Brief history

Hi all. Ruptured achilles playing squash on 18/9/08 - 5 days before my new son was born! GP, minor injuries unit and A&E (sorry UK acronyms) all failed to diagnose rupture! Private physio some 6 weeks later identified rupture that was then confirmed by ultrasound. Surgery on 29/11/08 using flexor hallucis longus tendon. In walking boot now but wound breakdown and infection delaying recovery. Readmitted for intravenus antibitoics and copius oral antibitoics with many unpleasent side-effects! In short it has been hell pre and post surgery! Failure to diagnose rupture by NHS (public health service) has made the experience much longer and complicated than it should have been.

8 Responses to “Brief history”

  1. Hi Michael,
    You’ll find quite a few missed diagnoses on here and wound complications. The important thing is that you are now in recovery. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask as we’ve all been in the same boat.

    I did mine rugby training and my club physio told be it was a sprain or a dead leg and to try an run it off. Thankfully I ignored her advice and went to A&E.

    Hopefully the would will setttle quickly and you can continue to your recovery.

    Happy healing,

  2. Jon
    Thanks for your reply. Yes you are right, some 4 months down the line now I am at last seeing some improvement.
    I guess my biggest question is despite visits to my GP and 2 A&E departments with a suspected ATR, no scan was undertaken. Is this common NHS practice?
    Since I was forced down the private route (I am lucky enough to have limited private cover) the complications and numerous out-patient and drugs charges has cost me lot of money.

  3. Hi Michael,

    I too was misdiagnosed by NHS Walk in Centre, or rather they said I had ruptured my achilles but all I needed to do was to rest and ice my leg for 2 weeks and then put on hot wheat bags for 2 more weeks, eventually I went privately to see specialist and was diagnosed and operated on next day fortunately my PPP insurance covered the cost for me.

    I ‘walked’ or rather plodded around for nearly 3 weeks so I have a good idea of what you were like.

    As Jon said lots of people in same position as you luckily I had no complications, I had my leg in plaster for 10 weeks then on crutches for another month, then just the 1 crutch for security really. I still walk slowly and am very cautious on slippery pavements. Had a little slide last week when walking to the shops fortunately I was able to grab hold of a bus-stop pole!!

    Good luck

  4. Thanks Annie.
    Have you complained to the NHS? I have and am awaiting a reply. Not sure what I am expecting though!
    For me the failure to diagnose meant:
    1 Six weeks hobbling around in immense pain
    2 When diagnosed, surgery was my only treatment option
    3 Ten weeks before surgery (by which time the ruptured ends of my AT had unfurled meaning that tendon transfer was required
    4 Having to ‘borrow’ a tendon from my foot so that my big toe now does not bend!
    5 Development of wound breakdown and infection which has cost me a fortune in out-patient treatment (my private cover has an annual limit on out-patient treatment)
    Sorry if this appears negative but for the sake of a scan directly after the rupture all or most of this could have been avoided.

  5. Hi Michael,

    I did think about complaing but never got round to it. It was the opening day of the NHS Walk in Centre so I suppose all the staff etc. were new to each other, although I was examined by a practice nurse and a doctor. I never needed a scan as the private doctor did the Thompson test and that was it.

    I suppose I should have googled achilles rupture after the NHS told me just to see what treatment should have been done, but I had misguided faith in NHS…

    Anyway, remain positive, don’t let the wound problems get you down.

    I’m a little tired this morning, brain not fully awake, watching City beat Newcastle was a bit of a shock to the system for us City fans!!

    Anyway, good luck with your progress

  6. Hi all
    Really great reading about everyone’s experiences. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to contribute to this site.
    One question: Because of the delay in my reconstruction (around 10 weeks post rupture) it was necessary to reconstruct my AT using flexor hallucis longus tendon taken from the arch of my foot. Has anyone else had this procedure and, if so, can they get in touch and/or share their experiences?

  7. I had this procedure. I am now 8 weeks post surgery, 2 weeks in boot and 1 week into physical therapy. I am very happy at this point. I had no pain after the surgery at all. The only pain I have had since this whole ordeal started was going into the boot which is better now. the tendon is tight and PT is uncomfortable at times depending on how much I push it with the stretching. I can not bend my big toe however. The therapists have requested a transcript of the surgery because I guess most times with the FHL transfer there is a second incision but I only have one. Do you have one or two incisions? If you google FHL transfer there is a site which shows color pictures of the entire surgery. Pretty cool. Keep me posted on how you are doing.

  8. Hi Wilddog and thanks for your quick reply. I had surgery on 29/11/08 so I am now nearly 9 weeks post-op. I definately had FHL transfer since I have a 3 inch incision in the arch of my foot. I can’t see how they would do FHL transfer without an incision but what do I know! I have had wound breakdown and infection since week 2. This has been a pain since it meant removing my cast each week to check and redress my wound and loads of antibiotics including intravenus - plenty of nasty side effects! Looks like I have finally licked the infection now but am not quite out of the woods! I moved to a boot at 5 1/2 weeks. No PT yet but hope to start in around 2 weeks, i.e. week 11.
    Why did you require FHL transfer? I can wiggle my big toe quite well at the moment. I have no pain now since the wound has finally healed up. I have had no pain from the AT and FHL.

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