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.

One week post OP

February 12, 2019 | | 2 Comments

Im off the prescription pain killers for 1 1/2 days now. Just barely making it with IBProfen 800 mg every 8 hours, lots of ice and elevation still. The foot feels heavy, swollen and painful when the IBProfen is about to wear off.

Again, the pain seems the be in the rest of my foot, in a sprain(s?) while the incision feels good.

Now Im really starting to sleep, like 3 hours at a time, three in a row. Seems the prescription pain killer, something like Hydrocodone Acetemphemine was keeping me awake.

Day 5, Sprain pain

February 9, 2019 | | Leave a Comment

I have had more pain, up to level 7 or 8. I went in for them to check my cast. It seems the surgery is healing well, but I may have sprained my ankle and that is giving my a lot of constant pain.
Answer, IBRUPROFEN and ice and elevation. All in all, making it hard to sleep. but they recommended Benadryl for that.

So this is not a straight line up for recovery.

Third Day

February 7, 2019 | | 2 Comments

OK, now the pain is decreasing, but Im still using the happy pills, just stretching out their duration.

My greater pain is now the top of the ankle, like the splint is on too tight. But with the pill it is ok. The previous bee stings pains from the stitches are pretty much gone.

Got to go outside, kind of nice.
And Now Im publishing my blog and sending it around to friends and family.

    • oakmanii has completed
      5.31 out of 26.2 miles to full recovery.
      Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
      Achilles NYC Marathon Course Sidebar Image

      Click here for the Group Marathon Tracker