princessachilles’s AchillesBlog

So, how does a Princess deal with Achilles Tendon Surgery & Recovery? Follow along…

Okay it’s PWB time & I need advice from you pros on Crutches.

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 8:50 pm on Thursday, February 27, 2014

So I am at 3 weeks post surgery tomorrow and when I saw the surgeon on Monday,  he said that I could start PWB on Friday.  He said to start out at 15 min a day then increase it 15 min every couple days as tolerated.  Now before I get into my question there is something I want to explain.  I am an overweight woman, my surgery was not due to an injury or tear like most everyone on here.  (Read my post Not your everyday Achilles Tendon injury…in fact, there was no injury. )  I have chronic back pain and had to have this surgery done before I can do back surgery so, I have spent the past year in bed.  We have a split level house so, I haven’t gone anywhere except to the follow up visit.  I have pretty much zero upper and lower body strength.

That being said, I’m trying to figure out the best option for me of what to use while doing PWB.  I have been using the knee scooter for getting around.   I originally had a walker that I was going to use for getting around before the nurse explained to us that I would be NWB.  I see a lot of people talk about using crutches, I some with no upper body strength that’s gonna be very difficult BUT, a great way to start working on my upper body strength.  The Millennial crutches look interesting and like they might be easier for me to use.  I’ve also seen the forearm crutches,  I don’t think those would be very easy to use.  Anyway, I would like to find out what you guys used and your opinions.

What did you use to help you get around when you started PWB?  Did it work well?  Did you switch to something else?  Did it work better?

I really appreciate any help you guys can give me!  Thank you! :)

1st Follow Up Appointment

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 2:13 pm on Monday, February 24, 2014

This is my first glimpse of the incision. I would say the incision is around 4 - 4 1/2. This is before they took out the stitches. I will post more about the appt and all the other details in the next day or so.First look at incision

The Surgery….Finally!

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 6:13 am on Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I finally had my surgery on 2/7/14, almost a full year since it started! The Surgeon cut my AT in a long Z shape then slide the pieces apart and sewed the two top pieces together.  My husband and I were under the impression that I would be up and walking around right after the surgery.  This is what the surgeon was saying when I had the appointment to set up the surgery.  Now that I know more about the whole process, I guess he was talking about after I was FWB but, he did not break it all down for us very well.  So we were getting ready to leave the surgery center and the nurse asked if I had crutches or something since I was NWB.  She told us about the knee scooter and we went straight to the medical supply and rented one.  I absolutely love this thing and I recommend it to anybody that has had this surgery!

The surgeon put me in a boot, not a cast, he said with a cast there’s more of a chance of it rubbing or cutting me and causing an infection. I took the boot off once and that was to try on a different boot but, I quickly put the original one back on. My foot is very padded over the surgery area then wrapped with an ace bandage. I have no desire to try and sleep with the boot off or any of that. I am a bigger woman, non athletic and all I want is to be able to walk normally to my bathroom and back. I am not gonna risk injuring this thing or tearing it and having to start all over.

The days following the surgery were very rough.  There was a lot of pain and since I was already on pretty strong pain meds there wasn’t much that was stronger.  The hardest part was getting to the bathroom.  I used the scooter to get there but, our bathroom is very small so I couldn’t turn the scooter around in there.   The key to keeping the pain down was to keep the foot propped up above my heart and keeping ice on it.  You can’t get the ice pack in the exact area of the incision so, they showed me a trick at the surgery center.  If you put the ice pack higher up on your calf from where the incision is, the cold will travel down and still work on the incision area so, I would just tuck the edge of the ice pack in the top of my boot cast and I was good to go.

I do recommend staying on top of that pain medicine those first 4 or 5 days.  Take it every 4 or 6 hours, depending on how it’s prescribed, I would even set the alarm on my phone and take it in the middle of the night.  The other thing I recommend is getting some of those orange juice drink boxes and drink a couple a day to help keep your potassium up so you don’t get the muscle cramps in your calf as bad.  I would get the cramps when I got on the scooter after laying down for a few hours.  When, I would bend my leg up to knee to kneel on the scooter is when I would get them really bad.

Not your everyday Achilles Tendon injury…in fact, there was no injury.

Filed under: Uncategorized — princessachilles at 1:52 pm on Monday, February 17, 2014

Yup, you read that right, there was no injury to my Achilles Tendon, not until my surgeon cut it that is.  Let’s go back to the beginning…..

Long ago, in a land far far away…lol just kidding.  I have had chronic pack pain and issues for the past 10+ years and over time it’s gradually gotten worse.  In August 2012 it got so bad that my Dr. said it was time for me to stop working for a bit and take it easy, while we tried to get my insurance company to approve a special therapy for my back.  Somewhere in the middle of January 2013 I got up one morning to go to the bathroom and I noticed that my left foot felt weird.  I realized that my heel was no longer touching the floor when I walked.  The only way I could walk was on my tiptoes which completely threw off my balance and that caused 1 minor and 1 major fall.  After the minor fall I had ordered a cane off of Amazon and I was actually using the cane during the major fall.

The next time I went in for my back injections at the surgery center I showed my pain management Dr what was going on.  He tried putting a few injections in my heel and foot to see if that helped.  While I was there at the surgery center several of the nurses told me I needed to go have it looked at by this Orthopedic Surgeon that was really good and did surgery’s at that center too.  Needless to say the injections didn’t work so, I got the appt. with the surgeon.  He said that he was pretty sure that he could fix my foot but, what was happening to it was not something that was very common so, before he would do the surgery he wanted me to get a back surgeons opinion.   After several months of waiting to get in with the back doctor he did confirm that the foot issue was not related to my back so, another month of waiting to get back in with the surgeon but, we finally got the surgery scheduled, over a year later from when I woke up and couldn’t put my heel to the ground.