cast to boot, just…

i arrive for my appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon. the last cast is sawn off in the plaster room, and then i’m told that my surgeon is not actually in (hmm? not in? i think i know where he’s in… in the south of france!)

the hospital manage to lever me in to the head-honcho’s timetable. eventually i go in, she take’s a cursory glance at my withered dangly appendage and says i’m good to go. by ‘good to go’ she actually means get out of the office and get on with it. a photocopied exercise sheet is handed to me and that’s it.

if i hadn’t spent so much time on reading about all of your experiences and protocols, that really would have been it. i would have hobbled out of there having spent seven weeks non-weight bearing, with a tendon hardly tested, a bare foot that’s barely at 90°, and a leg as weak as an asthmatic ant. the phrase ‘clucking bell’ comes to mind.

i explain that i would feel safer if they would just pop me in a boot. she replies that ‘it’s fine, don’t worry, you don’t need a boot now, just take it slow’. I stress that i haven’t put any weight on my foot for 7 weeks, and there’s no way i’m leaving the hospital without the protection of a boot. she looks perplexed, stating that the usual protocol at her hospital is weight-bearing from week 4 in a ‘walking’ plaster. I look even more perplexed than her, and ask why on earth am i not following that protocol then. She shakes her head and mutters something about her consultants being a law unto themselves. ahh that’s reassuring.

if the surgeons within one institution cannot decide on a preferred protocol that they all agree on using, then i guess it would explain the huge variations that we all seem to be experiencing during our recoveries & treatments in our various locations.

i leave the hospital snug in a boot, but shudder at what might have been, had i not acquired a little knowledge about ATRs from this valuable site, and been able to question ‘protocol’.

dennis, i salute you.


3 wks post-op

my cast was changed today and i had foot repositioned from 135° to 120°. the target of 90° / neutral will hopefully be reached by 23rd July (6 wks post-op) i was able to pull foot up to the new angle, but didn’t enjoy the sensation very much. later the calf and tendon were objecting.

i overdid it at the weekend by getting a coach to london,visiting the Canada Expo at Olympia and crutching around the capital. i paid for it the next day, mind. 

i’m finally slowing down and finding a rhythm that i can cope with this at. hope all fellow ATR sufferers out there are mending. i asked the guy who re-cast me how many ATR’s he sees in a week - ‘oh, a dozen easily every week’. it’s a shame that there’s an endless line of people out there enjoying their game/hobby/mid-life crisis, who’ll no doubt sprint, volley, jump or lob and end up on the floor slightly confused, wondering who stepped on their shoe.

i’m convinced now that i would have gotten off lightly, perhaps even perhaps with just a calf strain, had i not been wearing my ‘low-cut’ merrell trainers. i live in walking boots and swear by the protection the high ankle offers me. who knows? but i think i’ll get back into boots asap, if my scar/tendon will allow.

help & support/padded cycle gloves/wheelchair. the three things i couldn’t do without at the moment.

2 wks post-op

went to fracture clinic to have stitches out and cast no.4 put on. stitches out x5 weren’t too bad. orthopaedic surgeon seemed pleased with his handiwork and suggested we aim to reach a 90° neutral position within four weeks. this requires a cast a week, with repositioning each time to reduce foot’s angle. it feels safer being in a fully wrap-around cast and not the previous splint-casts which didn’t inspire much confidence. i was sure had i fallen onto my gimpy foot, my heel would have been forced through the light bandage, and i would be back to square one. now i’ll just guillotine my toes off.

i’ve posted pics of the incision on a new page (2 wk pics) it seemed ok and had closed neatly, but i nearly emptied my bowels in fear when they moved foot to the new position. wasn’t ready for that feeling.

four more weeks of casts. deep breath………..and relax.  


5 do’s 5 don’ts


1. be patient (and thankful that this is temporary)

2. keep leg up & wiggle those toes (reduce swelling, help circulation)

3. use time constructively (and do something you enjoy)

4. buy cycling gloves with padded palms (for crutches / wheelchair)

5. keep blogging, supporting and learning from one another



1. throw crutches across the room screaming ‘FUGGNCHFFNARGHH!’

2. hop for 8 weeks (it’s not big and it’s not clever)

3. drop your plaster cast in the bath water

4. wear flip-flops / mules / slip-ons etc (good foot must be secure) 

5. get blue, get even.


let us know your 5 do’s 5 don’ts.

sofa fatigue

hi all, day 5 post-op and before me lies an ocean of days in similar positions. on sofa, leg up, laptop dug into lower ribs (aids typing). what would i do without the internet? “err offdibb, you could study something, read more, meditate, increase your knowledge”, comes the reply, not vegetate watching videos on youtube through splayed fingers of ATR accidents, and dogs that talk. hopefully this obsessive phase of all things ATR (and talking dogs) will pass, and i won’t spend every waking second replaying how i did it?, why it happened to me?, is my wound & tendon healing? did that dog really say ‘i want my mama’? and just how fat and lardy is it possible to get on yer back?

i think of you all out there, and wish you speedy but safe recoveries.


day 3. post op

just wondered if anyone else’s wound bled through their cast bandage. don’t panic.. it stopped on day 1, but it now means that the wound has stuck to dressing. i want to unwind bandage to check on healing but know this ain’t very clever. mind is full of so many ‘what ifs?’

also was hygiene of foot an issue with anyone? or did you all just stick leg in air and ignore the flies. LOL 

good luck with 1st cast removal marianne.


cheers for replies

good to hear from others and so quickly too, so thanks, i appreciate it. i’ll answer questions here as still getting used to using this site correctly.

i work with the elderly and disabled as an activities instructor, so that’s out the window for a while. i’ve got myself a wheelchair which is a godsend. i was goofing about with my dog in the park (150 miles from my home) when i ruptured my AT. i was also house & cat-sitting for my parents (out of the country) so alone. i was also was their taxi to and from the airport (90 miles away) so I really timed it well. LOL Looks like i’ll be with parents for a while now, bet they’ll be chuffed when they return!

i’ll look into any possible benefits i can claim but i’m not holding my breath. i’m eager to see that my wound is healing but gotta wait the two weeks before cast change. i think the mental part of this experience might be even more of a challenge than the physical healing/therapy. have finally registered what i have done to myself, i think i was in denial up to now. got very frustrated earlier with crutches, so sticking with wheelchair for a few days. so great to be in contact with people who have been there.

cheers tim


day 2.

hi all,

came across this site whilst researching what appears to be a very costly slip-up in the park when walking the dog. the information and reassurance i am gaining from it is very welcome. my accident was on 06.06.08 and surgery was 12.06.08. i had fully ruptured AT but managed to walk home, just. i am now unable to earn as self-employed, so need a plan B very quickly.

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