2 Weeks post-op – Hello boot and FWB

Had my first appointment after the surgery today. Got the cast and stitches off, the scar was actually cleaner than I had anticipated, and there was effectively no swelling at all. To be honest, I’m not actually bothered about the scar in terms of looks at all, as long as it heals ok I’m happy. Should be noted that I have been able to have the leg up very strictly during the first two weeks, so that has possibly helped quite a bit. Stitches also came out easy, was told to possibly expect some fluid leakage in the next few days, but otherwise they were happy with how the scar looked (I do have photos as well, but still haven’t been able to figure out how to add them to the post).

Also had my first physio appointment at the same time, she tested the movement and had me do some short exercises to see what was happening. Everything was working well, and I had no problem having the foot at the 90 degree angle for the boot. She also took some measurements to follow progress over time, right now the injured calf was 1cm less around compared to the healthy leg (at the thickest point), but impossible to tell how much I have lost in the last two weeks as there is no starting reference. You can tell there’s a difference looking at the calves, but so far the difference isn’t massive. Got some exercises to do three times a day for the next two weeks (until the next physio), basically ankle flexion-extensions, rolling foot side to side, toe curls and a few other similar things. We discussed that we’d include resistance to the movements the next time.

Finally, I got fitted for the aircast walking boot, set directly at 90 degrees (no heel lift). No significant tightness at that angle, and the boot feels pretty comfortable (at least so far). I’m supposed to go full weight bearing right away as much as I can, and only use crutches if I start getting pain from walking without them or I want to use them for additional support for specific situations etc. I have now for a couple of hours been walking around the house without crutches and haven’t had any problems or any pain. All-in-all, so far everything seems to be moving along as well as it can be, and the additional freedom from moving around without crutches is a big lift mentally.

10 Comments so far

  1. nico76 on November 6th, 2014

    Good stuff!! you are on the fast track. I am on NWB for 4 weeks, and then only PWB the next 4 weeks. Cast will be removed at 8 weeks only… lucky you! enjoy life without crutches!!

  2. tmcnelia on November 7th, 2014

    This is week five for me post op. I have the Bledsoe Boot. Doc wants me to go without crutches. i am finding it extremely difficult to walk in boot. Any tips? Very frustrated.

  3. gravity on November 7th, 2014

    A bit difficult without knowing what you’re having a problem with, are you feeling pain or just having trouble walking? If it’s the walking, I find it easier when I use a shoe with a relatively high sole in the other foot (a sneaker in my case) so that the difference in height is not massive. Otherwise I’m still learning the walking a bit myself, having only been in the boot for a day, still using a bit of an “open” step on the injured foot, mostly using the heel. But moving more towards rolling from heel towards toes as I learn and get more comfortable.
    In terms of pain, I haven’t felt any at any point with the boot so far… The boot I have by the way is the Aircastt Airselect, with no heel lift used.

  4. dondon on November 7th, 2014

    just wondereing if you had a fuul rupture?

  5. gravity on November 8th, 2014

    Mine? Yes, full rupture of the Achilles’ and also the plantaris tendon was fully ruptured.

  6. dondon on November 8th, 2014

    im 4 weeks almost 5 post op and still NWB.. my boot is set same as yours…im set to go PWB on the 17th… and until then doing the same foot movements as you… i have been going to the gym and working out everything exepct my injured leg below the knee.. i have had foot pain from my toes to my arch. pain started while in my cast and im not sure if its from not keeping it elevated enough. just wondering what your thoughts are..

  7. normofthenorth on November 8th, 2014

    With surgery, the results don’t seem to vary much with rehab speed, and patients get prescribed hugely varying speeds, depending on the doctor’s preference. Many patients believe that their protocol is based on the specifics of their injury or their repair, but it’s hardly ever true, and the doctor will usually admit that when pressed. Most post-op patients end up around the same place eventually. Lots of extra nuisance for the slow folks and those near them, but no lasting harm to the leg, based in the studies.
    For non-op, the studies show a different picture: patients whose doctors still follow the slow track have a much higher rerupture risk, and maybe worse outcomes even if they escape rerupture. The fast modern protocols produce non-op results that are just like post-op without the wound or scar etc. But there’s still a lot of slow doctors out there, partly because the evidence is still new (>2007) and partly because nobody dies. And partly because none of us got 100% in school, or on the job.

  8. sporti on November 8th, 2014

    Listen to Norm as he knows what he’s talking about. I too was FWB at 2-weeks and the freedom was fantastic. Others were inconvenienced by either pain or slower protocols for weeks, and when you’re in the thick of it, time is crucial. As Norm mentions though, later on everyone evens out. The blog is fantastic for understanding the vast spectrum of other experiences with this injury. Good luck!!

  9. Jet on November 14th, 2014

    It looks like I’m about a week behind you as far as my injury/surgery. Fully Ruptured my Left Achilles Tendon on 10/22/14 playing racquetball, and had surgery the day before Halloween (10/30). Had my hard brace (not exactly a cast) taken off this past Monday 11/10. Haven’t really had a lot of pain since a couple days after the surgery. At that time I was put back into the 90 degree aircast walking boot (which I actually had for three days before my surgery). Couldn’t quite get to 90, so they made about a 1″ lift in the heel, and the boot has actually been much better than the brace was. Not FWB yet, but feel like I may be pretty close. Think it’s more a matter of feeling comfortable, and not wanting to do too much. Hoped on the stationary bike yesterday for about 10 minutes, and it actually felt pretty good. It does definitely get swollen when I do things with it, but not a terrible pain. Feels good to move the legs a bit. I have been doing some very light stretching (ankle flexing and rolling like you), and think I will continue to get on the bike at least once a day to keep that leg moving a bit. Seeing that a couple of you are FWB at 2 weeks excites me, as the family and I are heading to Brazil in a few weeks for vacation, and I would like to be FWB without crutches while there. Start PT on 11/20, and hope that will help accelerate the process. Definitely going to try to get to 90 degrees soon, as I think I’m pretty close. Heel wedge is down to about 1/2″ now, and it feels good in boot. I have been icing every day, 3-4 times a day, and feel that this helps a lot also. I probably don’t keep the foot raised as much as I should though, which I think also adds to the swelling.

    Will definitely be curious to track your progress being about a week ahead of me. Hope it is going well!

  10. Dave on November 23rd, 2014

    doc has me on the fast track myself, I recently had a full rupture and just got my splint off 1.5 weeks after surgery, no swelling, the scar healed really well. It’s now 13 days post op and I’m bearing weight wiith the boot and with in 3 weeks doc says I should be able to walk without crutches!

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