BOOT IS COMING OFF

I have reached the 7.5week mark and I only saw my specialist 2 hours ago.
He has now advised me the boot is now safe to come off and I am able to walk in shoes.
I will need to wear shoes with a nice sole to help the achilles and also do some exercises to assist.
Very exciting but scary at the same time because I do feel very safe in the boot but I need to trust the healing process and progress in my recovery.

Upper calf pain

I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this but numbing pain in the calf when I stand up from sitting or laying down.
I’m currently at 6 weeks since the injury occurred.
I had this pain for the first couple of weeks but then it went away, but I got a massage last Wednesday and the pain has come back since.
Any ideas?

The story of my Achilles injury

Hello to all and thank you for clicking into my story.

My name is Matthew and I am a 27yr old male living in Sydney Australia.
I am normally a very active person so as you can all understand, this injury limits that very much.
My story is below and I am only at week 4 of the injury as I write this.
The injury occurred on September 5th 2017.
My injury happened during a soccer match with all my friends.
I was playing goalkeeper at the time when suddenly I went to take off to intercept a ball.
As I took off, I heard a massive pop noise and I fell straight to the floor.
I looked back thinking “Who just kicked my foot? What has happened?” but no one was behind me.
I laid down on the ground knowing I have just torn my achilles.
My injured left foot wouldn’t stop shaking and I had absolutely no control over it.

I knew in that moment I would have to go directly to the hospital.
Since it was my left foot and I drive an automatic car, I decided to drive straight to the hospital on my own.
I hobbled for about 50metres into the emergency room and a few hours later the doctors confirmed my thoughts.
I was put into a cam-boot with 6 wedges and given crutches.
The wedges sit under the heel and are designed to elevate your heel so the foot sits in a position to heal itself.
I was then told I would have to go for an ultrasound the next day then seek advice from the orthopedic specialist from the hospital.
This was one of the hardest nights of my life I have been through.

The next day I went from an ultrasound and it was found there was a 13mm gap and the achilles was completely ruptured.
I went back to the hospital and the specialist advised I would have to keep weight off it for about 7 days.
A compression sock was recommended to help with swelling and bruising so we put that on.
This was pretty painful as I can’t move my heel and they want to put this tight sock over it!!!
We get there in the end with some metal piece of equipment which expands the sock so my foot can go easily through.
After this we discussed surgical verse non surgical.
The non surgical route is what he recommended as he hasn’t performed surgery in an achilles for about 3 years.
Apparently surgery can cause blood clots, infections and surgery was only needed if I wanted to get back to competitive sport quicker in the long run.
His recommendation was without surgery but in the cam-boot for the whole recovery so I took the advice.

For the next week or so I struggled as being in this boot 24/7 is challenging.
I had to buy plastic sheets which I could put over the boot to shower.
Also had to borrow a wooden stool which I use to sit on inside the shower.
My foot always has to be elevated so a few pillows below the leg when laying down and sleeping.
Using the crutches up and down stairs can be a headache until you get used to it.
The pain in this first week wasn’t too bad, I was taking a painkiller once a day to help.
The only time I experienced terrible pain was when I would rush to get up and I would get a numbing pain in the calf muscle.
After about 20 seconds that pain would go away.

I saw the specialist 10 days after (September 15th).
He ran his hands over the injury and said it felt really good.
Apparently my achilles injury is a little bit higher up then normal which means it’s closer to the calf muscle.
This is a good thing because it means the blood has less distance to travel to the injury so there may be a chance mine may heal better.
His advice was every 2 weeks we take 2 wedges out and then I see him again on the 27th October 2017.
On the 27th we will take the boot off.
The specialist advised me to try to walk on it as much as I can but keep the crutches at all times.
Once I feel any pain then that is the sign I am going too hard.
The boot can come off if it really needs to but try to keep it on as much as possible.

It’s not until I was on the third week that I felt a little bit of progress.
I was starting to put more and more pressure on the foot but still with crutches.
Mentally I think I’m a bit scared to walk on the foot without crutches.
I did try but my brain said “STOP!!!” so I didn’t go through with it.

For the next week after seeing the specialist I felt like no progress was being made.
I was doing the same things every day and not much was feeling different.
There was no pain anymore in the achilles but there was stiffness in my left hip.
I think being in the same elevated position all day but stiffens the hip because it’s moving.

From the specialists advice on September 29th, I took 2 out of 6 wedges out which meant that 4 remained inside.
My foot was a bit more comfortable as it wasn’t raised as much.
I had to take off the boot for about an hour so it could be washed.
Luckily in Australia right now we aren’t in summer for another couple of months.
I’m now confident in going distances of a few hundred steps with the boot but it sure is tiring with crutches.

I spoke to one of my friends who is a physio and we decided that coming in for acupuncture and stretching of the hip will help with recovery.
I started this last Wednesday 27th September.
It was really good to loosen up the hamstring, lower back and hip.
My physio performed a Thompson test and my foot still doesn’t move.
I am wondering when this comes back?

A week on from that and I am able to hobble without crutches.
Right now I’m 4 weeks from the initial injury.
Still not walking cleanly but I hope in the next week or so I show more improvement.
I have another physio session tonight so I will update my blog in the next couple of days.

If you can comment any advice and give any tips for what I have in store for the next couple of weeks that would be great.
I will keep updating my post as weeks go on and I’ll let you know how I am coming along.

Thank you for reading my story and I hope I have brought some insightful info to some of you.

UPDATE (October 9th 2017): On October 7th 2017, my first steps were taken without crutches in the cam-boot.
To be safe though, If I leave the house I am still using the crutches as a precaution.
It is only if I am at home and quickly need to get something close, I am trusting myself without crutches.
This Friday I take 2 more wedges out so I am very excited for this.

UPDATE (October 12th 2017): Last night I had my third physio session.
So far it has been massages and acupuncture because my left hip and hamstring are really tight and lock up.
The great news is, the physio performed the Thompson test and for the first time my foot moved.
This is telling us that the tendon has reattached (if even only partially) in some way.
VERY EXCITING!!!

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