Juan’s Achilles Rupture Blog

Juan’s Achilles Tear Journal

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To bike or not to bike (at 4 weeks)

June 20th, 2014 · 4 Comments

I know you can use a static bike to get cardio exercise while on the boot, but I need to use a real bicycle in order to get to the stationary bike at the gym. I don’t have a car since I walk to work and everything else is nearby (besides, traffic in Bogota is insane). I rode my bicycle yesterday and it felt Ok. I’m a bit afraid of having to respond to an emergency and accidentally using my bad leg too hard. I will keep practicing in the garage, and will finally hit the gym next week. It will be good to break the dependency on taxis that I currently have.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Toys & Gadgets

New Doc new Protocol

June 17th, 2014 · No Comments

I saw a new doctor last night, an ankle specialist. This guy was much different from the ER guy. He has a swanky office and seems to be more current on rehab protocols. He seems to be middle of the line between conservative and current. He had never seen the VacoCast but saw the benefits immediately.

He is still old school in many ways. He doesn’t think I should be putting more than 30lbs of weight on it. I demonstrated that I could almost walk without crutches and I can FWB on it. Regardless he insisted that I not put too much weight on it. He also says I shouldn’t start PT for another 2 weeks. On the other hand he says I can remove the boot to sleep, which I thought shouldn’t happen until week 6. So I’ll split the difference and remove it next week. For now he said ice and compression sock. The ankle is not very swollen, but it will help.

I feel a little better having having a doctor monitoring my progress. I’m still sort of flying solo since I’m doing ROM exercises on my own. Slowly and gently, but I think it’s better than doing nothing while the rehab protocols align in a couple of weeks. The original doctor wanted me in a cast for 6-8 weeks. The calf muscle would be so atrophied that rehab would have slowed down exponentially.

A common theme in the blogs is that you should be your own advocate, and it is so true (for everything really).

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Week 3: Vaco Boot + PEFM = RoboLeg

June 10th, 2014 · 1 Comment

I’ve made the jump from the cast to the VacoCast Pro (aka Vaco Ped boot). As expected it is much different than the cast. It’s heavier and bulkier. But I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. I’m placing a little weight on it, but not FWB. Mainly because if I tried to stand on both legs, the Vaco leg is much taller, so I’d be putting all of my weight on the bad leg and none on the good leg. I think I’ll try wearing a tall hiking boot on the good leg to try to reduce the height difference.

I’ve adapted the PEMF device to it. It’s very convenient and it looks sweet, very SciFi.

→ 1 CommentTags: Chonology · Toys & Gadgets

Crutch Bucket

June 7th, 2014 · 3 Comments

Introducing the Crutch Bucket!

While this invention probably wont make me rich, it will make life easier. I can now carry things around without cargo pants.

How To:

  • Find a container that has a similar diameter as the space between the poles of your crutch
  • Jam it in there, it should warp a little.
  • Use a torch to heat up the plastic container. It will eventually start expanding and making grooves around the poles.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Toys & Gadgets

Week 2 - First PostOp followup

June 6th, 2014 · 11 Comments

I went to see the doctor 13 days after the surgery. It started with a heated argument between the doctor and my wife regarding the fact that she’s not a doctor and that the internet doesn’t know everything. I just sit there and take it since I want my sutures gone. I will try to make him see things my way let him have his moment for now. The doctor said everything looked good and proceeded to remove my sutures.

I really wanted to find out what the next steps where, specially after reading articles about early weight bearing an ROM. After reading about the benefits of the VacoCast I decided that would be the next step. I was hoping to find them in Colombia, but again, third world. I couldn’t find it here so I had to pay through the eyes for overnight shipping game again. I wanted to have it to show my doctor. Unfortunately it arrived 30 minutes too late.

I showed my doctor the documentation for the VacoCast. He had never seen it. He didn’t really see any benefit between that and my plaster cast. He said to keep the cast on for another 4 weeks. He didn’t really explain why, just the fact that I ruptured my tendon and I had to be careful.

At this point I think I’m on my own. This guy seems to be using older rehab protocols. Does anyone have a details rehab protocol that utilized the VacoCast Pro boot? I’ve read several including Hillie’s explaining theĀ Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (NHS) schedule. But it isn’t detailed enough. I know it sounds crazy to try to rehab without a doctor, but his method just seems antiquated. I’m currently in search of an up-t0-date doc, but in the meantime I’m flying solo.

→ 11 CommentsTags: Chonology · Toys & Gadgets