Feed on

PT, day 1

Whenever I think about PT, I swing between imagining relaxing ultrasound massages and envisioning hours of grueling exercises!  Today’s first session included an examination of my incision and a demonstration of some exercises-  flexing the foot toward me from a neutral position, turning the foot to the left and right, doing these same exercises with isometric resistance, and some leg lifts for strengthening.  There wasn’t anything too strenuous or painful!  I also started to work with my crutches today-  it didn’t exactly go well.  I don’t know how I’ve made it to this age in my life without ever using crutches :-)

Gone with the splint!

Yes- I had my first post-op visit today!  I was fitted with a boot, instead of a cast,
so I was happy.  When the nurse cut off
the splint, I saw a nice, neat row of stitches going up the back of my
calf.  It wasn’t very long, maybe 5
inches or so.  I also had a few stitches
on the bottom of my foot by my big toe (where they harvested the tendon for my
new and improved Achilles).  So, now I
will be able to take the boot off for bathing and sleeping-yeah!!  I am also now in the PWB category, although I’m
not exactly sure what 20-30% weight bearing means??

On the down side, I had hoped I would be able to drive and
maybe go up and downstairs, but those things aren’t happening soon.  Have I mentioned that I get a little

I am starting physical therapy tomorrow.  That’s a lot sooner than I thought. I think
the PT will be able to help me figure out the weight bearing/crutches/physical
activity issues.  And give me lots of fun
exercises to do
J  Overall, I guess I expected to be able to be
able to do more, but these things take time.

A Journey of Patience

Unlike many others who post to AchillesBlog.com, my journey through achilles injury, surgery, and recovery was not accidental. My achilles tendons in both feet have always been tight and painful. The Haglund’s Deformity I have (now had) caused the achilles to rub painfully against the bony calcaneus in the back of my left foot. In other words, it hurt to do almost anything, except swimming.

In some ways, I’m luckier than people who suffer a catastrophic injury. I’m a high school teacher and I was able to time my surgery with the end of the school year. I’ll have lots of time to work on my recovery without the pressure of using up limited sick leave. I am now 14 days post op. The surgerey itself wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected and, so far, my recovery hasn’t been painful. The worst part has been the difficulty in getting around. I have really been doing my best to keep my foot elevated. When I do get up, my sense of balance is shaky at best. Needless to say, I’ve fallen a couple of times, but I decided I’d rather fall on my butt than come down hard on my left foot. Choices can be painful :-)

I don’t know if there are others reading this who are making a decision to have voluntary achilles surgery. My decision wasn’t a quick process. I took anti-inflammatory medications for a long time, wore a boot for months (to immobilize the tendon), slept with a night boot, and did a five month stint in physical therapy. If you have to make this decision, take the time and try things- I hope you have better luck than I did!