My limp is very little now. I worked in a pool 3x/week on my heel lifts, working down from 5 to 4 feet to 3 feet in the last three weeks, and then once down to 2 feet of water.

(thats not me)
My friends didn’t want to practice Pickleball with me, so I slowly played Pickleball instead. Doctor said I could play if I could do 5 heel lifts on dry ground. Today I did it! Right after I had played for a couple of hours.
So now I can officially play Pickleball! I think the doctor didnt realize how Pickleball is not nearly as athletic as tennis, and I still dont chase down any hard shots like I used to. That will come in time.

Still lacking some flexibility and strength. But it seems better after I play.

I think the key is to avoid other injuries and to warm up well, ahead of time. My knee is now weak, I notice, when I warm up. In time.

— almost. I just went to the doctor, it is healing fine. My limp is much reduced. With ice and elevation my numbness near the site is mostly gone.
I can heel lift in chest high water several times.
Once I can do it 5 times on the dry ground, I can play, but before that I can practice a few shots. I suspect another month or two before I can heel lift, as my strength seems no where close.
And I can start small jumping in the pool with water up to my neck.

He really liked water therapy. I have started power walking in 4 feet of water, sometimes 3 feet normal walking. My big new exercise on dry ground has been taking a big step forward with my good foot, and rocking and powering off with my bad foot, while maintaining my balance and some weight on my hands on the kitchen counter and a chair, or a cane. The pain from the top of my bad foot is pretty much gone, as it seems my muscles for pushing off are improving.

I wont see the doctor again until 24 weeks.

He thought I could skip the ASTYM therapy, as I have very little scar tissue, especially at this point. And I am stretching out my PT to every 2 weeks. Every time I go they give me a new exercise or advice that really seems to help.

My heel pain is pretty much gone, Last week I started using New Balance Shoes without any lift at all. I chose a shoe that was all leather upper so to give good all around support, it seems a good choice, but now it is getting hotter.

Around the house I can go in my socks.
Now I have more of a pain in the top side of the lower part of my foot, about the toes. Therapist thinks it is because of how I am walking.
Now I know why I limp! Because I am not pushing forward when I am stepping forward. I drag the weak foot along. So they gave me a new exercise where I practice the transition step from moving weight from my bad leg to my good leg, with my foot flexed, and trying to push a little more than I have been doing. It hurts when I do a big step forward, so the key is to do manageable step width.
So when using a cane, which I do not need for weight bearing, I need to be pushing forward with the weak foot.
And I’m doing water therapy, two or three times a week. Not just walking forward, but walking backward now. In 4 feet of water. Sometimes I do heel lifts, and I can now do several of them when Im up to my neck in water. Lowering the water level is my next goal.
I think my multi-mineral supplement is really making me get better! I seem to have gone to a new stage from having an impossible injury to having like a bad sprain that would take three weeks to heal (though it is more like 3 more months.)
I have been using Bodywize for years, and the vitamins have been great, but the minerals you take in the evening to help the cells rebuild. And water is so important too to flush the dead cells out of your systems while the minerals supply new material for the new cells regrowing in my injured leg.

My Physical Therapist found out I was not using a cane, but limping badly, so said I should go back to the cane. OK. My limp was bad.

Walking in water was not too bad, I suppose helpful to get a better gait. But I tried a 1/4 heel raise in neck high water and it hurt!

So I will try heel raises from a seated position now at home instead. There is still a LOT of strength to build up!

I had a cane for about a week, and a single crutch for about a week. I have a slight sprain under my outside ankle bone, but not too bad.

I used the NuStepper at the gym for about 2000 steps. It has limited Range of Motion so was the first pedaling like device I could use. I may risk water therapy soon, PT said it would be good for doing high kicks, heel lifts and what-not, as 80% of your weight is carried by the water.

But they dont know that I sink when I am in the water. So I will try a ‘family pool’ first.

I dont want to be in water over my head, where I have to just jump off the bottom in order to come up for air!

I saw the surgeon doctor this week, the first time since the surgery. He was quite pleased by the healing. He had used the minimally invasive technique, so the incision was pretty small. I finally got the bandaide over it to dissolve a few days before, by running lots of hot/warm water over it. That way I could start my more intense therapy work which mostly included hard rubbing down my foot. So, first the incision:


(The dots in the top right was where the needle went in and out for the sutures using the jig that he had inserted. There are a few more pinholes on the other side and also below the incision.)

He said the break was clean, and there were no complications, like other damaged tissue. So it seems it was a classically simple break so I think I am on a fast track to recovery.

Note the vertical incision, not horizontal. He said he used to do the horizontal incision, but he did it one time at the wrong place! So he had to make another incision until it looked like a zig zag! So I’m glad he has learned to do it better!

Also note the red ends of the incision. He said that he had ‘knoted’ the sutures at the ends, and that the ends may become red, and then pussy like a pimple, and then pop. I may then see the knotted end and I should pull it out with tweezers. Of course, I asked if there was a danger of me unraveling the whole surgery! But he said ‘no’. (My friend had the same fear!)

Actually after a lot more warm water, I think the top one did pop, but I didnt see any knots. The water may have washed it out. The ends look more inflamed in the picture, perhaps because I had walked a bit yesterday, with my own shoe!

He said I could walk short distances in my shoe, and go to full weight bearing as I am comfortable. I am using only one crutch now, and it is a lot easier! For long walks, I should still use the orthopedic boot (long for me means 20 minutes.)

I do have build ups in the heels of both of my shoes, about 3/4 inch. The problem was getting the right height so the back of the shoe wouldn’t rub against the incision. I still would appreciate advice on that.

Others have said there are ups and downs in the recovery. The only downs I can anticipate is if I have an accident, like falling or slipping, or if I overdo exercises and stretching. Nothing else to be concerned about?

I was counting every night how many I had left, my cast never became real itchy, but the top of my foot became sore, and around the ankles, as the cast became looser (as my leg shrank, and swelling went down). I think the loose cast was causing the pain and a little friction burn, but nothing to treat, and the leg looked pretty good, not too much smaller.

First pic, I work with international students and they signed it in their mother tongue, notably I got Korean, Chinese and Farsi (Persian). The cast maker said I could get rid of the gauze, and spray it with Lysol to prevent smells. They cut it off with a small saw, a little scary. And I hope to piece it back together.

And now my new boot! I had really wanted the Vacoped adjustable boot, but they were already set up with their own boot, with heel inserts, and you can enlarge it with air.

CALL AND TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST before getting your boot, if you want to discus using a boot of your own selection! Here is mine, I think it seems a little large, I did tell him my shoe size was 9.

So I put a little weight on it today, by a little walking because I had a work activity. I leaned on one of my students, and I though I tried to put too little weight on it, it did hurt a little, but IBUprofen was sufficient. So I hope to rest more today, the day after. I have to keeo it on when walking and sleeping! However, when laying down or sitting, awake, I can take it off.

I had previously scheduled physical therapy which the doc approved. I will get three times a week for three weeks, then my insurance changes, and I have to pay, so I will back down to once or twice a week. I’m looking forward to just rubbing and doing gentle stretches today and tomorrow before my first therapy.

My home project was making a build up shoe! They recommended something to even up my hips when I walk, to reduce problems and pain. I could not find the kids puzzle play mats, but at Ollie’s I found this outdoor flooring puzzle piece. But it really is too heavy, and requires about 4 pieces to get a 1.5″ lift.

It was super hard to cut, I dont recommend this material. I cut it with heavy duty scissors, a utility knife couldnt do it. I bought shoe glue at Amazon as it should be flexible, the Walmart shoe glue was the same price but only a tiny tube. You would need the bigger tube. The clamps were needed as the bottom of the shoe is not flat!

I will add another layer, take a picture, and try it out. My wife complained that the shoe was really old. Yeah, that’s why I chose my work shoe, so I can throw it away later!

Shower Bag

February 21, 2019 | | Leave a Comment

I forgot the picture for the shower bag. It has an elastic openning that slips over a cast or a boot. I also use a shower chair to sit on, and I prop up my foot on the side of the tub.

I highly recommend it, even if it is like $20. No mess with torn bags and tape and tearing hair off your leg.

You can find one at the achillesblog website, you want one that goes up to just below your knee.

History in Pictures

February 20, 2019 | | Leave a Comment

I have pictures figured out, so here they are

My ankle after the tear:



Comparison with the other, I dont think too different, and not a lot of pain after the initial break



My first ‘cast’, actually several splints held together with Ace bandages and with soft padding underneath. It allowed swelling, but my foot still hurt on top because of the swelling and pressure from the bandage



This shower bag was really great, I highly recommend it, even if it is $25. No mess with torn bags and tape and tearing hair off your leg.



My foot after one week, about to get the splint/cast replaced with a newer one.



After two weeks, my splint/cast came off, I had lost already a lot of calf muscle in three weeks since the injury.



Im starting to use this iWalk crutch, seems better than real crutches, I need to practice some more



The new cast is hard fiberglass, but the swelling is down so should be ok. I picked the color red, makes it very easy for people to see and feel sorry for me, I mean, not step on it.

2 Weeks Post Op

February 18, 2019 | | 2 Comments

I had my splints/Ace bandage ‘cast’ removed and everything looked good. I really focused on elevation and ice and the doctor was pleased with how the swelling had gone down and the incisions were healing well. I also learned that it is common for other parts of the foot to hurt because of the swelling in the tight ‘cast’.

And what had helped A LOT was to ice the part of the foot that HURTS, not just only the surgical site! Duh!

So the new cast is a REAL cast, solid, made with wet fiberglass cloth wrapped around a long sock over my foot nearly up to the knee, that solidifies when it dries, in about 5 minutes.

They pushed, pointed my foot up to reduce the angle and make it closer to the normal. That really stretches the tendon, and I had a level of 2 and 3 out of 10 pain level. However, it calmed down within an hour and should be ok within a couple of days.

I upped my pain pills, at their recommendation, for a day or two.

But I was quite physiologically queasy of the idea of anyone touching and bending my new foot. It was small and naked and seemed so fragile. I lost a lot of my calf muscles already, and I have two more weeks with the new cast!

I did enjoy caressing my leg/foot and gently trying to rub some life back into it. I hated to say goodbye to it.

They thought the iWalk crutch would be fine, as long as I dont overdo it. But not to be working on the floors.

They said the recovery is one of crossing several mountain ranges. At each peak there is pain, and you cross a new boundary, then it wears off and you have more ability, and are ok, until the next mountain/milestone.

SUGGESTION: Bring pain pills with you to take immediately after the cast is put on.


    • oakmanii has completed
      9.76 out of 26.2 miles to full recovery.
      Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
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