oscillot’s AchillesBlog

#firefighterninja + 4 week checkup

June 3rd, 2015 · 1 Comment

Wow! Dennis Lappin, a 39-year old firefighter from Michigan, completed Kansas City’s qualifying course on the obstacle course TV show, American Ninja Warrior. Dennis is a second time contestant who DOUBLE ruptured his Achilles exactly one year ago at the same event. Congrats, Dennis, on slaying the warped wall, and your injury! I’m feeling inspired…

Today was also my four week followup appointment with my OS. I was hoping he would start my long road back and prescribe me PT, but he is more comfortable with a total of 6 weeks NWB post-op, and wants to keep me fixed at 30 degs plantar flexion, to boot (hehheh). I guess I am okay with that. My heel is still tender, and I’m more concerned with avoiding re-rupture (which seems to have some correlation with aggressive PT) than returning to sports quickly.

On the bright side, he did give me a copy of the rehab protocol I’ll be placed on:

Of particular note, it says there is “major risk of re-rupture between 6 weeks to 4 months, especially when unprotected.” I’m thinking of continuing to wear my boot for a full month after I achieve parallel, and setting ROM to swivel between 30′ plantar flexion and increasing dorsiflexion from -5′ to -20′. We’ll see if I can bear the weight, bulk, and sweaty foot during the summer, but I am going to have a hard time giving up my turtle shell VACO cast. It’s become a part of me.

It was kind of fun to schedule goal dates for some personal milestones into my calendar. If I don’t encounter any setbacks, I’m hoping to:

  • Aug (month 3): lose the crutches; start walking flat, easy, longer strolls; bring my daughter to day care unassisted
  • Sep (month 4): ditch the boot
  • Oct (month 5): lose the limp
  • Nov (month 6): walk on the beach
  • Dec (month 7): hike up hills
  • Jan (month 8): try alter-G treadmill running
  • Feb (month 9): start jogging
  • May (month 12): take the training wheels off - no more restrictions!
  • December 2016: San Diego Holiday Half Marathon

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safety tips for getting around

June 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

This is my first time using crutches and a knee walker, and have had three nasty falls. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way:

  1. When NWB, try standing with the good side’s knee slightly bent and push off using the ball of your foot while crutching / scooting to preserve your good Achilles.
  2. Sit or kneel in chairs when washing by your bathroom and kitchen sinks, and while dressing at your closet and front door, to minimize fatigue.
  3. I choose to scoot up and down stairs on my butt while NWB. A friend suffered a re-rupture when he fell down his stairs.
  4. Keep the wing bolts on your crutches facing backwards, so they don’t get caught in your clothing.
  5. Go slow, and beware of slipping hazards. I went flying after placing a crutch on a non-sticky door mat.
  6. The knee walker is nice to have, but when going over uneven pavement (seams, ramps, warped sections), slow down and use the brakes to “walk” the front wheels over or through the obstacle. Even small seams can stop the walker in its tracks, sending you flying.
  7. Knee walkers aren’t very stable while turning. Try to go over seams in the sidewalk head on, rather than at an angle, for maximum stability.
  8. If falling (mine felt like they were in slow motion), raise your bad foot to the sky to try and prevent it from impacting the ground. Land on your butt or side, and if at all possible, “roll” through your landing rather than crashing down.

If there are other good tips I missed, leave them in the comments!

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