Achilles surgery…yikes!

Hi everyone, I am scheduled for surgery on Dec. 8th which is actually 13 months after I began feeling pain.  I don’t have an actual rupture but tears in my achilles.  I went to my local podiatrist when I began feeling pain which began on the treadmill and after 5 months of anti-inflammatories and physical therapy I was given an MRI and diagnosed with the tears.  I was than given a boot and was told be be nwb for 1 month and than wb for another month.  I did not exactly follow the “nwb” to a tee.  I found myself unprepared and have a family that is completely cared for by me (meals, laundry, 2 dogs), ect.  I also have a 2 story house which I was given permission by my doctor to walk up the stairs normally.  After 2 days of attempting crutches I got a roll-about which was hard to do around the house (too many things in the way).  After the 2 months were up and continued physical therapy I found I was no different when walking again.  I went to a “real” orthpedic surgeon in August and was told I would need the full blown surgery with attaching the tendon from my big toe in order to have complete recovery.  After tolerating the pain (which is getting worse and worse) I have decided to go through with the surgery.  I am not going to attempt crutches again for try to get up my stairs.  I am old (mid-40’s) and even though I work out I am 5′11 and very big boned so getting myself around on crutches nwb would be impossible.  I am told I will be nwb for 4-6 weeks (depending on how surgery goes) and then into the boot for gradual wb.

Okay guys, please give me any tips/advice/help that you can muster.  I am very very scared and no longer sleep at night thinking about it all!




8 Responses to “Achilles surgery…yikes!”

  1. You will be much more at peace after your surgery as you will finally be mending as opposed to waiting to see if your Achilles will respond. After waiting only 6 weeks, I welcomed my surgery knowing after that, I could really recover. You’ll make it thru. No worries. Read other blogs here. There’s a wealth of information to put your mind at ease. Particularly check out the Achilles home page where Dennis has several good reads on the right dark blue side about pre-op and questions to ask. Good luck!

  2. Mid 40’s is OLD!?! Get out of that mindset. I had one ankle reconstructed at 48 and plan to do the other after healing so I can stay active & return to sports.

    You are in your prime where you will be active with your kids, then active for what YOU want to do down the road. Look at this as a positive step!

    Definitely read thru this site & get an idea of what to expect. The first weeks are rough, but it gets better.

    My hints: Find a surgeon who will not cast you after the first 2 weeks - your recovery will be quicker if you can do range of motion when you are sitting without a boot on.
    Prepare frozen dinners to “nuke”.
    Set a schedule with the kids to let the dogs out. Ask a neighbor to help.
    Get some basic equipment in before surgery & pracice with it, like shower chairs.
    Rearrange your furniture so you can use the knee scooter. Use it on one level & crutches on the other.

    Commit to REALLY following the doc’s instructions this time - he went to school beyond college for an additional 8 years to learn this stuff!

    Yes - I am going stir crazy waiting to get up & back to normal, but it was the right decision for me.


  3. hiya lisa, dont feel too daunted, look at the positives , you can get mentally & practically prepared for what lies ahead. wont deny when you are stopped from doing all usual activities you can feel a bit hopeless. I too am usually very active, bank manager 30 hours per week, 3 kids 11,9, & 3, 3 step kids 9.8 &5 & partner in fire service working shifts( useful for carrying me round !) You have to let people help, and think to yourself that if you dont take the help your not doing your loved ones any favours as it will take longer to heal if you do too much. have a few wines a bed time to chill you out, works for me .

  4. Lisa: I have had tendon pain and problems for about 12 years. I tried to ignore it until I ruptured my right side 2 years ago. I had surgery then but that doctor did not address any of the underlying issues. I never really seemed to recover and started going down hill bad in February of this year. I went to a foot and ankle orthopedist in May and after numerous tests was told I needed to have my Achilles fixed again including being lengthened and the heel bone being shaved down. I scheduled my first surgery (I have to have both legs done) about 6 weeks out. That was the longest 6 weeks of my life.(My surgery was July 28) Sure, it was nice to have the time to get my house on auto-pilot but I almost went crazy waiting for surgery day. I understand how you feel now that your surgery is scheduled and you are waiting.

    Now I am 12 weeks post-op and I am already sooo happy with the results. My fixed leg feels so much better now than it did before surgery. I have no reservation now about getting my other leg fixed. I am so thankful that we live in a time and place where we have doctors that can take care of us. I still have a long way to go but if I knew before surgery what I know now, I would definitely definitely definitely have this surgery. I can start to see where I will get my life back. Hang in there!

  5. Hello Lisa,
    I’ve had just a small taste of what you’ve had to go through. Circumstances mean’t that a surgical route wasn’t taken straight away with me and I was in a hard NWB cast for 11 weeks. The hope was this would do the trick - it didn’t work out but my point is that I always had a nagging doubt in my mind that the tendon wasn’t healing. I had my surgery last week and although it was a set-back in terms of time I am feeling a lot better about things now and feel I’m ‘on my way back’ so to speak. I reckon you’ll feel like that soon after your op

    All the best - Richard x

  6. Hey Lisa! As my Mother always says, “not to worry, not to worry!” I was diagnosed with the same condition in December of last year. Due to a series of work issues and home issues (we decided to sell our house which took until mid-August) I opted not to have surgery until 6 weeks ago. Been NWB in a cast since then and tomorrow is the day to graduate to a boot! So looking forward to that but at the same time, extremely apprehensive about putting even the smallest amount of weight on this thing.

    Surgery…my first ever so I was a bit shocked by how quick it all went. In, out (as in the general anthesthetic), then out again (as in out the door!). Home, pain meds for about 3 days, sleeping on the couch, and more sleeping on the couch, then some more just for good measure!!! Hardest part? Several things, first I seem to drop everything I touch. Of course this means setting down the crutches, hoping the balance is good, picking it up and continuing on. Second, watching my wife go nuts with taking care of everything, two daughters, two cats, one dog, new apartment and the frustration she would go through seeing me on the couch reading, on the computer or watching football (yes!). Sigh…I love her dearly but, she was never wired to be a nurse nor was she first in line when patience was handed out. I digress, be careful when using crutches, stay focused as it’s the little things that can trip you up (pun intended). Example if you are outside and the concrete is wet, beware when you go to a wet surface to a dry surface that is also concrete, like a garage floor. The floor is dry but the end of your crutch is not and the result is an unexpected whoooop! Out from under you goes a crutch. And be prepared for you upper body to get a bit sore!

    You will do fine. Just take it easy and after a while you will find yourself wondering what “recovery” is all about because you will feel fine except for this hard fiberglass thing that surrounds your lower leg!

  7. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for the comment. :) Good luck with surgery - I read your post.. and once you have the surgery you will feel much better knowing you are on your way to recovery.
    I live in downtown Chicago. I ended up going to the University of Chicago - Dr. Manning in orthopedics. . I would highly recommended both the hospital and doctor.

  8. Lisa,
    Welcome aboard. The worst part (for me) was dealing with the anxiety and worry waiting for the procedure. Once the day of the operation comes around it will go quickly and I for one was thrilled to be making progress towards recovery.

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