My first follow-up

I had my first follow-up on October 9th. It was a brief follow-up. My Ortho unwrapped my bandages and examined my Achilles area. He tested my Achilles to make sure it was attached my having me lie down on my stomach and squeezing my calf muscle. He cleaned the area with alcohol and re-wrapped my Achilles. My Ortho told me he would remove the staples on October 19th. Until that time, he wanted me to start my rehab by doing some light toe wiggling and gently move my heal up and down. Trust me, he stressed gently. My Ortho said it was ok to remove the boot when I shower with SWB on my toes for balance. I asked my Ortho about sleeping without the boot but he advised me not to because of the risk of re-injury if I was awakened and forgot I was wearing the boot. Also, I’m one of those people who have violent jerk movements when I fall asleep and if I wasn’t wearing the boot, I would definitely re-injure myself. However, he did say it was okay to remove the boot while watching tv. However, I tried watching tv without the boot and its not a good idea if your a Cowboy fan because you get excited while watching the game and you can re-injure yourself very easy. LOL!!! photo2

Surgery Day

The day of my Achilles surgery was scheduled at 1145 am on Sept 29th. I was instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight the day before surgery and to arrive at the surgery center one hour before surgery. My fiancee’ and I arrived at the surgery center one before surgery as instructed. Once I filled out the necessary forms and paid my co-payment, the nurse called me back to the pre-op area where I changed clothes. Once I changed into my gown, the nurse started my i.v. and asked questions about allergies. The anesthesiologist arrived shortly to confirmed my allergies and gave me a heads up on what kind of anesthesia(general) he would be administering. Shortly afterward, my Ortho walked to visit me and gave me a last minute pep talk and refreshed me on proper post op procedures. He prescribed my hydrocodone and reminded me NWB until the follow-up and do not remove the boot. He gathered all of us together for a quick prayer as part of his normal routine. Shortly afterward, the anesthesiologist and nurse administered the anesthesia and carted me to the operating room. The next thing I remembered was waking up in the recovery room in a lot of PAIN and the clock read 210 pm. The nurse asked me on a scale of 1-10, what is my pain level and I said “12″. She administered morphine to reduced my pain level and said I would remain in recovery until my pain level was reduced to a 5. A long story short, I didn’t leave the surgery center until 330.

Ortho visit

On Monday, I was scanning over the Orthopedic Surgeon list that was given to me by ER, I see a familiar name. Its the same Ortho who performed my meniscus surgery 2 years ago, Dr. Wong. I called Dr. Wong’s and asked when could I come in for a visit. Luckily, the office had a morning slot open and wanted me to come in. Dr. Wong’s office setting is something you would see in a movie. Dr. Wong is a loud talking guy who walks around with a walkie talkie giving out instructions to his assistants. He compliments my fiancee’ how beautiful she is and how lucky I am. He also says he has a “young 25yr old honey” who he dates and we share a laugh. Dr.Wong always tells his story of how he graduated from high school at age 15 and went to UCLA afterward. Dr. Wong confirmed my Achilles injury by squeezing my calf but also locating on my right leg where the tendon had separated. There was an index finger gap about 3 inches above my ankle. He scheduled surgery for Tues, Sept 29th at the Arlington Surgery Center, an outpatient center. He gets on his walkie talkie and asked his assistant to bring a boot for me to wear until surgery. Dr. Wong gave me insight on what my Achilles surgery would be like and and post op procedures. He told me he would cut off the ends of the torn tendons and suture the tendons back together. Dr Wong wanted me to bring my crutches and boot to the surgery center. He says after surgery, he would place wedges in the boot and place the boot back on my repaired Achilles and instructs NWB for the first two weeks or until the follow-up visit. Depending on the follow-up visit and how the repair site heals, he would take an aggressive approach for rehab because of my physical condition and how quickly I healed from my meniscus surgery. Because the Achilles shrinks when healing, Dr. Wong would remove a wedge every 2 weeks until there are no more wedges and my foot is flat. I asked Dr. Wong about the timetable for a full recovery and he says 3 months.

What just happened?

Here’s my story. I’m the classic weekend warrior times three. I’m on those people who lives basketball. My normal routine is to play pickup games at least 2 to 3 days per week including Saturdays. I was following my normal Saturday morning routine by playing for a couple of hours. Because I’m 39, I stretched my legs and warmed my legs by riding the stationary bike. I was playing my second game of the day. I was running the baseline and when I caught the ball in the corner, I squared up to shoot a 3 pointer. Suddenly, it felt like someone pulled a rug from under my right leg. I immediately dropped the ball and fell to the floor. I can remember looking around trying to figure out what just happen…looking for a wet spot on the floor. My teammates ran towards me and they were asking me if I was okay, but I didn’t know what happened. A spectator on the sideline responded by saying “I think you just ruptured you Achilles…trust me, I’ve ruptured mine twice.” Suddenly, my Achilles goes numb!!! From what I’ve learn, you suppose to hear a pop when you have an Achilles rupture but that didn’t happen nor did it feel like someone hit me in the back of the leg. I tried to stand but fell back down. My teammates helped me to the sideline and advised me to let them take me to the ER. Because I could push my right foot downwards, I decided to go home first and let my fiancee’ take me to the ER instead. My teammates assisted me to my car in which I drove home in severe pain. Once home, I immediately iced my Achilles area and took 800 mg of Ibuprofen. Since it was a Saturday, I debated whether or not to hold off on the ER and wait until Monday to see an Orthopedic Surgeon. I decided to go the ER . The attending doc performed the test of “squeezing the calf muscle” to confirm my Achilles injury. After taking xrays, the nurse put my right leg in a cast, gave me a prescription of lortab, and a referral list of Orthopedic Surgeon. The nurse’s advice was to keep my Achilles elevated and iced to reduced the swelling. I left the ER, got my prescription, and followed the doc’s orders until I was going to call an Orthopedic Surgeon on Monday.

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