What to do with sores?

November 24th, 2012
Hello fellow ATR survivors,
I am trying to find information about my particular complication. I had a second rupture after I was out of my cast after the 1st surgery. I had a second surgery and it went really well - no pain at all. Then I was put in a cast and my leg hurt a lot. 2 weeks of that and I said no more. The surgeon allowed for a half cast just in the front to leave the wound site more open. The wound was not completely healed in one area. Then after 2 weeks I was put in a boot cast. Within 2 days the wound grew big again and now I am waiting another surgery to clean it up and stitch it together.
It is my theory that the rubbing on the cast, and then the boot cast created this problem. Probably the sutures were not perfect in that area to begin with. I am really nervous about going back into any type of cast after this surgery and having this kind of problem again. The pain is pretty bad.
Do you have any experience with this sort of thing? At the moment I am running salt water over the wound and applying green tea leaves that have been soaked in hot water.  These home remedies are supposed to be good for preventing infection. Are there alternatives to having a boot or a fully enclosed cast that can also support the changing angle of my foot?
Thanks for any input.

8 Responses to “What to do with sores?”

  1. Lisa on November 24, 2012 2:25 pm

    My doctor used a splint with a lot of bandages which looks like the one in this picture. http://loganpaulson.com/torn-achilles-tendon-scary-levaquin-connection/

    It covers the back of the leg with what seems like rigid plastic (possible fiberglass), is wrapped in lots of gauze and then wrapped in a bandage. Someone else can probably describe it better but she explained that there were some advantages to this method over a full cast

  2. kkirk on November 24, 2012 3:17 pm

    My surgeon used the same kind of splint wrap as Lisa. IT was heavy, but worked really well. IT also was made from 2 separate pieces so my leg had room to swell, and the splint would drop into place as the swelling went down. At least that is how it was explained to me.

  3. normofthenorth on November 25, 2012 2:42 am

    I think some people also get half-casts that are rigid on the front, which would leave only gauze and bandages on the back — possibly nicer to your wound.

    There are lots of choices when you’re NWB, since the “wrap” only has to keep your ankle at the proper ankle with (supposedly) no weight or pressure on it. When you start progressing to PWB and FWB — and it’s generally beneficial to do so earlier rather than later — the choices narrow down, because the “appliance” has to start supporting your entire weight and transferring the force from under the ball of your foot to the front of your shin (taking the leverage-load that a healthy AT takes). If you’re still tender then, the only choices are (1) to delay WB or (2) to work harder to custom-fit and custom-form a boot to avoid unfortunate pressure-points, while still giving your ankle all the functional support it needs.

    Many boots come with air-filled inflatable bladders, and some with ceramic pellets that can be formed around and locked in place. And all of them can have foam or gel inserts put into them (by you, or a friend, or a pro) to try to get the job done — not unlike what a good ski-boot-fitter gets big bucks to do. Or your wound can be repeatedly dressed to protect it from the boot.

    In virtually all cases, I prefer boots to casts (I don’t know what a “cast boot” is, actually.), and in your case it would at least allow you to check the condition of your wound frequently, and redress it or re-adjust the fit. Having to make a trip to an appointment in a hospital or clinic to get a cast changed almost always means that patients suffer for too long before EITHER getting relief or getting another cast that doesn’t work right. (My $0.02, of course!)

  4. lizzie on November 25, 2012 9:02 am

    Thank-you for all the good tips. :)

    I am now on a waiting list for a bed at the hospital because my surgeon wants to close the wound. I have been waiting since Wednesday and I might get a call today or not. I don’t feel equipped to deal with this wound on my own. My surgeon put me on anti-biotics, just in case. I stopped wearing the boot at night since it makes things worse. Any advice on how to speed up this process of getting a bed or how to take care of a surgical wound at home?

  5. Lisa on November 25, 2012 11:52 am

    Where are you located, Lizzie?

  6. lizzie on November 25, 2012 12:35 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    I live in Toronto.

  7. Lisa on November 25, 2012 12:41 pm

    I’m not sure how it works in Canada but here a lot of hospitals and free standing clinics have “wound care specialists”. It might be worth consulting one since they’re specialists in this. I see there’s one here but there are probably others. http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs-and-services/dermatology-program452/the-wound-care-centre456

  8. normofthenorth on November 25, 2012 12:51 pm

    Me, too! I’ve also had two ATRs, but they were one on each leg, no re-ruptures here. And I got talked out of surgery for my second one by the Chief Surgeon of the Toronto Argonauts — who may or may not win the “Grey Cup” this evening!

    I was already wishing you good luck with the healing, but now it’s for a neighbour!! :-)

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    ATR Timeline
    • Name: lizzie
      Location: Toronto
      Injured during: skipping rope
      Which Leg: L
      Status: 2-Shoes

      445 wks  1 day Post-ATR
      438 wks  2 days
         Since start of treatment