Two Shoes 2/21/2012

Feb. 21, I was taken out of my boot for good and allowed in 2 shoes. I will wear a brace when working and officiating initially. I am now encouraged by my surgeon to do as many 2 legged toes raises as I can. PT has given me a routine with a number of sets of toes raises. I am also supposed to do toe raises with both legs at the same time but then lower myself on just my left(surgical tendon). This will strengthen and stretch the soleus calf muscle as well as help the gastroc. i am cleared to walk and start jogging slowley with a heel lift in as tolerated. My weight lifting is also as tolerated, except for the squats and leg press. I am allowed initially to leg press up to 130 pounds with my surgical ankle, and no more than 260 to 300 with both legs for this first week, then I can advance as tolerated. I now only see PT once a week for massage and stretching. I do my own pool therapy now that I am transitioned to dry land.

For all that are interested, start your pool therapy as early as your surgeon or PT allows. You. will make great strides by doing this.

I look forward to being ready to start officiating college baseball next month in AZ, 13 weeks post op for my achilles repair and transplant. The surgeon and PT staff have been very aggressive in rehab and it has paid off. My surgeon see’s no reason why I won’t be ready to fly out March 18 and start march 19. We will have 2 more Dr.’s appointments and he will sign off on the last one just a few days before I leave. I am hoping this wil happen. Hard work, doing it the right way and by the book as laid down by PT and the Dr. hopefully will pay off.

Keep the faith.

2 comments February 26, 2012

8 weeks post op

Valentines day, tomorrow is 8 weeks post op for me. I am still in the boot, locked in at 7.5 for the time being. I have already started the pool thereapy and have advanced quickly. I am cleared to lift weights as usual with the upper body but also to start lifting with the lower body.

I can get out of the boot and into tennis shoes to work out. Currently I am using the Nu-step and the stationary bike. I can use the leg press (both feet at the same time)no single leg presses with the surgical ankle. Hamstring and calf excercises. Basically anything that I want as long as I don’t put over half of my body weight on the surgical repair for another week. It feels great. My surgeon is laying out the plan along with my PT  for transitioning from pool thereapy to land therapy excercises and strength training. February 21 is 9 weeks and the plan is to get me out of the boot permanently a week from now, per my surgeon. I was fitted for an Arizona standard brace last Friday. I am to wear this during all officiating events for the next 6 months to a year untill it is fully strengthened. I tried a sample breace, and it actually is fairly comfortable as well as prevent over extension of the tendon on rapid starts.

The incision is great, fully healed, and actually doesn’t look bad. i have been putting vitamin E on the scar to minimize the scarring. Who knows if it actually works, but hey, it cost me $2.50, so what is there to lose.

As far as the brace, if nothing else, it will give me that peace of mind knowing that it is there initially. Mind over matter. Sometimes it isn’t the physical part that holds us back, but the mental part.

To all out there, keep the faith. It gets better. Take it easy and keep working the range of motion consistently as your surgeon allows.

Thanks to those for all of the personal emails giving me support.

2 comments February 13, 2012

Week 5

Week 5. I started PT last week. Everything is going well. I am still in the boot. The boot will be adjusted either tomorrow or on Wed. to allow for the increased dorsi and plantar flexion. I have had massage therapy each vist, which is three times per week. We have worked on stretching the achilles and getting back the range of motion in the ankle. All under the supervision of PT. We are using the stretch rubber bands at various resistance to regain flexability. Wed. I will start using 2 shoes with a lift in the surgical side shoe. This will be used only with PT and on the u-press machine to help in regaining flexability with minimal tendon stretch.

Jan. 31, I will start pool therapy twice a week, doing stretching, walking, lunges  to accelerate the process but in a safe and secure way because of the buoancy of being in the pool.

The surgeon and PT department are happy with the results as far as regaining flexability in the ankle. We will work more extensivley on the tendon itself in the pool. We will keep updating each week so that I can keep track of the progress. I will also get a copy of the actual protocol that we are following. All I can say for now, is that both the surgeon and PT staff are aggressive and I appreciate that.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Good luck to all that are recovering.

1 comment January 24, 2012

Three and a half weeks and counting.

Three and a half weeks post op. I am now set at 90 degree’s in the boot and told to go to PWB 25% to 50% until January 16 then progress as tolerated to FWB. Once I am at FWB and have my balance back, good bye crutches. I start physical therapy on Jan. 16 with full range of motion excercises for my ankle and tendon. I have been told that this is crucial, as there is a small window to get back and retain my full range of motion. PT will go through the excercises and then I will aslo have excercises to do at home in between appointments. I have no pain with the PWB, which is good. It feels good to be up and around on it. I can feel the loss of strength in my calf from having a cast on and the boot. This will come back in time as we progress. More later as I enter PT.

2 comments January 13, 2012

Surgery a success.

It’s a little over a week since my second surgery. My surgeon consulted surgeons in Minneapolis and Omaha, NE and they all concurred on the type of surgery. My surgery consisted of an achilles reconstruction with the Flexor Hallucis transfer - Biotenodesis screw “roped” onto tendon.  The surgery went well. If you go to this link it will show you pics of a surgery which is the same as the one that was performed on me. The foot surgery atlas is a great place for reasearch as well. Currently I am NWB and in a cast, which will be removed on Jan. 4. I will then be placed back into a boot. I don’t know what degress it will be set at as of now, however, I will be able to start PT the week of Jan. 9. I am looking forward to starting the PT. As I sit here typing, I move my toes, fles my foot somewhat…as much as possible and can feel the calf muscles move easily. To me thats a great feeling considering I couldn’t do it before. I will keep everyone posted on how the incison looks and waht happens on Jan. 4.

4 comments December 28, 2011

Surgery a 2nd time

I had a check up with my surgeon today and got some news I was not expecting. The small fracture on my heel which had been healing, was shown on an x-ray to have snapped off from the screw which was in place.

We will have surgery again this coming Monday, 12/19. This time around we will not treat it as a fracture but only as an ATR. The heel bone will be smoothed down, anchors implanted and the tendon lengthened with other tissue. The recovery protocol will only set me back approx. 2 weeks, which is good news. Instead of a goal of March 3, we are now extending it to march 19.

It is what it is. I am glad that we will not try to fix the small fracture and will just take the end of the tendon off of the small piece of bone and attatch it by lengthening and with anchors. This will allow greater attatchment and less possibility of a re-rupture, although I know that is always a possibility. I have pics, but have yet to figure out how to place them on the blog. We’ll check back in after the surgery, after I know how it went.

We will have the spinal again since it worked so well last time.

4 comments December 16, 2011

out of surgical splint, into a boot

It’s been a few days, my apologies. I had my appointment on 12/6 and the surgeon opted for a boot instead of a cast for the remainder. He set my angle at 30 degrees downward to help allow the tendon and heel bone to continue to heal. My incision looked good, he wanted to leave the stitches in another week. My next appointment is 12/16 when the stitches come out and he will do an xray. I am still NWB and will be until either 12/30 or 1/6/2012 depending on xrays. The great thing is that it is pain free, I am taking calcium with vitamin D as a supplement, my normal multi vitamin. I have started to get back on my protein drink twice a day, which gives me approx. 60 grams of protein to at least aid in the healing process. The surgeon also encouraged visiting and working out at the Y. Although he wants me NWB he wants me to work the leg, as in leg lifts etc. per PT. He wants the blood flow to increase which will aid in the healing process. The trainers at my YMCA and I am sure at most clubs, would be happy to show and demonstrate excercises that won’t cause further injury yet enhance muscle tone and blood flow. Always clear any workouts and excercises with your Dr. and or PT before doing them!!!

We will keep you updated. For now, all is well and I will just continue to do as directed. Good luck to everyone out there. I hope all goes well.

Add comment December 9, 2011

Week 1

Day 2, the day after surgery wasn’t as painful physically as I thought it would be. I kept my leg elevated and applied ice every 4 to 6 hours as directed for the first 48 hours. I found that I actually needed the Lortabs about every 6 hours for the first 48 hours. Day 2 was just as was prescribed R&R.

Day 3, I’m up and around. Working with the crutches. Learning the in’s and out’s of crutches 101. Seeking out short cuts in the fine art of crutching. I have no movement in my left foot except for my toes, which are fine. The splint has my foot in a slight downward slant to rest and allow the tendon to repair and re-attach. Throughout the day I am finding that I can slowly ween myself from the Lortabs and simply use tylenol.

Day 4, Since I am an electrician and own my own business, I can always find something to do. The trick for me was to get back into a routine of heading back to work. This mean’t no weight bearing, but I could get a lot of invoice/paperwork done. I also found it very useful and helpful to get back into the routine of going to the YMCA and working out the upper body. If nothing else, it is helping me to keep sane and steer clear of boredom. The pain has subsided quite a bit. I use 600-800 of ibuprofen for spasms in my tendon and ankle. This seem’s to work better for me than the Valium which made me sleepy. I am off the Lortabs, now just using tylenol 500’s x 2 for any pain, which is mainly from the incision rubbing and healling.

Day 5 and 6 are basically the same. I there is one suggestion I would make, it would be to get into a routine to stay mentally with it. Whether it be working out or whatever you can find to keep your mind in it as well as physically.

Day 7. I am big into officiating athletic contests, both high school and college. Normally I would be starting my season of wrestling officiating but that has ended even before it began because of the surgery. That won’t stop me from attending sporting events and watching the wrestling and basketball. Tonight I attended a wrestling dual meet which I was to have actually officiated. Well that didn’t happen and won’t since I have a projected recovery of 10 to 15 weeks recovery with aggressive rehab. I need to be back on the field by March 1 since that is when my college season will begin. Wish me luck. It will take work, but it is attainable. No pain, no pain tabs. Now just time and healing. I have mastered getting in and out of the truck and our mini-van. hoo-raa

5 comments December 2, 2011


I injured my achilles on November 11, 2011 officiating a 4A semi final high school game here in Iowa. It happened on the opening kickoff of the 2nd half. I felt a pull and a pop in the back of my left ankle/achilles area. What was funny, was that at the time there was no real pain. It ached and was tender but through adapting I finished the game. The next day I also had a college game, which they could find no substitute for. During college games I work at the Umpire position. I had felt worse pain in the service, so like a good boy, I sucked it up. The trainer taped it, I took Ibuprofen and worked the game without incident, of course limping.

On Monday I saw the specialist and the MRI was scheduled. A small rupture of the tendon, but the main problem was the avulsion of part of the heel bone. Was this smart, of course not. My point is this. Don’t over look the pain like I did, it is your body’s way of saying, hey stupid get help.

Just a little background so that you can all know how much I am into the athletic scene and how much I look forward to getting back to where I was. So here goes

Forgive me, I am starting this blog during the first week. I am new to blogging so please bear with me. I found this site and it has great info, so here it goes from day 1.

It’s time, 0600 rise and shine. I have to be at the hospital at 0700, Nov. 25, 2011 for pre-op, 0800 surgery.
MRI showed that I had not only ruptured my achilles but that I had also fractured a small part of my heel bone where the achilles attaches. I chose a spinal with a local marcaine block over a general. Let me tell you, I would do it all over again without hesitation. The tendon was repaired without incident. The surgeon replaced the fractured piece of heel bone which was still attached to the tendon by refitting it and placing a titanium screw in the heel bone. He also placed two titanium anchors to assist in anchoring not only the bone but re-attaching the tendon to the heel. He also overlayed muscle tissue to help secure the tendon. I am not sure what type of sutures he used, but I believe it is safe to say that since he did all of the above, I’m sure he tied some pretty knots. Surgery took a little longer than expected, just a little over two hours, but hey, what did I care. I was feeling pretty good at that point. The entire staff in pre-op, OR and recovery were great. It didn’t hurt that my wife is a Critical Care R.N. at the hospital and they all knew her. Either way, they are top notch. After I awoke, I was in a simple surgical splint with an ace wrap for the first two weeks for swelling. No Weight Bearing. Released to home with a marcaine block still in place for pain relief after the spinal wore off. Lortab 7.5-500, Valium 5mg for tendon spasms as needed.

4 comments  Tagged:  December 2, 2011

On the run

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