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.

6 Responses to “Ortho visit”

  1. Kenny:

    3 months for a full recovery? I’m at 10 weeks and I’m nowhere near recovered. I was told 9-12 months. I originally “accepted” 6 months in my mind. LOL, now 9-12 months sounds about right!

    How did the surgery go?

  2. Kenny,

    Three months to good as new sounds all but impossible. If you succeed in doing that, let us know how it was done!

    Three months to being able to get around fine, without any limp, and live normally excepting only “high impact” activities, that can be done. To do that, though, I think you have to get working on the strength issue very early on, as I did (against my doctor’s plan). If the calf atrophies a lot, as is often the case, the road back to that point is probably going to be longer than three months.

    Good luck,

    Doug

  3. Kenny:

    I think three months is possible for walking in two shoes. I was playing golf in two shoes just short of 3 months.

    My experience tells me that the first 3 weeks are critical in your recovery. Take the first 3 weeks very easy. DO NOT RUSH YOURSELF DURING THIS TIME. Do not think you have to be riding a mountain bike after two weeks in your boot like some dude on this site proclaimed. As my PT told me, Slow and Easy at first makes for a STRONG repair.

    The Goal is a STRONG repair with no complications. This is a diabolical injury that can go south in a heart beat with complications. Read Gerryr’s blog for how bad it can get.

    Slow and steady wins the race and gets you back on your feet in 3 months!!

  4. 3 months to full recovery is a load of %$#%. I’m sorry to say that. I’m into month 8 of my recovery. The comments above are essentially right on. You have to be consistent on PT exercise, massage, ultrasound. I expect 12 months to recover to a state of relative normalcy. Even at this time, my tendon is still healing. This is a near-catastrophic injury so slow and easy initially with a steady ramp-up rate is required.

    I would ask Dr. Wong how much of the tendon he intends to trim to make sure there is flexibility and know how tight the suture will be.

  5. Kenny,
    My surgeon told me straight that it would take 12 months to get my full pre-injury stamina back, but then I’m stuck in a hrad cast MWB for nine whole weeks so maybe that’s not surprising.
    I met someone yesterday in his 50s who had an ATR 4 months ago and says he has 80% back after non-surgical treatment. However, I wouldn’t have described him as an athlete exactly! He seemed content to walk about with a bit of a limp. I wouldn’t call that fully recovered.
    This process isn’t a competition and just because some of the people on this site seem to be making astonishing progress don’t think that you have to some how keep up. Listen to the doctor (although he sounds slightly mad) and the physio when you get one and most of all to your own body and go at your own pace. I was given strict instructions to spend at least 2 weeks on the sofa with my leg raised simply healing from the op to prevent swelling and associated complications. They make a big hole in you when they fix an ATR - you can see all the gory details on YouTube if you need further convincing!
    By all means push yourself when you are ready, but I fear that if you set your heart on such an ambitious timetable it may lead to disappointment. You will get there though so don’t let us old pessimists get you down!
    Smoley

  6. To be a little contrary, my surgeon looked at me like I was an idiot when I told him my workplace required a letter releasing me to return to work, my workplace insurer gave the same impression when I talked to them on the phone, and I returned to work the week after my surgery (in my first hard cast).
    My first plan was to return to work 4 days after my surgery but when I found out that I could get 10 days on my short term disability I jumped at the chance. My surgeon seemed to be okay with the idea that I return to work that early so take it for what its worth.
    Still, getting full strength, mobility and being pain free in less than 6 months seems less than likely - but your surgeon has previous experience with how you heal. Just listen you your body before listening to anyone else, its a pretty smart machine.

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