Achilles Last Stand

I went back to the surgeon today, 8 days after surgery. He removed the cast and the sutures. According to him, my repair is holding fine. He put me in an AirWalk boot. Is it just me or do all of these medical device names remind you of 6th grade footwear that your mom told you was ‘too expensive’ and ‘you don’t need them to be cool’?

I’m now able to stand and put weight on my leg. The boot is highly inclined at the ankle. The boot will be inclined to stay at this inclination for three weeks, after which the surgeon will lower it slightly. I still use the crutches for walking around, it just doesn’t feel right without them.

Here are some interesting things that I still can’t do:
1. Unload the dishwasher.
2. Travel two blocks without armpit exhaustion from crutches.
3. Load the dishwasher.
4. Make the bed.
5. Carry things around the house.
6. Give my wife a break.

I am contemplating getting a peg-leg contraption so I can at least carry things around the house. Has anyone else gone this route?

8 Responses to “Achilles Last Stand”

  1. That is normal at your stage, but it will get better every week. Many on her rented or bought a knee walker, which fees up your hands. That would allow you to do those things without a problem and give you some mobility.

    Good luck,
    Ron

  2. yes they call me peg leg at the office, and is absolutely necessary at home with 2 kids and post pregnancy wife. The iwalk2.0 is so much better than crutches. check out iwalkfree.com you can also find on amazon.com which is good if you have prime for 2 day shipping. cost $150 but well worth it.

  3. FWIW, my husband can’t do most of the things on your list with the exception of 2 and I’m the one who blew out the achilles ! Joking aside, sounds like you could use one of those knee scooters. I used a chair for unloading dishwasher (rest my casted leg on.) I tried a camping chair (3 legged variety) and found it most unstable.

  4. A backpack worked for me for carrying things around when I was on crutches.

  5. Did you have a total rupture?? Can’t believe you are weight bearing already….

  6. The knee scooter is great! Used it while I was in a cast as well as the boot. My boot was set in a neutral position, and I was able to bear full weight in 3 days, but I think it just all depends on the person. It also didn’t feel extremely awkward because my foot was set neutral. I can tell you that you will progress daily even if you don’t notice the improvements you will find yourself being able to do more. Good luck, it only gets better each day

  7. I got by with a backpack and several well-placed mesh bags that i could carry while crutching. And a few stools for kneeling (in front of sinks) and a wheeled office chair in the kitchen.

    Those things are all helpful. I’m not a big fan of crutch alternatives, mostly because crutches are about the only way to get a good transition from NWB back to FWB. But standing on one foot while washing dishes or brushing teeth (&c, &c) is torture, so you’ve got to kneel or something.

    If your crutches hurt your armpits, they’re very likely adjusted too tall, or the distance between the top pad and the handle is too big for you. The top pad should be clamped between your bicep and your side, maybe 2″ below your armpit. And you’re allowed to add padding to the handles and the vertical parts, if they scrape your hands and wrists. . .

  8. In the UK we mostly use forearm crutches. After 3 or 4 weeks, if I needed support at all, say for uneven outdoor surfaces, I would use one on each side or, more often, only one. One advantage of this style of crutch (and they are available in US, etc) is that they will just hang off your arm when you stop and use both hands for a chore or whatever. That way they don’t fall on the floor either.

    Because I was fwb by 4 weeks, good surfaces meant no crutch and my little, ‘turn on a sixpence’ knee walker was completely obsolete - I had bought it because it seemed a good idea at the time and it was nice to have for the first 2 weeks, after which it was simply a leg support while I sat watching tv or washing the dishes.

    I know that I was lucky with my rehab which meant that 4 weeks was a real milestone. My boot was now set with a ROM which would steadily increase over the next 4 weeks, I was able to do more exercise, didn’t need the boot on in bed, mostly did without crutches, and so on - it was simply, sorry about the pun, a great step forward. Any atrophy issue began to go as I was able to flex my ankle and calf more, and just moved around more because I needed less assistance with cumbersome props.

    ps at my ortho clinic the rehab schedule was the same for surgical and non-op.

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