2years post op, upper Achilles pain?

June 20, 2015

Prior to my tear over 2 years ago the pain I had was in my heel.

I have not had that pain since the surgery but recently I have started having some pain well above my surgery location but below my calf. Has anyone else had that pain and if so any helpful hints would be welcome.

I’m hoping it’s the last bit of stretching of my tendon but I’m worried that somehow I did some damage to it (I don’t run or jog anymore, if I need to I figure I’m late already :)


April 23, 2014

So monday the 21st was 1 year since my tear and this coming monday will be 1 year since surgery.

I am still cautious about jogging but my Dr. reassures me that I so long as i stretch before I shoudl have no problem. My next move is to get new sneakers (or as my friends down here in the south say, Tennis Shoes)

Its been a weird year but other than runnign or jogging Im doing everythgint I used to do. My neighbors sure do like it tht Im actually gardening this spring, WOW what a difference a year makes.

For those of you who have just started the marathon, it seems like a never ending struggle but just keep at it. ELEVATE THAT LEG!

For those of you in PT - make sure to keep STRETCHING under the direction of your DR and PT of course

For those of you out of PT, keep moving. Every day is better than the last.

Good luck you marathoners and thanks to all of you who helped me through it in the beginning!

scar tissue post-PT

September 22, 2013

So apparently even though you need PT and want PT and your Dr. Prescribes PT and your PT says you need more, your insurance is the final decision maker for your medical well being. Maybe Obamacare will fix that?? (Don’t really want to get into that conversation)

My question is whether anyone else has tried a “Tommie Copper” ankle brace or similar product to help relieve some swelling and reduce scar tissue?

Someone I know has used one for his knee and I know the ankle brace leaves the heel open but maybe it would help??

TWO SHOES - Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking . . .

July 28, 2013

I cant believe that it has taken me 3 weeks to log back on here and post this, to my fellow bloggers and readers I am sorry. Seems that once the boot is off and I’m in two shoes, life takes over again, especially once the freedom to drive is restored.

I went to the Dr. 3 weeks ago (10 weeks post op to the day) and he took me out of the boot and put me in two shoes and like a mother bird threw me out of the nest to fly. What he actually said/yelled was “WALK WITHOUT A LIMP” and then he turned to my wife and told her to smack me when she saw me limping. Real nice, right! :)

So there I was, bootless, crutch-less and in a pair of 10 year old sneakers shuffling around praying that I could get to my PT appointment have them really work on me so I don’t get black and blue from being smacked around by my wife.

Fast forward to today. I gauge my recovery not on how I feel at the end of the day but how I walk when I wake up in the morning. If I can get out of bed and within 3 or 4 steps not limp and not feel any ankle pain (more on that later) then I know I’m doing well.

Prior to my injury I had bad ankles, so it goes to reason I would still have them post-op which I do. Being in a splint/cast/boot for 10 weeks didn’t help my ankle either and now I find that my discomfort is not in my Achilles, which my PT says is progressing well, but in the ankle. Now I have to stretch the ligaments in my ankle around the top to allow me greater dorsiflexion.

Started those at home last week and my PT has told me to continue to do them with both feet but to shift my weight over my right foot to strengthen my calf muscles. I anticipate going to one foot heel lifts within a week.

My Therapist gave me one of these to stretch. It’s just a wooden wedge that you put against the wall and step on to stretch out your Achilles. I think of it as a torture device but I know the more I use it the better I will feel. I have it in my office right now so that every 90 minutes I get up and walk around and stretch.

Hope all is going well with everyone else and I promise to be online a little more now that I seem to have caught up on 10 weeks of captivity in 3 weeks time.


June 20, 2013

I have read a lot about PT and talked with my DR and with some of my Dr.’s staff and much of what I read talks about how you go to PT get the exercises and do them at home. Some even say you just need to go a couple of times and then there is no need.

While I understand there is a financial piece to the PT appointment, a co-pay here in the U.S., other than still not being able to drive to PT, I would love to go there every day if I could. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t. I started with my first visit on Monday which wasn’t much more than meeting the PTherapist, meeting his staff, getting a personalized home exercise routine, going over the home exercises/stretches and then getting a 10 minute ice down.

I thought, hmm that’s kind of lame but then again I just started, let’s see how visit #2 goes. That was yesterday and it was hard core and a lot of fun!

1. Met with my PTherapist, SERGE (No not the Serge from the wedding planner :) haha) he did some ROM tests and stretches.

2. Then I had the massage therapist come in and he massages my lower leg, WOW that was tight.

3. Then the Massage Therapist did some ultrasound to help break up scar tissue

4. Then met with my trainer who had me do:

A. 7 minutes on an exercise bike
B. all of the home stretches but with weights (found out later it was basically 1 pound of weight, enough to get a burn in my calf)
C. a contraption to work on strength in my toes - personally the most frustrating for me because I had good strength in my toes and now I have none
D. another home-made contraption to work on toe strength. Looked like something from old England out of the Tower of London - “Off with your toes!”

5. Then I got E-Stim and an ice bath at the same time. So refreshing.

By the time I was done there I had a LOT more ROM than I did before and it gave me hope that when the PT said he could have me playing golf by mid July and walking the course by Mid August that he really meant it.

Supposedly the heel lift comes off tomorrow and then I have 2 weeks left in the boot and onto 2 shoes and DRIVING.

Oh the Humanity

June 9, 2013

I am very disappointed in our community here at Achillesblog.com. I think I’m pretty good at searching and finding things on the internet so maybe I missed it but I couldn’t find a single post about cast removal and the associated smell. I know this isn’t a scratch and sniff blog but a little heads up would have been nice. So this post will start out with a fair warning to bring nose plugs when you get your cast removed!!!

cast off

Mine was removed 4 weeks after it was put on and that was after being in the splint for 2 weeks post-surgery so all told that’s 6 weeks of no bathing of the foot and according to the Tech who removed the cast my foot was soaking in sweat. My wife told me to stop wiggling my toes as the smell seemed to be released by the movement.

With that disappointment behind me I met with the Dr. and he tested the strength and flexibility of the toes and foot and moved me into a boot for 4 weeks with PT starting ASAP 2 times a week. He admitted that he was being very conservative with me based on the severity of the tear and the amount of torn tendon he had to remove plus the tendon transfer from my big toe. I’m scheduled to see him again in 4 weeks (July 5) and based on what he sees then moved to two shoes and hopefully be cleared for driving.

I was allowed to sleep without the boot based on my answers to the following questions:
1. Do you normally get up during the night? NO
2. Does your wife kick in her sleep? NO

I slept with the lining of the boot on my foot the first night and woke up with it off so last night I slept with just a sock on. What a relief. I’m still not sleeping well just out of fear of hurting it at night but I think that will subside.

Word to the wise. When moving into a boot, bring a tube sock. I thought about it before i went and grabbed one from the drawer which was good because without it the stench would have transferred to the boot and I would have to live with that for the next 4 weeks.

Thumbs up

What to expect when you’re expecting . . . to get your cast off

June 4, 2013

Just trying to think of a creative title to capture your interest in my blog.

My last post stated that I was off to the lake for Memorial Day. That was fun. I had the garbage bags on my foot the entire time but it was nice to be outside on the lake. Drove the boat for a verrrryyyyy little bit only after our friend beached it and had to jump into the water to push it out. Enjoyed driving off and leaving our friends, their kids and my wife and kids (all but our oldest) swimming in the lake yelling for me to come back. My oldest thought that was hilarious. I thought it was funny for about 2 minutes until I realized that any longer means I would be paying for it later. Also, I got a kick out of watching the wives get tossed around on the inner tube.

Now back to the reason for the post - I am going to the Dr. Friday morning to have my cast removed and I am expecting to be put into a boot. I’ve had the cast on for 4 weeks now, prior to that I was in a splint for 2 weeks post-surgery so I’ve been on crutches for a total of 6 weeks now (I’m a math scholar, cant you tell!)

My list of questions for the Dr. are below. I would appreciate any/all input from the community on additional questions, what to expect as a typical response from my Dr. etc. I know some of my questions are going to be dependent on what the Dr. sees but here it goes:

1. When can I start PT?
2. Bath/showering - can I ditch the garbage bags and shower/bathe without the boot on?
3. Pool - can I go in (I have a saltwater pool if that matters)
4. Driving (haha but I might as well ask)
5. Sleeping - can I remove the boot
6. Pedicure - This one was added to the list by my wife, but I’m sure it would feel really great!!

ATR surgery or age, hmm

May 26, 2013

If you have been reading my bolg you know that Friday was my b-day. My wife took me out with some friends to Capital Grille here in Plano, TX. After a cocktail at the bar, a Ribeye, 2 bottles of my new favorite wine Cotes-Du-Rhone and then a special coffee drink with Baileys and Tequila I woke up the next day with the biggest hangover that I couldnt shake. Im going to blame it on the surgery I had 4 weeks ago and not the 41 years of fine aging of myself :)

Meanwhile, an update on the ant/ant killer issue:
I got fed up with the feeling of the ant killer rolling around in my cast so the genius in me was working at my computer and thought, what about blowing it out with air. I was cautioned multiple times of putting something in my cast (didnt heed those warnings with the ant killer, haha) so I pulled out the air can that you use to clean computer keyboards. I then proceeded to blow some up my toes and immediately thought, wow thats cold. It was then that I decided to look at the can and noticed that it can cause forstbite if it comes in contact iwth the skin. I spent the next hour reading up about frostbite and freaking out.

Needless to say I dont have frostbite and the ant killer didnt come out of the cast so 12 days from now it will probably come rolling out on my Drs office floor.

Off to the lake tomorrow and will be brining about a case of garbabge bags and Duct tape. Would normally bring a case of beer too but thats not happening after yesterdays hangover. fun fun fun.

B-Day and ants - ahhhhhhhh

May 24, 2013

This is both a self-serving and informative post.

#1. Today is my 41st B-day and I am exactly 4 weeks post-surgery and almost 5 weeks since the rupture.

#2. Now for the informative part. My business partners sometimes call me Mr. or Captian obvious and the following information is why. I looked outside today at the pool and noticed a big mound of dirt. Having decided to take the day off because of my B-day (see #1 above :) - haha) I took the liberty of going outside to see why there was dirt there. Turns out that it was a large ant pile. I guess the wet and hot weather brought them to the surface recently. To combat them I went to the garage and pulled out the ant killer and crutched over to where they were.

Looking only at the ant pile I was working on I did not notice there were ants behind me; lo and behold a couple crawled onto my exposed toes that were part of my right foot which is currently in a fiberglass cast. OUCH. As I was wiping them off my foot I spilled some of the ant killer onto my foot and now I have some of it in my cast. Feels like when you get sand in your shoe at the beach except you cant take off the cast and spill it out. ARRGGGHHHH - 2 more weeks - hopefully it falls out gradually.

With that said my obvious advice is, dont go around ants in your cast. not fun when they get inside!!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone. For those not in the US have a great weekend too.

Swelling and Wiggling - 3 weeks post surgery

May 20, 2013

Just as I started creating this post I looked at the calendar and noticed that tommorow will be exactly 1 month (yesterday was 4 weeks) since my ATR. I went the scene of the tear yesterday to watch some of my friends play softball (took a picture and posted it with #tornachilles as part of the tweet).

Anyway, I digress. My post is about swelling and wiggling. I have notied that 3 weeks since the surgery and 1 week into this cast the swelling has started to go down. That doesn’t mean its gone because if I dont elevate it above my heart - or as my Dr. said “TOES TO NOSE” - my foot gets uncomfortable.

I can wiggle my toes as my Dr. said to do for several reasons, one of which is that I had a tendon transfer as par tof my surgery and the Dr. wants me to wiggle my big toe so that I have strength in it when the cast comes off. As a result of the decrease in swelling (and my calf muscle has continued to atrophy) my cast is getting looser on my foot and leg. Which brings me to my question, when wiggling my toes yesterday I realized that unwittingly I started to flex my foot - dorsiflexion I belive is the term when your foot is flexed towards your shin. I feel no pain but mentally that worries me, so I have stopped wiggling my toes up and down for now. Anyone have any thoughts about that?