One and Done’s AchillesBlog

One and Done…shooting for sneakers next week

September 6, 2013 · 3 Comments

Excited to join in the blog. Here goes…my apologies in advance for the extensive post but most of this has been pent up for months.

My wife encouraged me to get more active and kicked me out of bed one morning to go and play basketball on March 22nd. Game on… playing basketball the morning before school when, during the last game which I pushed for, I feel what you all know so well the pop in the left leg making ‘the move’ (which by the way is the only move). Down I go knowing for sure someone kicked me. I spin around and see nothing. Not good.

I head home for a shower in order to get back to school and teach only to recognize something was wrong as I walked up the steps to the fourth floor feeeling flop flop flop. I called and made an appointment that day with a orthopedic surgeon who, come to find out, has a specialty in knees not ankles. Hey I taught his daughter many years ago and he got me in that same day…what could go wrong with this scenario? Evidentally I didn’t give her an A and he remembered. After a physical examination he declared that I ruptured my PLANTARIS tendon. “Take some alleve and you’ll be fine in three weeks.” Classic case of believe what you want to hear. I was pleased with his diagnosis as I taught, travelled, ran soccer practice, transplanted rose bushes, mowed the lawn, and lived life for two months. One day a fellow friend and teacher of anatomy declared it was time for a second opinion as my limp had become significant.

Off to get a second opinion on June 6th when the orthopedic, that specializes in ankles this time, administers the Thompson test and let’s me have it. Ruptured achilles tendon beyond a doubt. I coudn’t believe it but the MRI the next day confirmed it. Given the time since rupture there was an approximate gap of 4 -5 cm and enough scar tissue to spread around to all my friends. Surgery on June 20th, almost three months after the initial rupture.

Out of surgery I was placed in a splint until the first appointment on July 2nd. The splint came off and I was hoping for the staples to go as well but after viewing the swelling it was all I could do to convince Dr to not put me back into the splint and move toward the boot. Compromise…boot but the staples stayed in. Off to the beach with the leg wrapped using Sand Pads on the bottom of my crutches which, other than heavy, got me where I needed to go on the beach. Well worth it. As time went on crutches left me incapable of helping around the house with my three kids. After some research I came across the Knee Walker from Drive. This was fabulous as I could make breakfast and get around… that is when the kids weren’t scooting around with it. I rented mine from a local drugstore which was better than purchase price. The staples became a problem, growing in, red and got me to a point where I was watching You Tube videos on how to remove staples at home. Don’t do it…

July 16th was the next appointment and out with the 48 staples but back into the boot still NWB for another month. The 48th staple was for the Plantaris tendon that the surgeon lifted to reinforce the Achilles…oh the irony. I was starting to go crazy at this point but understood from the beginning that my doctor was conservative. This launched me into a binge viewing of Breaking Bad which is more TV that I have watched in my lifetime. Great series but that is for another blog…

Finally FWB with brace on August 13th. Almost two months since surgery. I will never take walking for granted again. Not to mention the first step without crutches was a quick fall the ground. Ouch…

So now you are caught up to today. Here come the questions…I have my next appopintment on Tuesday and hope to get the brace off. As of now the brace is off for showering, sleep and PT. The swelling is a lost cause with school starting up last week. Measurements at Monday’s PT had swelling around the foot at 1 cm more than when we started on August 19th. Good grief…with my DR a report like that will have me back in the splint. By the end of the day my heel is in terrible pain. Is this from the boot or is this indicative of something more?  I am debating going rogue and walking in sneakers a little each day as the atrophy in my calf is significant (5cm differential from L to R). At this point, two and a half months since surgery, the tendon MUST have healed hasn’t it? What better way to build the calf muscle than to walk! The boot is like armor but I feel it must be holding me back. What are your thoughts on me going rogue?

No basketball for me again. I am ‘One and Done’. Thanks for reading and offering comments.

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