First 10 days post surgery

December 29, 2008 | |

A little of what to expect those first 10 days after surgery:

1) The first 48 hours suck. I was groggy, out of it, and in pain.

2) Before the nerve block finally wears off, have the pain pills at the ready. I didn’t fell a thing the first 12 hours after surgery. My boys could poke at my toes, pull on them, but I couldn’t feel a thing. But at around 2am, the pain flooded my leg. Pain pills took a good half hour to kick in.

3) Pain dissipates quickly. At least it did for me. Two days after surgery I had no need for the pain meds.

4) Keep taking ibuprofen to manage swelling. This really helped me the first few days. The temporary cast I have gives a little, and keeping the leg elevated helps. But take a few ibuprofen throughout the day - if you can stomach it.

5) Keep it elevated, at least the first week. I’m on day 10 now and can have my leg down on the floor, or level while in a recliner, for extended periods without much issue. But that first week, whew, if my leg was lower than my heart for 10 minutes it felt like it was about to explode.

6) Go up the stairs on your backside. Yes, its embarassing, but much easier and safer than using crutches to go up a flight of stairs unless you have a handrail or bannister you can easily balance yourself on.

7) If you’re active, stay active. I waited 7 full days before trying to resume some normal activities. I haven’t been to the gym, yet, but have started with strength training at the home with pushups, pullups, anything I can do just to stay active - helps keep cabin fever at bay, or at least I hope it does.

8) Don’t panic. You’ll bump your foot, accidentally put your leg in a position that feels strange (or worse), or noticed that late night leg jerk and think ‘crap, I’ve screwed it up.’ From reading all the posts on this site (thanks Hoss, Dennis), get used to it. There’s not much more you can do to the Achilles now to screw it up.

9) Expect strange feelings on your calf. The cast, it seems, puts a large amount of pressure on your calf. When walking around on crutches, if you’re like me, you may experience more pain in the calf than in the Achilles area itself. I believe its just to swelling and bruising in the calf, and not because of something else.

Four days till my post surgery check-in with the doc. Till then, I’m getting used to flying around the house on crutches.


25 Comments so far

  1. andymetz on December 29, 2008 3:42 pm

    Holy cow were you at my house during MY first 10 days?? :) Seriously, you described it to a T. Great tips too. Good luck on your recovery and it sounds like you are doing great already.

  2. bostonbrother on December 31, 2008 11:35 am

    Good Post, I am interested to find out whether your doc is going to pull the stitches out at that time or not. Mine didn’t. I’m not bummed about it though because all this time still counts towards my nwb time.
    As to your stair climbing style, I was thinking that it might be interesting to film that and then play it in reverse.
    Stay Healthy

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