miamistylez’s AchillesBlog

Just another weblog

Say it ain’t so…….

Here we go..  07/20/2011 time, 8:45pm, Place: Jose Martin Park- Event: Basketball Championship Game (B-Class Teams)

Prelude to an Injury:

So… you hear the stories, you hear the fears, tears, cries of all the other Trauma Patients in the Ortho World, but you would NEVER think it would happen to you, why, because you stretch, stretch, stretch, and stretch some more until you have convinced yourself, that Today, I have done all due diligence to NOT get injured!

Opening Act:

First quarter, I’m on the bench (not because I am not the best, but because this is my first game back from a Boxer’s Fracture on my left hand with a partially cracked pinkie finger “8-weeks healing time”) back to the story… I am on the bench, watching the game and patiently awaiting my opportunity to show the team that I haven’t “lost a step” (yet) when my number gets called.. Can you imagine how happy I am right now! I check into the game and I’m running with joy (kid in a candy store) and we have the ball. My teammate  takes an ill-advised 3-pointer, he misses and I grab the rebound for the put back! I do my patented backwards trout thinking to myself “Man, I still have it!” About 4 steps into my celebratory backwards trout, I feel what I am still describing as a kick to the ankle. I am pissed! I thought someone from the other team was angry because I was “doing my thing” so I instantly turn around to address the culprit and guess what, No one was there! I was so prepared to ask the person why did they kick me only to turn around to look at everyone else down the floor already.

So, now it’s just me and my thoughts. I say, ok no one kicked me.. it was my imagination playing tricks on me once again. So, my team mates yell “Alan, get back on D!” so, I go to take a step with my right foot(injured foot) and I can’t! I look down and my foot is like “Hello! I’m still here but only connected via bone! The amazing thing, maybe shock, but I was in absolutely NO PAIN (more about that later) so, I call a time-out and limp my normally happy self back to the bench. Teammates ask me, AB, you good man and naturally I was saying, “Yea, I’m good, just a bad twisted, sprained, broken, something ankle, but I will be ok. Go out there and get one for me! So, while the game continued, I had the bright idea of (1) taking my shoe off to check the injured area (2) put my shoe back on to walk down the stairs and ask the receptionist for Ice. First bad idea, NEVER put your shoe back on if you think you have an achilles injury and second, never try to walk on it.

Well, now, not only does she not have ice, I have to walk back up the stairs, or not.. Well, Thank God for technology, I shot my friends a text message and decided to drive home. When I arrive at my house (10:30PM), I am walking sooooo slow, someone could’ve ran 5 miles before I could reach 100 feet. I instantly start my research to self-diagnose myself and I knew it was something wrong with my achilles. Well, thank god for AchillesBlog and YouTube. I break into Doogie Howser MD Mode, lay on my stomach and start to perform the Thompson Test and the two fingers up the back of your ankle to check for any gaps. Well, both test were positive. I had a silver dollar sized gap in the back of my ankle and squeezing my calf muscle produced absolutely no movement from my foot.

Now I am scared! I have been researching for hours, not sleeping, thinking about work, life, etc… and my last thought was “Say it ain’t so” I stretched until I couldn’t stretch anymore! I did everything I was suppose to do! OMG! So I call my Ortho at 5:00am (at his house) and said I have an Emergency, not the 911 kind, but the 811 plus 100 soon if you don’t help me out! I told him what happened and he asked me to meet him at the office at 7:00am I told him “I’m getting ready now because it’s going to take me forever to get there”.

Intermission: Driving to the Doctor’s Office

Part Duex: The Drama!

I arrive at the Doctors office at 7:15am and he has like 20 people waiting for him! I was like OMG! Was there an attack of the Achilles Snatchers last night! That was my original thought, but I had no idea why there were so many people there at 7:15am in the morning. Well, no worries, I know I would be seen first :0) So, I get called in the back and he’s looking at my foot and proceeded to do the Thompson test and the 2 finger test. I told him, “Doc, I did that already, can’t you do another test to make me feel better and tell me that It’s not as bad as I think” he said NOPE. He states, you have completely torn your achilles. To what extent, I do not know yet, but I can only give you your options from this point forward! Of course, “Say it ain’t so!!! So, he gave me two options, but the 2nd option involved no surgery and wearing a cast for 75% of the year and I told him that is NOT an option. So, I selected the surgery option in which he told me that he could fit me in on Friday at some point but didn’t know when yet. I told him that was fine and they proceeded to do the Pre-Surgery Prep on me.


Well, I will skip the part where I was admitted to the hospital because my blood pressure was up so high and get to the “Tap Tap Tap” and surgery part.

“Tap, Tap, Tap and Surgery”

Well.. I am laying in my hospital gown finally getting some sleep on Thursday afternoon around 7:00pm and the first nurse comes in to check my blood pressure and to tell me that I will be having surgery at 11:00am on Friday morning. I said ok and go back to sleep. Around 12:30am I am finally in a good deep sleep when I feel..”tap tap tap on my shoulder. I wake up with a lady from registration asking me” Sir, how would you like to pay for your hospital stay right now”. I asked her, “Are you kidding me!” you couldn’t wait until the morning to ask me that! I tell her I need 5 minutes and to my surprise, she comes back in exactly 4 minutes. I asked her to hand me my pants to that I can grab my wallet and pay my $900.oo hospital stay!

The Aftermath:

Surgery went well and I am placed in a GINORMOUS plaster cast that you absolutely can not get comfortable with. While laying in my room all day just anticipating when the numbing agent would ware off I finally fall asleep. That numbing agent wore off around 3:00am in the morning!! Holy Haberdashery, Batman!!!  I was pressing that emergency Nurse Button soo many times! I wanted her in my room ASAP!! After a quick shot of “What did hell did you just give me” I was off to sleep! Amazing, I have absolutely NO PAIN in that area! The only thing the sucks is the CAST!!!!!

3 days Post Op , I had to get that Brick removed from my leg. I went to the doctor and practically begged him to remove that plaster cast. He obliged and gave me a nice DUKE U Blue fiberglass cast.

More to come:

My next Doctors Appt. will be Aug. 8th. I will beg my Doc for a nice new VacoCast walking boot.

I will let all the fellow A-Bloggers know whats the new update! Keep Hope Alive and keep those toes wiggling.. We will brick free of the Cast Soon!

4 Responses to “Say it ain’t so…….”

  1. normofthenorth Says:

    MiamiStylez, I kind of stopped reading abruptly, after your Surgeon told you that skipping surgery meant “wearing a cast for 75% of the year”. AAARGH!! I get so mad at surgeons who either haven’t read a scientific paper since Med School, or don’t mind lying to their patients to drum up some business and income. AAARGH!! Your grandfather’s surgeon had an excuse to spout such nonsense, but not yours. AAARGH!!

    The best new studies — e.g., check out (and the full text is on the site here) — used the same fast modern protocol (all boots, no casts) on their surgical and their non-op patients, and BOTH came out with excellent (and stat-identical) strength and ROM, and very low re-rupture rates.

    By the way, pre-sports stretching probably INcreases injury risk. We should forgive our coaches (esp. older guys like me), because the evidence wasn’t in yet, but now it is. Stretching sessions by themselves may be beneficial, but pre-sports stretching definitely makes you weaker, makes you play worse, and probably increases injury risk. Pre-sports warming-up may still be beneficial, but a huge percentage of the ATR folks here tore our ATs after warming up a ton. (I’ve torn both sides, and each time was late in a long evening of competitive volleyball, loose as a goose, then POP!)

    So spend some of your recovery time reading the research on stretching, and some of it printing out the UWO study for your surgeon, so you can find out whether he’s a scumbag or just uninformed. If he wants you to stay in a cast (vs. a boot) longer than 2 weeks, or otherwise suffer more than the patients in the UWO study did, he’s probably at least uninformed, and you should educate him.

  2. northrancher Says:

    Norm, this is such a critical point you’re making about stretching. Post-ATR recovery, what is the best way to handle stretching before any physical activity?

  3. mtbrider Says:

    75% of the year in a cast! That is one craaazy doctor. Now that you have had the op you can not go back, but hopefully after your research you are still happy with that choice eh, either way it will heal. Just think of the injury as a reality check in a way. You will heal, and you will resume sports but you will have a much better appreciation for all the little things in life too, like walking. Also look at it as not one long injury, but an injury with lots of huge accompishments along the way, such as getting into the fibregllss cast, then the boot, PWB, FWB, then removing wedges etc. You will get there, just do not be in no major hurry!

  4. miamistylez Says:

    Yea.. I thought 75% of a year in a cast was crazy too, I mean 7-9 months, but if you think about it, without surgery is it really that much of a stretch? I’ve spoken to some people who had surgery and they didn’t really feel themselves or at least 75% of themselves until 5-6 months after surgery.. so I mean, that’s half a year with surgery.. Without surgery, a few more months sounds reasonable to me, but it also may depend on the person and their level of injury. My Ortho is actually pretty good. He’s the Ortho surgeon for NBA, NFL and MLB Players, so that should say something about him. What I am finding out tho is that “Different Stokes for Different folks” Doctor X may want you do this and Doctor Y may want you to do that, but the end results are the same.. So I guess what I am trying to say is no matter how Doctors come to their conclusion of getting you healthy and back to normal as quickly as possible, they do what has worked for them with all of their surgeries combined.

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