Nov 06 2009

Long Time No Post

Published by marianne under Uncategorized

Hi all… I haven’t been here for awhile, but I am now facing a different type of surgery…rotator cuff repair. It’s been 16 months since my achilles rupture repair, and now this :( anyone have any sites to recommend for this type of surgery? I am hoping to find a supportive site like this one to help me get through. I was the 45th persone to sign on to this blog and it was a lifesaver…

5 responses so far

Jun 27 2009

One Year Update

Published by marianne under Uncategorized

Wow, this website posting area sure has changed since I last posted in January…looks great Dennis!!!  Anyway, I actually had my one year surgery anniversary on June 4, but have hesitated to post because I was expecting to be able to do more by now and am a little embarrassed at the lack of my progress….oh well, I have found some strength today to admit, “outloud” where I’m at in this point of my recovery.

I have been checking in to see mostly the updates on people around my time of rupture…. I can’t believe that I was the 45th person to log into this awesome site, and now there are over 400 others who have joined since.  Let’s start with the good first….the tingling and numbness, in my foot, that I had been experiencing has gone away!  Now, for the not so great, but better than nothing….  I walk without a cane, but still slow and with a limp…the rest is pretty much the same as the last time I posted. Still wearing trainers/tennis shoes.    I have a hard time walking for any period of time, without the ankle getting sore and tired.  The scar is sore while stretching, and I get strange twinges of pain in and around the ankle occasionally.  Mainly am depressed that I am limping and that’s what is causing me to not get very far walking-wise.. I am scared this is as good as it is going to get.  I don’t want to accept a limp for the rest of my life because of this injury.    Oh, and another thing that is a pain in the butt — I cannot walk barefoot. The foot is weak, and the scar stretches and hurts without the support.  I wear crocs in the shower to support my foot, also.  I need a shoe on for support so the ankle doesn’t hurt as much.  Well, there you have it…I see so many positive posts and I hate to be a downer to those of you who are new, but everyone’s story is different, as is everyone’s healing process.  I was excited to read a post today about how people can still see improvement 2-3 years down the road, so I’m hoping that I might just be expecting to much of my out of shape body to be fully recovered after one year….maybe the one year mark isn’t for everyone???

Thanks again, so much, Dennis for this site…so glad to see it grow.  And to Marianne2, yep, I saw you :-), all the best to you!!  Love to see all of you still posting at the one year mark….helps me to put things in perspective.  Happy Anniversary to me :-)  This July 2nd, I’ll be turning 51, and will actually be celebrating with a family party, unlike last year, when I turned 50, in bed with my leg elevated….woohoo!!!!

3 responses so far

Jan 15 2009

32 week update/pics and “gift” from doc :)

Published by marianne under Uncategorized

still looking scary ;)Just updating my fellow ATR’s at this point in my recovery.  I last posted 5 weeks ago, and on Tuesday saw ortho doc for, hopefully, last time.  He released me saying that things looked good.  I am just slightly past neutral in my range of motion, which keeps me moving slowly, but speed has improved in the past month-Yay!!  Still limping, but have ditched the cane around the house, which is also an improvement.  I explained to doc that I not only have stiffness and tightness around achilles, but my whole foot gets numb/tingly if I’m on it for long periods of time….the ball of my foot gets tired quickly as well….wierd.  But, those things may go away with time since he says my circulation looks good. He also re-measured my calf: good calf is 14 1/2 inches and achilles calf is 13 1/2 inches–gained a half inch since last visit.   My doc asked me, “so how is the physical therapy helping you?” at which point I replied, “you told me to discontinue therapy after 3 months, as I had ‘plateaued’ out at that point”….He said he could authorize more if I wanted to go back, adding that it can get expensive though….my thoughts exactly!!  I think I will stick with what I have been doing at home since I am not a “sportsy” person….just a person that wants to eventually be walking normally again. 

At the end of the visit, out of the blue, my husband mentioned that my temporary disability parking placard had expired in Dec. and if we could get me another temporary card for parking….this is the “gift” part :)  Doc replied, “oh heck, let’s just make it permanent…it’s the least I can do for all she’s been through”….oh boy, I am not going to take advantage of it though….only when necessary.   

Well, hope this year brings all of us happy, healthy ATRs, and lots less drama.  Thanks to all and to Dennis for this awesome site…I still appreciate it soooooo much!!!

Thanks screwdriver for asking about my progress….hope yours is also going well.

7 responses so far

Dec 15 2008

27 Week- 6 1/2 month update……

Published by marianne under Uncategorized

Well, like most of us “veterans”, I have been reading the posts regularly, but haven’t posted for about 6 wks.  Not much new to report……My scar looks the same as my post 10 weeks ago, but it does feel better, which is great news– not much pain anymore, just stiffness/tightness mainly.  I still use a cane, because the leg strength not being there still scares me.  Limp is still there, but getting better.  I still have the tingling feeling in the bottom of my foot, when I first get up in the morning….first few steps are still tough, but getting better as well.  I am still walking slowly which is really a hazard when I go shopping during this busy season…..I’m just not in a rush, like I use to be, anymore.  I wonder if I will ever be able to move as quickly as I once did?????  I am grateful for the fact that the pain has pretty much subsided, unless I bump it or step in a wierd way…’s not totally gone, but I don’t think about it all the time now.  It’s wierd reading how many of you never experienced pain, even after the surgery…don’t quite understand that, but I must just be hypersensitive :)   I virtually have no swelling anymore and the color of my leg and foot has really improved.  I still notice, in the morning, some blotchy coloring of my leg, but nothing like it used to get.  Still struggling with standing and walking for lengths of time….I guess that too will come–frustrating that I can only walk so far without one or both of my legs/feet feeling sore…..still wearing my trusty trainers—very comfy :)

I guess I’m at the point where I feel like this should all be over by now, but then I remember how far I have come and that makes me stop feeling sorry for myself.  I also am well aware that this is a year long endeavor, but I have mentally been having a hard time still with it.   I go back to the ortho-doc on Jan. 6th for follow-up which will be 7 months post-op.  Haven’t had anymore PT except the 12 weeks I went after losing the boot.  I’m not an “exerciser” like many of you are….I just want to be able to walk normally without feeling off balance, etc.  Have been riding the recumbent bike, and doing stretching exercises, but that’s it.  I know…..i’ve been slacking :( and watching lots of football.

KKdub, thanks for asking about me and GO Bears at the Emerald Bowl!!!!!  You inspired me to update all of you….Happy holidays and Happy Healing to you all!!

4 responses so far

Nov 06 2008

Whew!!! 90 Degrees and Rising!:)……….

Published by marianne under Uncategorized

Two weeks ago, my doctor told me I needed a “serial cast” for 6 weeks to get to 90 degrees/neutral.  When I didn’t answer him right away, he told me to go home and think about it, and come back in one week.  When I told my husband, he said he would PT me for 2 weeks, then we would go back to see what the doc says.  Needless to say, I was a bit hesitant, so asked you ATR buddies of mine for advice….I was prepared to be casted again, but knew it would be very difficult mentally and physically for me to go there.  In addition, I had my husband who really did not want to have to take care of me in a cast again either…..the no driving, etc. 

So, in addition to the exercises I have been doing twice a day at home, my husband massaged my ankle every night and also stretched it for me…..:) (I’m very lucky!!!!!!)

Here we are now, two weeks later, and the doctor was surprised to see how much progress I’d made and the serial cast was no longer an option—Yay!!!! I can get my foot flat on the ground, but still walk with a limp and very slowly.  But, my doc says it looks like I’m even a little past neutral, which was music to my ears!!!  He says the limp will go away once my calf and thigh get stronger— and I thought I was limping because of my ankle… much is connected—also have terrible back pain on right side.  I think it’s my sciatic nerve acting up because of compensation with the limp.  Boy am I out of shape…….but my foot is flat!!!!!!

Thanks to all who have been supporting me through this very long, slow recovery process!  I go back to doc in 2 months and plan on continuing my exercises at home.  Any ideas for strengthing the calf and thigh without messing up my back anymore?  I do see my chiropractor once a week which helps…..I feel my foot needs strengthening to—especially the ball of my foot.  Haven’t practiced heel raises standing, only sitting. 

 Well, that’s all for now….I am thrilled to have progressed, on my own, in two weeks….something I couldn’t do during the last 6 weeks of PT…….I was stuck at -11degrees, but not anymore.  It can be done!!!!!!!

Keep Healing and GO BEARS!!!!!!We take on USC on Saturday…..:)


10 responses so far

Oct 21 2008

20 Week Post Op Doc Appt.- To Cast or Not To Cast? That is the question…..

Published by marianne under Uncategorized

What to do?  I went to my 20 week post-op doc appt. today, and for those of you who have kept up with my story from the beginning, you’ll remember I’m the Wimp…..unfortunately being a wimp doesn’t go with ATR rupture recovery protocal because I have been unable to move forward for the past 6 weeks in Physical Therapy…..i’ve completed a total of 12 weeks PT and still am not at 90 degrees.  It’s not that I haven’t done all the exercises they’ve asked of me– stretching, bicycling, stepper, rocker board, squat machine, ultrasound, “massage”(ugh)—and all the at-home exercises I’ve done diligently twice a day.  I think the problem started back at about 6 weeks, when I was told to weight-bear and couldn’t stand the pain and babied my ankle because of fear and pain….I was so afraid of re-rerupture that I became stuck and on top of that wound up in the hospital with opiate withdrawl issues as I wasn’t instructed correctly about slowly stopping the meds.

So, here I am now, walking with an extreme limp and a cane, still have pain, and not at 90 degrees.  I knew the news from the doc wasn’t going to be positive when he actually took the time to sit down to talk to me  (unfortuneately, my husband had to work today and couldn’t come and help me ask pertinent questions, so I was on my own).  The doc explained to me about the option of “serial casting” telling me that it wasn’t the type of “cereal” you eat.  I told him, I figured that it wasn’t …..  He is recommending that I go back into a cast for 6 weeks again and come back every week for them to change the position of my foot to eventually get it to 90 degrees (it’s at 80 degrees and ideally should be past 90 by now), and after 6 weeks, I would wear a night brace. 

I just can’t see myself going back to a cast for 6 weeks after all the hard work I have done to get this far.  I keep thinking about the withered calf, the discomfort , the claustrophobia, of the cast experience.  He said that I have “plateaued out” with the physical therapy, and will not recommend anymore.  So, no more physio and I am wondering if I can do this on my own….Doc doesn’t know and has explained that if I don’t choose “serial casting” now and come back to him in a year and tell him my ankle isn’t good enough, it would be to late to serial cast then and he would have to go in and add more tendon to lengthen it…..Now I know I don’t want another operation :(

He has given me a week to think about what to do– cast or no cast.  I plan on talking to my Physical Therapists sometime this week to get their opinion…..I guess there is nothing easy about this injury and I hate making decisions….what would you guys do (especially those of you who are as far along as I am) in this situation??????  Is there hope that I can get the ankle to loosen up without re-casting?  Any opinions or advice would be sincerely welcome.  And to those of you told that it is time to weight bear……let my story be a lesson that you need to step on it :)

Happy Healing to you all and thanks for reading :)


20 responses so far

Oct 06 2008

17 Week Scar Pic

Published by marianne under Uncategorized

Still having pain/burning on the bottom 2 inches of scar, but getting better…..I must be one of the slowest healers on this site, not counting re-rups or those of you that have had complications.  The area gets red and is bumpy, not flattening out like the top half—very frustrating.  I guess I am just a slow healer….at 50 years old, and can’t say I was in great shape before this injury.  I am actually getting in more exercise, because of PT, than before my injury….I want to keep getting in better shape.  This injury really has made me appreciate knowing I will be able to work on keeping fit….I guess it’s never too late ;) Grateful that I am now able to move around with just cane most of the day…….still looking for the “perfect” shoe to keep my feet comfortable….Hope to get back to work by end of month…not quite sure about substitute teaching with lots of little kids moving around me and a different class everyday….very tiring and need to be very mobile…can’t wait to get back though!!!

Keep Healing All My ATR Friends,


4 responses so far

Sep 28 2008

Moving along w/PT

Published by marianne under Uncategorized

Well, went to my PT appt. on Friday and asked them if I could advance from towell scrunching and marble picking, rocker, pro-step, and wedge work…..Come on people!!!! have been doing all that at home, twice a day, for the past 2 and a half months, plus biking, and band and towell stretching.  Yeah, it worked (all my whining); they let me on the total gym and tomorrow I get to add the stair-stepper!!  My PT did say, “be careful what you wish for”…and I asked her, “are you going to be mean to me?”  She is the therapist that kills my ankle when she stretches it…..I think she has some agression issues:)  Well, at least I get to skip the towell and marbles when I go to PT….still do them at home though as warm-up.

Using my Silipos achilles heel sleeve, to help the sore area of my incision withstand the pressure of the one pair of shoes that work for me–have been wearing them everyday for the past 2 months.  So, progress is slow, but is happening. Still on one crutch, limping and slow….yesterday I took my daughter, who lives on her own, can’t drive, (because of disabilities) to adopt a cat at Pet Smart….what an adventure.  I am not used to standing/walking around on one crutch for 2 hours shopping and adopting….I was pooped, but we found her the perfect cat… was a good day :)

Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend!


3 responses so far

Sep 22 2008

“Unstuck” and Moving Forward :)/Pic

Published by marianne under Uncategorized

My last post I was soooooo frustrated with the lower half of my incision because of the red, burning irritation that was not allowing me to bear as much weight as I felt I could at this point in my recovery.  Well, good news to report!!  Last Friday, my PT showed me a 4X4 gel patch that I could cut to fit the area that was irritated, providing a cushioning while I am in shoes.  I said, “I’ll take it!!!” , even though it wasn’t cheap for one patch—-$7.00….desperate, you know :)  Well, when I got home I immediately cut of a piece of “Elasto-Gel”, slapped it onto the lower half of my incision and wrapped it with gauze bandage to keep it on.  I put my shoe on and pure bliss!!!!  I have been able to bear more weight and work with one crutch again with a lot less pain until the end of the day!  JOY!!!!  I leave the gel patch on most of the day, even when I take my shoe off because it is suppose to help flatten the scar, and it just feels good.  I am so happy to have discovered something to give me some relief, as I have tried many things up until this point.  I was even able to take a couple hobbling steps without the crutches (held up in the air for mental support) yesterday. 

I would highly recommend the Elasto-Gel patch if any of you are experiencing burning/blistering pain.  Go to and check out their bandages and dressings….

Thanks Steve and Sanfran for your advice and kind words…..I really appreciate your input!!! 

Go Bears!  and keep on healing everyone!!


4 responses so far

Sep 12 2008

14 Weeks and ortho follow-up after 6 wks. PT

Published by marianne under Uncategorized

The Burning HeelNine days ago I posted my most positive blog yet—-one crutch and moving along.   My goal, 6 wks. ago, was to walk into my ortho’s office with no crutches, or at least, only one, but because of the pain/rubbing after working with one crutch, I’m back to two crutches except when I practice around the house with one.  I guess the amount of weight I have been putting on the incision just isn’t able to allow the lower half of my incision to not get irritated and have extreme burning….

Saw doc on Tuesday, and was afraid he was going to give me a good tongue-lashing for still being on crutches and not quite to 90 degrees/neutral… in quickly, and doc walked in, took a look at the leg, pushed on the foot and said “almost there”…”doing a lot better than the last time I saw you”……he didn’t say anything about the two crutches leaning up against the wall– big surprise there, since he’s been telling me to ditch the crutches everytime I’ve seen him.  I showed him the area on the lower half of my incision that is very painful and he said it looked like my shoe was irritating it…..I know that!!!  He gave me no suggestions other than saying, “I like your shoes”, no alternate shoe suggestions….  Told me I get more PT and off he went….that took maybe 2 minutes…

So, I’ve had no PT this week, as I wait for authorization from insurance for continuing, and my burning heel continues to keep me from doing more than I have been doing as far as walking and putting weight on the leg….kind of stuck here…..I continue to do my PT exercises at home twice a day and ride my recumbent bike, as well. 

My mind just keep saying, “If I could only find the right sock, the right shoe, etc., I could be walking more without this horrible burning ankle”.  But, my rational mind tells me that this injury will heal in its own time.  So, that’s where I’m at right now….am grateful for the progress I am making, but feeling stuck.

Hope you all are healing and moving along this rocky road we all must travel –some faster than others :)



2 responses so far

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