Apr 12 2011

Moostax

It’s about time I posted……

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I seem to be taking the standard path of recovery for AT Blog members, as we heal and the demands of life and work return to normal we loose contact with the blog and the post updates grow longer.
So, some 10 weeks since my last entry here is the current state of play.
I finally got off “the plateau” from my last post about 4 weeks ago when I noticed the limp was almost gone and started to wake up in the morning and not think about my AT.
My PT sessions ended about 5 weeks ago when we got to the point of just doing strengthening exercises that could easily be carried out at my own gym, so on early Monday morning I packed my bag W(Which I never thought I would do again some 20 weeks ago!) and tentatively set off a pre work gym session.
Thankfully, the initial and subsequent sessions went OK with no complaints from the AT, although over the last two weeks I have stepped up a level that caused my AT to let me know it is still there and maybe back off a bit. Again from reading other blogs, I took the advice given and listened to my AT so hopefully did not do too much, if any damage.
One thing I notice though, I can put in some good sessions on the bike, rowing machine and treadmill (walking, not running) kit with no issues but when I try cross trainer my AT is letting me know within a few 100M has any body else experienced pain or over stretching on a cross trainer?
Funnily enough, one of the big issues I seem to have now is not with my AT but with the core muscles in my lower back. I don’t know If they have been weakened by inactivity during the NWB or PWB periods of recovery or if they have been over strained by compensating for the limp recovery period but by the end of the day I have a lot of pain in the lower back (Left side same as AT rupture). Has anyone had a similar experience? I’m going to start some core work tomorrow at the gym to see if the situation improves and hopefully doesn’t make things worse.
I saw my consultant last Friday 21 weeks post op and he was pleased with the recovery to date, the illusive single heal raise is still not there yet but again he did not seem concerned at this stage and suggested I see him again in six months to hopefully to be signed off.
So that’s about it, I will try to keep the posts more up to date than of late although I still visit the site every few days to keep track of everyone’s recovery.
Again, to those of you new to this world and maybe in the darker times; it does get better.
I feel I am 90% back to normal now but in the low times I thought I would never be at the gym or playing softball on the beach with the kids 20 weeks later, so I guess time is the great healer (as well as some PT and a good protocol -thanks Norm!).
Take care, stay positive & keep healing,
Mark.

One response so far

Feb 01 2011

Moostax

On the plateau @ 12 weeks…

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Now the sites back up and running again (thanks Dennis, I never realised how much I’d miss it!) I thought I should update me recovery blog, I feel an awful lot seems to have happened during the site downtime with respect to my recovery…. PWB….FWB….Lose the boot….Two Shoes…Lose the crutches!
I saw my consultant on Jauary 14th who was very pleased with the progress, he doesn’t need to see me now for another 3 months so I suppose that’s a positive sign as well.
So now at 12 weeks I look back on what I feel is a fairly rapid transition from PWB to 2 shoes. After a few PT sessions the tendon felt good and with considerably improved ROM I took Norms advice and discussed the more intensive protocol that Norm champions which seems to return positive results. Fortunately I have a very enthusiastic physiotherapist who encouraged this approach so off we went.
I have been very committed over the past weeks to the PT protocol applying the theory “little and often” which seems to suit me and my AT.
I am sure most of you will agree as well that it is very, very important to “listen to your AT” I have been in and out of my office a few times over the last week, today however is my second consecutive day back at work and my AT is just starting to let me know it’s still there. If I’m needed in the workshop its three floors down (no lift) and a good five minute walk/limp to get there.

Reading some other Blogs I think that I am now “on the plateau” after this initial quick progress I seem to have reached a point where progress is less noticeable, but I keep telling myself it’s a long road. This may however also be because my (at home) PT has become less frequent as I get more involved again with my work demands.

The main issues I see at this point are swelling, stiffness of the tendon, balance/limp and muscle weakness. Those one legged heel raises seem a long way off, but then I remember before Christmas FWB seemed a distant dream!
With regards to the swelling my Physio has suggested trying a compressive sock, they are like the ones you may find on your legs after surgery to prevent blood clots but a bit thicker material, I suppose they might be similar in away to flight socks. Has anybody tried these? I may give them a go because at the end of the day the ankle size noticeably differs from the morning’s appearance.

I must sign off for now, I think it’s time for me to construct a leg support under my desk!

One note, on my last clinical visit my consultant described my recovery to date as “Phenomenal” which really inspired me considering how I felt in the early weeks when I honestly never thought i’d walk again, so for anyone new to the injury and maybe in the dark days, it really does get better, be positive and you will get through it.

Take care, Happy New Year and keep healing!
Mark.

2 responses so far

Dec 21 2010

Moostax

Progress at last!

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Last Friday (5wks 3 days post op) I saw my doctor one brief examination later I was issued at last with a protocol for my rehabilitation and cleared for PWB (at last). Across the hall I went to the PT for my first trial which thankfully turned out to be not as painful as I expected it would be. It seems however that due to the extended NWB / conservative approach of my surgeon it seems that there is more atrophy to the muscle and stiffness to the joint than expected so I may be in for some intense PT sessions. I was given some exercises and stretching to carry out at home and off I went.
Today (6 weeks post op) more PT this time it was a lot more aggressive (ok more painful) with some AT stretching and Theraband work but more emphasis placed on getting the bits and pieces in the foot working again. After this session I am more confident now with my AT (I know its not going to snap again at the slightest strain).
So, on the whole I’m a lot more positive now I’m respect to my recovery.
The other sympathetic AT seems to be OK now as well because I’m starting to be more mobile again (fingers crossed). Next PT is Thursday 30th Dec. Hopefully the snow has cleared by then so my wife can get her car off the driveway!
Take care everybody and have a happy Christmas

2 responses so far

Dec 03 2010

Moostax

Sympathetic Achilles!

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OK here’s a strange one…. I think my other Achilies tendon is now in sympathy for my injured one!

For the last two days now I have had an aching pain in my right (uninjured) tendon/ankle.
I can’t work it out because I’m totally NWB and following my surgeons instructions to the letter, “rest, rest, rest” I’m literally only moving to go to the bathroom or to bed.

Has any one else had this symptom? I’m a bit worried I may be doing something wrong and loading up the other tendon in some way preparing that one for rupture.

My next hospital appointment is Dec 17th, do I mention it then or get some attention before then?

Thanks, Mark.

6 responses so far

Dec 02 2010

Moostax

Impressed Newbie!!!!

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Wow! what can I say, i am so impressed with the comments I recieved from my first ever post.
Thank you all for your comments, support and advice i really really appreciate it. The last few days I’ve been a bit down, but reading the blogs on the site ther seems to be a trend of feeling like there is little or no progress at these early stages. But like i said your comments have really lifted my mood. A thank you to Aileen as well from my wife who is now planning a layout for strategically positioned chairs around the house, apparently she to hates washing and ironing! LOL.
Thank you all again! Best wishes and a speedy recovery to you all.
Mark.

2 responses so far

Nov 30 2010

Moostax

Newbie Blogger!

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Well here goes, 40 years old and this is my first blog so forgive me if it’s a bit amateurish.
I’m now 3 weeks post operative and so glad I found this site; I was starting to think I was the only person out there going through this!
I injured my left Achilles on October 13th chasing a thief from my house! Did I catch him? Yes, but I couldn’t do much else because it felt like my shoe was filling up with blood and I was more concerned with getting back home.
I knew what I had done as soon as it happened but didn’t expect the pain that came with it. When I got home I couldn’t move so it was a blue lights and sirens ambulance trip to hospital for me that night – another first!
I have nothing but praise for the ambulance guys, totally professional and reassuring. Unfortunately when I got to the hospital is when the care level of care took a down turn. When I eventually saw the doctor he examined me and carried out what I think was the Thompson test. When he peeled my off the ceiling he said I had probably ruptured my tendon. I had a back slab plaster fitted given some anti inflammatory drugs and sent home with an appointment in the fracture clinic in 6 days time.
After a two hour wait in clinic with my foot on the floor (it had swelled up like a balloon by then) I was seen by a doctor who could not find my notes, he thought I had a broken ankle even though I told him what I had done and then began to examine my broken ankle! (Another very painful experience).
I was then sent home in another back slab cast with an appointment for a scan the following week. Unfortunately over the weekend I caught a fever and had to cancel my scan appointment on Monday, to my dismay I was then told the next available appointment was in 3 weeks time. At this point I lost all confidence in my local hospital and sought the possibility of being seen as a private patient in another hospital. (fortunately after some negotiations my insurance company agreed to pay the costs) Thankfully after my initial private consultation things moved really fast, and I was examined, scanned and operated on within 24hrs.
The scan revealed a 90% rupture of the left Achilles tendon and the consultant said he always recommended surgery if the tear exceeded 50%, so under the knife I went.

I was back home in the back slab the following day with a sack full of tablets, and strict instructions to rest with the injured leg raised and of course I was now non weight bearing.

Two days later back to the hospital for the dressing changed and then back in a back slab.
A week later I was back for another dressing change of the wound and an examination from my consultant. He was pleased with the scar and said I was a good healer (hopefully this will prove to be the case long term!) During this visit I had the back slab removed and was fitted with an orthopaedic boot at a fixed angle with my toes down. I read on other blogs about boots and air casts and assume this is the same, though I think some other people’s boots allow a degree of movement?

During the above week I also had the misfortune of injuring my left shoulder (rotator cuff) which is apparently a common injury for people new to NWB Crutch life! So more enforced rest. A point to note though I injured the shoulder climbing the stairs as instructed by my physiotherapist so maybe the best way is to go up on my backside?
Not wanting to risk further injury though I have resorted to sleeping down stairs on an inflatable bed (Argos 634/1378 £50 and worth every penny).

Next appointment is December 17th so I assume it just healing and dealing with the boredom until then, pain is not too bad now although the leg is completely immobilised. My consultant is adamant that I rest but I see from other blogs that people are quite active post op (is it too early at 3 weeks post op?)

As I said the pain is manageable now without pain killers so that must be progress and that feeling of throbbing in the foot when you stand up has gone so that must be a good thing.
The worst thing now is dealing with the boredom, working from home helps pass the time, but I’m sure as most of you know going from an active life to NWB recovery is hard on the mind.

Any suggestions on how to stay sane would be much appreciated!

15 responses so far