Five weeks post-op

Hey everyone. First, I just want to thank everyone here for posting about their experiences and sharing valuable insights.

This is my first post so I would like to walk everyone through a timeline of what happened:
December 6th: Ruptured my Achilles tendon playing basketball (a minor slip)
December 12th: Had it operated where the OS used a specific technique which resulted in a very small incision (~ 1cm)
December 24th: Put on a cast with my fingers pointing down for three weeks

There were no real complications until now, the wound is healing nicely and there was no real swelling except in the first two days post-op.
On Wednesday, I have another appointment to get one last cast with my foot in neutral position. I am to keep my foot in this cast for two weeks.

What’s interesting is that during my last visit at the OS’s, he said that I will be going directly from the cast to a shoe with a heel raise, meaning I won’t be using the boot at all. That got me a little worried after reading everyone’s posts here, where the majority (if not everyone) went to a boot first. I would really appreciate your comments and ask you if you think I should talk to my OS about going into an aircast boot first.

THanks :)

27 Responses to “Five weeks post-op”

  1. Welcome!!! Not sure about the boot v/s cast, but are you currently allowed to bear weight with your existing cast? Or the new cast?

  2. I’m not allowed to bear weight with the current cast and I’m not sure if I will be allowed to do so with the new cast. Currently, I was only told to do some exercises for other muscles in my leg.

  3. Hello!
    I have been treated with the same kind of surgery I think. Spent 8 weeks in a fiberglass cast and was moved to 2-shoes straight after it. My surgeon, who is the guy who designed this technique, is not a fan of boots. I saw no issues of jumping from cast to 2-shoes. You just need to be super careful the first few weeks in 2 shoes as you are out of the protection of the cast.
    Good luck!

  4. Hi Nico,

    Great to know that I’m not the only one going from a cast straight to two shoes. I’m happy to hear that it all worked out for you. I’ll make sure to be cautious.

    Thanks! :)

  5. keep in mind that the cast is protecting you. Don’t be in a rush to remove it. of course you will lose muscles in the meantime, but you clearly minimize re-rupture risk in my opinion

  6. Hey Nico

    Your os was the guy who designed the technique of 8 weeks in a cast then into 2 shoes? A notable innovation but why would he want the lower leg to be totally immobilized for so long, increasing atrophy, ankle stiffness, smelly feet (!) and generally increasing recovery time? A properly fitted boot will support the leg at least as well and as safely as a cast and ease the move to 2 shoes.

  7. @atrbuff: naaaa, designed this tool http://www.extera.com.br/osc/download/achillon.pdf
    which minimizes the scar and a number of post-op complications.

    but i get you irony…

  8. Nico, there are at least a few very similar tools used in minimalist invasive surgery, so could be something else as well…

  9. Nico

    What didn’t your guy like about boots?

  10. I’m a boot fan. Casts are so 20th Century, IMO.

  11. Here is a point about the boot that I haven’t seen here but that has just had come up for me.

    The boot is not just to protect us from re-rupture (though there are cases of re-rupture with the boot on)…what it can do is helps prevent fatigue when you first start walking in two shoes. I put it on when I start to feel fatigued but still need to be mobile. It’s restful.

    So I’d say get a boot, it can’t hurt and you might enjoy knowing it is not only helping with safety but with rest as you transition.

  12. Thanks everyone for your comments. They have all been very informative and I really appreciate them.

    I’m going to try and insist on a boot when I visit my OS tomorrow, although he seemed pretty set on going straight into shoes. I will at least ask him to explain his decision, as he didn’t say much about it the last time.

  13. @atrbuff: well he told me that a boot can increase the re-rupture risk since a boot is an incentive to go pwb and fwb at early stage. But hey, at the end, if there was one and only right way of healing this injury, i guess we would know!
    as said in one of my post, as long as the patient is comfortable with the method proposed by the os, that’s all that matters!

  14. Nico, considering that the recent studies and the modern protocols all suggest that early PWB/FWB is a good thing (for faster recovery and reducing reruptures), that argument just doesn’t hold water. And sure, there are a lot of ways that people recover and many different protocols, and ultimately it’s whatever you feel comfortable with. Having said that, it doesn’t mean they are equal. For me what I’m most comfortable with is what has in proper studies been proven to be safe and most effective, rather than eminence based views, no matter how convincing or “authorative”.

  15. Nico, it’s not just an incentive, it is part of the plan for a stronger recovery! Problem sometimes is that the os or physio only tells the patient part of the plan and doesn’t give him or her the full story, aka the protocol. Follow the rules (which are very basic) and a good recovery will ensue. Cut corners and suffer for it.

    As you are rightly concerned about risk, didn’t the inherent risk of surgery/wound healing work you at all, especially when the latest research has shown no significant benefit? (Not talking about bone spurs and other complications which need more drastic intervention).

    Tell you what I do agree on though - you are happy with your treatment. That is a ‘wonderful thing’. Nobody says you are wrong by the way - just remember that this a forum for opinions and sharing experiences.

    Buffy

  16. I like the aggressive approach, but admittedly, I think jumping right into 2 shoes would make me nervous. Just be careful!

    I am 4 weeks out from surgery, to the day (12/17). I was casted after surgery and put into a boot on 1/5. As of Monday (1/12) I had the heel inserts removed and I have ditched the crutches (for the most part). I am thrilled to be walking / limping around without crutches. For what it is worth, reagarding boot over shoes, I like the rolling action of the boot (from heel to toe)… which takes the stress off the achilles and calf.

    I start PT next week and am thrilled with my progress thus far. I just need to remind myself to be careful… it is icy up here.

  17. kujta13,
    I am almost on the exact same timeline as you, surgery on Dec 13 for full rupture.
    My OS put me in a boot with controlled ankle ROM and I have been FWB with it since 10 days post op.
    I have now been given even more ROM with my boot and take more of a step rather than what I call a “wedding march”
    I would HIGHLY recommend asking about a similar boot as I can not stress to you how much I love it. It sucks that this has happened to us but my boot gives me a much more “normal” feeling.
    Best of LUCK!

  18. Just wanted to update everyone that after today’s visit at my OS, he decided that I won’t be needing another cast and after some discussion we decided to go for an aircast boot and PWB. I will be doing some home exercises before starting my physio sometime next week.

  19. Hello bloggers, this is my first entry in this website. I ruptured my Achilles tendon playing tennis on February 19 and had the surgery on February 23. It was a minimally invasive surgery with small incisions, similar to what Kujta13 seems to have gone through. My first six days have gone pretty well. I’ve been off the pain meds since day 4 and I’m pretty much lying around with my foot elevated. Except for the inactivity my spirits are good. I am seeing my surgeon for the first postop appointment on 3/3 to find out the next steps in my recovery. I really appreciate the opportunity to share with others this experience. I have the found the knee scooter to be very helpful in getting around and also have a waterproof leg cover which has made showering much easier. I’m pretty sure that I am much older than most of my fellow bloggers. I just turned 70 but I am very fit and very athletic, playing tennis three or four times a week plus golf and skiing. I am really hoping to return to these activities as soon as possible. My immediate goal is to be able to take a trip with my family to Greece on June 23. That would be about 17 weeks into my recovery. My only concern is walking the hills and rough terrain on the Greek Islands. I would welcome any thoughts people have concerning my chances of making this trip.

  20. Hey Scooterman! I’m in my 50’s and I know there ar, and have been, other “older” bloggers here! I am at 16 weeks and am quite sure I could handle a vacation to Greece right now.

    I use the search box, top right on the main page, once a week and type in the week I’m in to see what others had to say for that time period. For example I just typed in 16 weeks, sixteen weeks, as well as 4 months, four months, and was able to read every blog with those key words…Most report things that would lead me to believe that 17 weeks would be a fine time for a vacation. Baring no unforeseen recovery issues of course. YAY you!

  21. Hey Scooterman! I’m in my 50’s and I know there are, and have been, other “older” bloggers here! I am at 16 weeks and am quite sure I could handle a vacation to Greece right now.

    I use the search box, top right on the main page, once a week and type in the week I’m in to see what others had to say for that time period. For example I just typed in 16 weeks, sixteen weeks, as well as 4 months, four months, and was able to read every blog with those key words…Most report things that would lead me to believe that 17 weeks would be a fine time for a vacation. Baring no unforeseen recovery issues of course. YAY you!

  22. Hello Donna!
    Thanks for your response. I’ve been reading your blog for the last several days and find it very helpful and inspiring. Keep up the good work!

  23. Hey Donna…thanks to you and everyone else on this site in sharing experiences..trying to embrace more of the positive than the negatives. Thanks for your support!

  24. your welcome…I’m “paying it forward”…and to be really honest I have the time since I’m not working right now…at almost 17 weeks life is getting busier and I won’t have as much time in the next few months, but some of you in the early weeks will be here to pay it forward… and there are “old” timers here who show up when they can…so ya…positives! YAY.

  25. Donna,

    Any time I try to search something on this site, it sys I am searching for something that is not there. I just typed 5 weeks and nothing came up.

    hmm

  26. eyceman are you typing from the main page?

    If you use the search box on a blog page or your blog page it only searches that page.

    Type 5 weeks into the main page search on the top right.

  27. Thanks Donna. That worked :/

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