Almost 8 months-Ready to Play???

Haven’t posted in a while but here’s where I’m at. Had surgery on January 2nd so almost 8 months ago. Swelling and soreness pretty much gone except for first thing in the morning or if I sit for a long time. Then I have to get the foot loosened up. I can do a nice run on the treadmill, some weak (but getting better) calf raises, and no problems with activities of daily living. My question is this - there is a new season of sand volleyball starting in 3 weeks and I think I would like to play. I hurt the Achilles playing indoor so of course Im tentative. I hit the ball around and practiced a few days ago, some jumping on the sand (my vertical even before the injury is like 3 inches - its a D+ league so not hardcore by any means). Had no trouble with side to side running. It is hard to get moving straight ahead and straight back, but after the practice I iced up and felt good. Anyway, how do you know when youre ready to try and push yourself a bit? Unfortunately I was only given 6 weeks of pt after my surgery, so I don’t have professional advice, but I know some of you out here are as good as any professional. Thanks!

Surgeon- PT relationship

So Im now 3.5 months since surgery. I was in pt for 12 sessions, 2x a week for the past 6 weeks. Last week at the surgeons office he said you are doing well, no more pt, go to the gym on your own. I asked him how would I know when to increase strength training, running, etc… and he just said your tendon wont break, get on a treadmill, and slowly increase the speed each week. Im not too confident in that approach. I did a single heel raise for him, maybe 1 inch off the ground. So I guess my question is, anyone have a good workout regimen for the next 2-3 months? At pt I was doing calf raises on the machine (lying on back, setting 4 for 2 legs, 2 for one leg), balancing on one leg and catching a ball, step downs, recumbant? bike, and some other strength activities. I still have swelling but its manageable. At this point I think I’ll just go to the gym and match the exercises I did at pt, and when they get too easy, I’ll just increase the weight. Anyone have this issue with surgeon - pt relationship?

Take Every Step With a Purpose

Been in shoes for about 10 days now and had 2 pt appointments so far. I never realized how hard it is to actually walk properly. My pt said you have to take every step with a purpose - heel down, straighten leg, push off with toes. I practiced that for 20 minutes. Along with the towel toe crunch exercise, the disc push down thingy, some light stretches, ultrasound and ice, I feel that its going ok. My main issues right now are #1 - the swelling. My ankle is like a balloon. Icing helps, but after a few hours walking, its like my foot has a goiter. Its been hard to find comfortable shoes. I have to wear a 1/2 size larger since the surgery, and I also have to buy a wide shoe now, otherwise my toes are crunched in together. Im sure thats all part of the issue. The other area of discomfort is mostly the small toe and the area right near it under the foot. Theres some pain there when walking, but mostly in the morning until things get loosened up. Walking barefoot on tile isnt much fun either. Interestingly, the achilles area feels fine so its amazing how much this injury messes everything else up. Ive been icing as best I can and just ordered some ankle ice band so hopefully that will arrive soon. I cant complain too much. After 8 weeks of no driving, at least I have that freedom back. Being careful. Another pt appt tomorrow. Just looking at this as one week intervals right now and trying to get some strength and stability back a little bit each week.

2 shoes and swelling

Got approval last week to go into 2 shoes. Thanks to everyone on the site for saying how its like taking 8 steps back, but its still progress towards the ultimate goal of healing. Finally got to drive!!! Drove myself to work today and kids to school so a little normalcy will return to my schedule. I start pt tomorrow and will start out with 2 days a week for 6 weeks until my next checkup on April 11th. So here are my newest questions– swelling! Theres not much pain, but my ankle looks like a melon by the end of the day. Ive been icing and elevating before bed, but with 2 little ones to take care of, I am on my feet a lot. Any advice? Also, good call on the hiking shoes. I had an old pair that I wore for a day. I liked the support but my scar didnt appreciate the rubbing so I ditched those. I ordered a pair of good running sneakers but until I get those, I noticed my achilles foot is tight in my shoes. I know the size is ok, since my left foot is fine, so is it just swelling all over the foot? I know this might last a while, so any tips on dealing with this would be appreciated. Anyway, not complaining. I have a pretty high pain tolerance (at least I think I do - we’ll see what happens in therapy.) Anyway, being careful, and I find myself walking looking down a lot. Went to Walmart and anyone that came within 3 feet of me got a dirty look. Of course I would do that anyway in that store.

Shoes, Sneakers, Boots?

So I have a doctor appointment in about 9 days for my 8 month checkup and if all looks good, he will recommend me into 2 shoes. I know there have been posts about what shoes to buy, but if anyone can refresh my memory and list some recommendations, it would be appreciated. I think for work I can use a good lightweight hiking shoe. I am around kids a lot and they have no qualms about knocking into you so Im looking for some support and some protection. What about for pt? Any good sneakers to recommend? And did anyone use inserts at first. Just re-read the blogs on re-ruptures to scare the crap out of myself. I want to try and make sure to minimize complications once I am hopefully out of the boot. (PS-I do plan to wear the boot intermittently for scary outings and activities!)

Getting There and Looking Ahead to 2 shoes

Just finished week 5 and its amazing how quickly the body adapts. Mostly FWB although I still use one crutch if I have to go long distances. At the end of the week I can remove one of the wedges from my boot and then 2 weeks after that I should be in 2 shoes. The think that amazes me about reading this blog is how different everyone’s recovery is. Some people get a cast, some dont. Some people stay in a boot 3-4 months, others much less. Its really hard to gauge progress. As I get ready to go to 2 shoes, are there suggestions as to what I should wear? A sturdy hiking boot? Something with a heel? I am fully aware of the risk of re-rupture and with 2 little ones running around my house, that is my greatest fear. I know even after getting into 2 shoes, I will be wearing the boot for yardwork and other semi-dangerous activities. I’m looking at it as get to the 4 month post surgery mark and Ill feel reasonably safe, and then get to the 6 month mark and start getting active again without too much worry. At this point, if it was my left foot instead of my stupid right so I could drive, I wouldnt even care. Pretty much self-sufficient other than needing to be chauffered around to work and everywhere else.

And now the boot…

Okay so Im 4.5 weeks in and Im now PWB with 2 wedges in the boot. Been walking with 2 crutches and of course have some new questions. (PS - thanks to veryone who answers my posts. This site is a lifesaver!) So how tight do I need to make the boot. My first night I know it was too tight and when I went to sleep in the boot (Drs orders) I was crying it hurt so bad. But when Im walking around, do I want it tight or a little play? Also, how hard should I try to put pressure on the foot when walking. Do I push it a bit or go slow? Also, how long does it take to go from 2 crutches to 1, and then from 1 to just the boot? Thanks again to my ATR friends on the site.

No More Cast

No More Cast!

No More Cast!

4 days till end of cast-new questions

Been in a cast for 4 weeks and it finally comes off Thursday.  also been on antibiotics since the doc said it was slightly infected so hopefully when its off, all will look ok.  The plan is to get the boot with 2 wedges for 2 weeks, 1 wedge for 2 weeks, and then 2 shoes at the end of the month.  However, while Im in the boot, the doc says he does not want me to do any pt at all?  Does that sound right to do nothing?!?  Also, I know the angle of the boot doesnt let you put 100% of the weight onto the floor when you walk, but do you still need crutches to get around?  I bought a knee walker which allows me to do my job and get paid (despite constant ribbing from co-workers), but crutches may be a problem.  also, in the boot, can you describe what its like to try and take that first step?  After a month of not having the foot on the ground, I cant imagine trying totake a step.

One Week Down

Had my first follow-up on Tuesday with the DR. Had the splint removed and got a cast. Ill have this cast till next Thursday when they take it off, remove the stitches, and get a new cast for two weeks. Then I get the boot. I asked about getting the boot sooner as I see from more aggressive rehab protocols, but the doc said he wanted to make sure the tendon has a good chance to heal before you get the boot. I feel more protected in the cast but sleeping is difficult. Any suggestions? I really have no pain and Ive been very careful moving around, but Ive backed my foot into stuff using the walker and everything feels ok. Not like the first few days when I flexed my foot accidently and thought my ankle would break off. Ive been able to do a little bit around the house and play with the kids, but I really miss getting on the ground and wrestling with my 5 and 3 year old. My brothers come over a lot to play with the kids and I admit I am jealous when I watch them play. Hopefully when I get the boot Ill be able to roughhouse again. Other than that, I finally took a shower as Im sure you could smell me coming a few rooms before I arrived. 2 plastic bags over the cast and the leg hanging over the tub made it difficult, but it still felt great. Probably head back to work in a week and a half, and dealing with HR over leave paperwork isnt fun, but at least things are getting manageable. Still wish it was my left achilles rather than my right. I feel like Im in Driving Miss Daisy and I miss the freedom of getting in the car.