7 Weeks NWB 2 to Go - Some Questions

September 16, 2009

Ok I’m 6 Weeks Post Op NWB.
I have been cheating and putting some balancing weight (ok… walking a few meters here and there without the crutches…) on the foot for the last couple of days since changing the foot angle to 0Deg (up from 15deg).

No pain while doing this at all but I do notice at the end of the day my foot has started to swell again.

Ok so I will stop and go totally NWB again for the last 2 weeks, but I do believe from reading the forum that this is not unusual and many people have swelling as a normal part of recover for months afterwards.

Now my main question is how to treat it.

I’ve been told by my brother in law who did the same thing a few months ago that ice was no help and I kinda got to agree from the point of view that:
a) ice is normally to stop bleeding, in my case there seems to be no bleeding or bruising.
b) blood flow promotes healing and swelling reduction and the Achilles has low blood flow, so ice would slow it down even more.

Alternatively should I bee putting heat on it ?

Otherwise apart from a bit of stretching pain for a couple of days after changing the angle of the boot (each 2 weeks) its been pretty painless, of course there’s the occasional pain when i roll over in bed and catch it (even in the boot) or occasionally catching it at other times. But otherwise good.

15deg Foot Angle Change…BACK TO REALITY

August 31, 2009

It’s 2 weeks since I donned the MaxTrax boot and for the 2 weeks before that I was in plaster after the op.

In plaster the foot was angled down somewhere at 30+ degrees flex for 2 weeks.

Into the Boot and it was set to 30deg for 2 weeks. Going into the boot was fairly painless and I didn’t have a lot of discomfort.
In fact since 1 Week post Op I can say it has been a fairly painless period.

Well last night I change the angle on the boot as per Dr instruction to 15deg flex.  Putting my foot back in was quite uncomfortable with this new level of tendon stretching and for the next 24 hours I have realised that there is a long way to go to recovery, and it will be a slowly but surely process.

I had been champing at the bit to get back onto the foot again and thought that I was well and truly on the way having been pain free for the past weeks.

Of course I should have expected with and additional 15deg stretch there would be some changes in my comfort, lets hope it only lasts a couple of days ;) then I can go back to my delusions of going for a jog after removing the boot in 4 weeks time.

Acupuncture to reduce swelling

August 28, 2009

I tried some quackery on Tuesday to deal with the swelling in my foot and ankle and went to an acupuncturist.

I’m noticing a few days later a significant reduction in the swelling.
I’m at 3 weeks post op so not sure if things settle down then anyway, certainly from other posts I’ve read the swelling normally persists for a lot longer.

It’s by no means gone but I fell its at least a 25% reduction in 4 days.

Going back in the morning…6:45am appointment…these alternate health people keep healthy hours!!!!

I don’t know if swelling responds to the placebo / lay on hands effect but either way I’ll keep it up while I’m getting results.

Now playing: Vangelis - Chariots of Fire
via FoxyTunes

Percutaneous Repair Pictures - 3 Weeks Post OP

August 24, 2009

Must admit I’m quite impressed with the low level of scarring after seeing my brother in laws single vertical scar from 4 months ago.

Other than a thick ankle and some calf wastage in a few weeks I don’t think you will be able to see the cuts at all.

Oh yeah forgot to mention the doc used dissolving stitches.  I assume they have less risk of infection at the site of the stitch.

Good Spin on Dissapointing Rugby Result

August 23, 2009

Well, while I’m disappointed at the Australian Rugby team going down to New Zealand last night in the Bledisloe cup I can cling to the fact that Dan Carter (New Zealand), whom ruptured his Achilles in February, played an influential part in this game kicking the last goal to seal the match.


Nice to see recoveries like this in relatively short periods of time in high impact, fast paced sports like Rugby.
It make me feel that returning to my modest aspirations of social sport are realistic (assuming the right effort in recovery and ongoing fitness/strength).

Of course I understand the professional athletes come from a very high fitness base and money is no object in their treatment….

Calf Size Benchmarks

August 20, 2009

Ok decided to see how much my calf has atrophied in 3 weeks since injury and just over 2 weeks post op.. Ive been totally NWB so far..and because that is also the plan for the next 6 weeks in the boot…I want to track the change.

Left (repaired Achilles) Calf: 52cm circ.  Right Calf: 53cm circ. (yes I know they are big Calves…)

Hrm doesn’t seem too different…but there’s still a lot of swelling in the foot, and probably in the calf too…doesn’t feel to bad though.

Ill check it every now and then and post the results.

Also bought some tubular support bandages to provide some compression and help the swelling and started wearing that today.

I’ve joined the club

August 18, 2009

Well the guys said, come and fill in for our indoor cricket game tonight…Enough Said…

That was a Tuesday night, went to the hospital, told to get an ultrasound and come back the next day to confirm what I already knew..A complete Achilles rupture.

Came back next day and got a referral to a Surgeon, whom I met that afternoon and he asked me a few family history questions..ie blood clots, diabetes etc, then said I can fit you in on Monday…take it easy until then…4 mins later I was at the reception desk paying for the operation.

The operation wast 3 horizontal cuts, I assume that means a Precutaneous repair… and I woke up with a front half cast.

While I am not sure I would have changed anything having read the site, I perhaps would have asked some post op questions.  After reading some of the posts, the post op options given to me included the only following option, delivered in 30 seconds while i was on the table having the plaster removed.

Got the cast off today and and got put into a DJOrtho MaxTrax Walker boot.  I have been told I will be wearing this thing for 6 weeks…non weight bearing…every 2 weeks I change the angle of the foot, from 30deg to 15deg to 0deg and there will be no physio until this time. Only time I can take it off is for a shower.

Being non weight bearing for 8 weeks from Op seems conservative compared to the post op rehabs described here by many fellow ART club members.

I said my calf was twitching and was eager to be tensed and flexed…and I was told to try to avoid it.

After reading posts by Doug on muscle atrophy I may invest in a massager to help reduce the loss.


Advice for others…If your going to be on crutches for a while, pick up a pair of padded cycling gloves (without fingers) as it will save callouses and reduce the ammount of time you will need to put up with sore hands.