jenks80’s AchillesBlog

Recovering from an Achilles Tear

2 weeks post surgery today

Well I tore my left Achilles playing basketball on 11/23/2010 at the ripe old age of 30.  I had hoped my Achilles would have lasted longer.   I did the one legged hop to my car, and drove home (thank God I drive an automatic). After talking to my wife, she wanted me to go to the ER.  I didn’t think a trip to the ER was necessary, but I went anyhow.  The ER staff was helpful, and I was fitted in a walking boot, and discharged with instructions to follow-up with an Ortho.  The boot was to prevent further damage.

I am lucky in that I live near Birmingham, AL (home of the famous Ortho, Dr. James Andrews).  I called his practice, Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center, the following morning.  I was referred to the foot specialist, Dr. McBride.  I got in touch with his nurse.  She told me to come in immediately, and that the sooner I had surgery the better.  They happened to have one slot open, so I was scheduled for surgery the same day.

I arrived to the hospital around 10:30am.  I met with Dr. McBride in between his surgeries.  He confirmed the tear doing the “squeeze the calf muscle” test.  A few hours later I was in for surgery.  In an ironic twist, my anesthesiologist had torn his Achilles 2 years prior, and Dr. McBride has performed the same surgery.  He assured me that Dr. McBride was good.

Surgery prep went fine, and next thing I know I am joking with the surgical team to keep my bits covered up when they flip me to perform the surgery.  A few seconds after that I am waking up in recovery to a nice nurse controlling the Morphine.  My pain level of 8/10, was immediately lowered to about a 3/10.  It is worth mentioning that I woke up from the surgery without being nauseous , which was a first for me.  I was glad that I told the anesthesiologist that I am usually nauseous after anesthesia, and he said he would take care of it.  Luckily, he made good on his promise.

I did have the unpleasant surprise of finding my throat sore after the surgery.  I wasn’t aware that I was going to be tubed.  It wasn’t unbearable, but it was definately noticeable.

I was discharged about an hour later, and I was on the way home.  My pregnant wife did the honors of driving me home and sticking with me throughout the day.  Did I mention I have a pregnant wife who isn’t very positive about my injury due to her pregnancy and the extra childcare she will be providing to our 23 month old daughter while I am gimp. She has always cautioned me against playing b-ball in a league, and always feared I would get injured.

Eventually we get home after picking up my daughter. I immediately make my new resting place the couch in our basement. I was prescribed a range of medicines; an antibiotic, an anti-nausea med, Demerol and Loratab. The Demerol was there in case I thought I was dying, and the Loratabs was for moderate pain. I ended up only needing the Loratabs and the necessary antibiotic. I didn’t leave the couch unless I had to use the restroom, which for some reason required a great effort on my part.

I took the Loratabs for the next 3 days, Ibuprofen for the next 5, and as today, 12/6, I haven’t taken anything for the past 4 days. The pain was never severe, but I was told to stay ahead of the pain. The reason I stopped taking the Loratabs is because they made me sluggish, and I wanted to get back to driving. I drove for the first time the following Monday, and the only discomfort was from leaving my foot in the floor of my car. It was bearable. I went back to work on Tuesday, Nov 30th.

I have been on crutches before, 15 years ago, so I vaguely remember how to use them. First lesson on stairs: Going up->Good leg goes up first, then the crutches; Going down-> Crutches first. It only takes one time hanging yourself to remember that rule. Getting my strength up hasn’t been as difficult as I thought, but I’m not walking a marathon either.

My 23 month old daughter has been helpful with her dad’s “big boo-boo”. She tries to help me walk on the crutches. She is really interested in reading books, and that seems to be my number one job when I am around. Not a bad way to wait out my time.

The only problem I am having is that my toes keep getting cold and going numb. Is this normal? It doesn’t stay that way, but it is aggravating. It doesn’t help that the temperature is around 20deg F today.

I go back to the doctor for my two week follow up tomorrow, 12/9. I will try to update again following that visit, including pictures of the cut. I am praying that I can get in a walking boot by Christmas, but I am skeptic. I need to start preparing a nursery for our newest family addition that will be here mid March. I need to do something to win some points back with the wife. ;)

5 Responses to “2 weeks post surgery today”

  1. Moostax Says:

    Hi there,
    At two weeks post op I to noticed cold toes, are they cold to touch though? Mine felt cold (in my head) but when I touched them they weren’t??? Try getting them moving in your cast if it’s no too painful, I did this and that cold feeling went away.
    My surgeon said if the toes get cold squeeze one toe so the skin goes white (the blood gets pushed out) when you let go it shoulod go pink again in a few seconds. If it did not, or took a long time to get the colur back he told me to get in touch with the hospital.
    Hope this helps,
    Mark.

  2. Tyrone Says:

    I read your story with a smile. I ruptured my left achilles tendon 14 years ago, and my wife was pregnant. I did it playing ball, against her wishes. I was 34 years old. Fast forward, I ruptured my right one November 12th playing ball, and had surgery on the 16th. I vaguely remember the drill, but it is still rough. The only good thing is that I am retired from the police department now, so I can take my time. I go to the doctor on December 15th to have the second cast removed and start with the boot. Will update you later this week.

  3. jenks80 Says:

    As far as the numbness, the nurse that changed my cast out said that it was from laying on the nerve near my little toe. I haven’t had the problem since I received my hard cast. Thanks for the suggestion though.

    Tyrone. I want to go back to playing ball again, but I do worry about re-rupturing. My wife (jokingly) said that if I did it again I would come back to an empty house. Good luck with the boot. I asked my doc if I could go to one after 4 weeks (due to Christmas), but he is sticking with 6.

  4. normofthenorth Says:

    jenks80, you don’t have to worry at all about re-rupturing, as long as you wait appropriately long before playing ball again. OTOH, you DO have to worry about rupturing the OTHER side — at least after you do that, and IT heals! I’ve done both sides now, so I’m pretty confident about my ATs!

  5. normofthenorth Says:

    And if you DO tear the other one, and want to give your wife an easier time, you could join those of us who’ve skipped the surgery. She’d never have to take care of you, and you’d be back tending to your daughter pretty quickly, too. I’ve done one each way now — details on my blog and quite a few others, too.

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