least comfortable and is a pretty green colour with glitter!

At this point I have an appointment for 3 weeks time and am told I should be able to walk on it by then.

Day 21: Back to hospital: We go in to get the cast off and start hobbling around.  After 3 weeks of NWB I am sick of crutches, have blistered hands and sore arms and shoulders.  I’ve been stuck in the house and not seen anyone.  My hubby is going nuts because he’s having to do the housework, the dog walking and cooking.  I point out that it’s role reversal and he doesn’t find it as funny as me! Can’t think why….  Get the cast off and the very lovely Orthopaedic Nurse tells me that I’m not going to be walking for a long time yet.  The leg will go back into a NWB cast but my foot is pushed back from pointed and it’s agony!  I get to see the bruising on my foot for the first time and it’s swollen but not black and blue.  Years ago I sprained my (other) ankle and it went purple from toes to knee, all ligament damage but not much pain.  This time I have lots of pain and not much bruising.  My leg is put into another NWB cast, purple and glittery this time, and I have almost 4 weeks to wait until my next appointment.

I give up trying to hop about and finally borrow a wheelchair.  At least I can go to the pub because I’m not officially allowed at work.  I couldn’t get there anyway as I can’t drive but I’m a teacher and so there are Health & Safety issues about me being responsible for a class of teenagers when I can’t walk.  The school ‘facilities’ are upstairs and there are no lifts so this is an added complication.  I beg a lift when I can and pop in and out to try and finish end of year stuff.  They ask when I will be back at work and I can’t answer because I don’t have the information.  It feels a bit like I’m making it up and I’m not sure that people believe me when I say that I can’t tell them when I will be walking.  Very Awkward.

July 2nd: Day ???: Appointment day - I finally see a consultant who tells me that I am looking at 3 to 6 months recovery!!!  I ask about walking (it’s been about 7 weeks) and he says not yet.  Back in a cast I go, again my foot gets pushed into position and it hurts like hell.. It’s a flat cast and I’m told I can put it on the floor but can’t put weight on it.  It’s all a bit confusing.  I get given a velcro shoe to protect the base of the cast which looks fabulous!  Another appointment in another 3 weeks.

July 23rd: Week 9.  Cast off!  The tendon has apparently healed.  No scan is done but the doc squeezes the leg and my foot twitches so apparently it’s joined.  My leg has wasted away and  I can’t stand on it or move my foot.  I need physio so I’m referred and sent home.  No exercises, no advice, I’m given an Aircast boot to support the ankle which is so much more comfortable than a cast.

I get home and have a proper bath - first one without a plastic cover in 2 months!  No one warns you about the effects of being in a cast for this length of time.  It’s very traumatic to see the layers of skin peel away and I spend a few days ’sandpapering’ my foot to get all the dead skin off. Gross!

July 27th: See the physio!  She gives me some basic exercises to do, as often as possible to get a range of motion in my foot and to build up my calf muscles.  I have about 10 degrees flexion and no rotation at all.  My leg buckles if I put weight on it.  She tells me my crutches are too low (they are the height that the hospital set them at) and I need to rock my weight from heel to toe as  I walk.  I’m only Partial WB, don’t want to re-rupture or damage the tendon.  Still on crutches, next appointment August 17th!!!!

1st August - today: - a long road so far.  Not a lot of info given up front.  I was amazed when I found this site, wish I’d had the access to all of your experiences when I started, would have had surgery and asked about the boot much earlier but hindsight is an amazing thing.  I need to lose the weight I’ve gained through being so inactive so that is another battle in my recuperation.  I can now walk up and down my local high street using crutches and have been out a couple of times with friends to do shopping.  The little things are really important.  I got so depressed when I was NWB and people have busy lives, they can’t always visit so I spent a lot of time on my own.  This forum would have been very helpful.  It still is - this is a long blog but very cathartic and I feel like a weight (no pun intended) has lifted.  So - good luck everyone in your healing and I will keep this blog as a record of my recovery.

Got to go and do some exercises now……..

    ATR Timeline
    • Name: jaxx
      Location: New Forest, UK
      Injured during: Celebrating a football win!
      Which Leg: L
      Status: FWB

      279 wks  2 days Post-ATR
      278 wks  3 days
         Since start of treatment