The dreaded slip and fall. Or near-fall.

Man, just as I was feeling good about keeping myself protected in the first 4 weeks…I go and fall on my injured foot (in the boot, thank goodness) last night.

It was the simplest, thing, too - just crutching in to the bathroom and my right crutch slipped out from under me on the tile floor. Before I could even think about what happened my right leg was out and catching the brunt of the near-fall. It hurt, but it was more of a burning sensation up and down the back of my heel and calf. I did my best to quickly prop myself up with the other crutch and stumble around a bit. I think I pressed the bad leg down twice reflexively. My leg flexed in the boot a bit - there’s a little give in the upper part of the liner - but I can’t imagine it moved very far.

It’s hard to separate the physical feeling from the initial fear. And there was a lot of fear. The pain and burning stopped as soon as I got weight off of my leg. In the end it felt more like a stretch than anything worse - no tearing or popping sensation. There’s no swelling and the incision looks fine. Basically, everything looks the same this morning as it did before the stumble. I have the same basic ROM but haven’t pushed that. I just strapped the boot on tight and will now keep my fingers crossed.

My guess is that my calf flexed/tensed for the first time in 5 weeks and most of what I felt was tightness related to that. I did have a few little twinges in the upper calf, like a light calf strain, but those went away within an hour or so.

Well, I made it 26 days before a fall. Here’s hoping that’s the last one! I’m not quite sure whether I’ll check in with my doctor this week. I have an appointment next week…without any other signs/symptoms I’m inclined to wait for the scheduled visit unless I start noticing swelling, bruising, etc.

9 Responses to “The dreaded slip and fall. Or near-fall.”

  1. Glad to hear you’re ok! From your description, it doesn’t sound like you did anything. But, it’s always best to get your doc’s opinion, especially if you’re experiencing prolonged pain and/or additional swelling.

    On first AT rupture, I also fell. Hooked my crutch on a shoe on the ground and stepped down hard on my bad foot while I was stumbling. I had the presence of mind to lift the foot and just let my body go to the ground, rather than fighting it like I usually do! Shooting pain, but, like you, it subsided after a short time. I still called the doc, and got that reassurance that I was ok.

    Maybe that’s all you need - a quick call to the doc.

    Hope you don’t have any more falls! Remember, as you get more and more comfortable on the crutches, you tend to get more complacent, and tend to make mistakes! That was me. Gotta always keep eyes on task and mind on task!

    Have a great day!

  2. Hope you are ok after the fall and no damage was done. As Eric said above, I would also just call the doc office just to have peace of mind.

  3. Thanks everyone - I left a message with the doctor this morning to be safe. I’ll update when I hear back. Everything felt fairly normal yesterday…a few twinges here and there. My heel got a little sensitive from me tightening my boot down some more, so I relaxed my Ultra Tight Boot From Now On philosophy for comfort’s sake. This morning it’s like nothing happened so I’ll keep positive and assume this was scarier than it was damaging.

    I forgot to add this to my previous post - the atrophy in my right calf is flat-out crazy. I expected it to be different, but here I am at 5 weeks NWB (1 week before surgery + 4 after) and my leg looks like a toothpick. It’s a bit demoralizing, but at least in the case of a fall that had me planting/pressing down with my mid foot, I’m not sure there’s enough muscle in there to do much damage. :)

  4. Glad to hear you’re feeling no ill effects today from the fall. I have to constantly remind myself to not get complacent on the stairs. We have lots of them, so it’s easy to feel like I can just scoot up without using the railing, but NO!! Reading your story is yet another (good) reminder for me.

    The leg atrophy is crazy. Definitely demoralizing. My legs are thin to begin with, but the injured one is definitely dwindling! I’ve had trouble with muscle spasms and wondered how that was possible as it doesn’t seem like there’s any muscle in there to spasm!!

  5. Yeah, this is definitely a reminder to avoid complacency. I’d considered using the crutches with no boot a couple times and thought better of it…thank goodness I didn’t try that the other night.

    The doc’s assistant called back and said in the absence of pain or bruising, I’m “probably fine.” They can’t say anything definitive without seeing me but they didn’t bump up my appointment. I’ll go in next Thursday and let them poke and prod. Of course I’d prefer it without the “probably” but I understand they can’t make bold declarations over the phone.

  6. Good point on not using crutches without the boot. I never thought of that. Will definitely keep that in mind for my next phase.

    Keep us posted on your doc visit next week.

  7. I don’t know about ATR protocol but my doctor spelled out, explicitly, no bare feet!!! He put that in every week where he listed what I could and couldn’t do for the next month of weight bearing and walking. When I asked why he said not only does your muscle atrophy but you lose bone mass so you can get stress fractures if you bear weight without the boot keeping things in place. So the weight bearing in the boot helps to start rebuilding bone mass in preparation for first part time wearing of shoes and then being able to do things with no shoes on.

  8. Bare foot walking also requires more dorsi flexion than shoes with a heel. You will limp more when walking in bare feet and limping is not good.

  9. Good point Stuart! And when I wear shoes to drive I have a heel wedge in them which further reduces dorsiflexion. I’m trying hard to take small steps when I walk with the boot too so I can have as normal a walking gate as I can manage. :)

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