Brendan on http://achillesblog.com/brendan
I think he did the right thing by not getting pressured into surgery by the first surgeon and going with a different surgeon who he felt more comfortable with.
Wednesday Feb 27th - decided to see PCP first, got an appt in the morning. I didn’t really have to do this with my insurance, but figured the least he could do was give me a good recommendation for a specialist. He performed the Thompson Test, which was positive and got me into see a doc at our ortho clinic in town that afternoon. In between appointments, I started to research the docs at the clinic, and found that a few of them specialized just in foot and ankle problems, unfortunately my appt was not with one of them, but figured it was good that I at least got an appt and the ball was rolling. In the meantime, I had read that if you go the surgery route, 7-14 days is fine in between injury and repair, but not to extend it too much longer than that. As luck would have it, I was able to see one of the foot specialists that afternoon, and he confirmed a torn achilles. He gave me stats for the options: 18% re-rupture with casting method, 2-3% re-rupture with surgery, 18% chance of infection with surgery. I asked if further testing would be helpful in deciding, and he said an MRI could help, so I scheduled that for the following day.
Thursday February 28th - MRI in the morning, follow up appt with doc scheduled for next day. MRI was loud and annoying, but not uncomfortable at all. Late that afternoon, my wife and I both start getting phone calls from various nurses saying they need to talk to me ASAP. I finally get a call from a surgery center, prompting me to be there the following morning at 6:00 AM. I haven’t even talked to a doc yet about the results of the MRI. This is a bit nervewracking…and I finally get in touch with the doc to discuss. Turns out he is heading out of town, and if I want him to do the surgery, it has to be the next day. It’s really high pressure salesman style…and I don’t like it. I call the ortho center and get an appt with the other foot/ankle specialist after some hounding. I cancel the surgery with the first doc for now.
Friday Feb 29 - Meet with the other specialist, his stats are a little different, 10-11% re-rupture with casting method, 1-2% re-rupture with surgery, 1-2% infection risk with surgery. He talks to me for 30 minutes and is completely open to either route, although 99% of his treatments have been surgeries. He does 1-2 repairs per month, and I feel good about him, so I schedule the surgery for the following Monday (6 days after injury).
Lesson learned here, don’t be pressured into something you don’t want to do. If it feels funny to you, get a second opinion. I wasn’t questioning the first docs diagnosis, but I was questioning his method of communication and it didn’t jive with mine.