purple’s AchillesBlog

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8 week update… Crutches blues

Filed under: Uncategorized — purple at 2:53 am on Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hi all!

I will be 8 weeks post surgery tomorrow (9 weeks post injury). It feels like the last two months have crawled  by like a snail. 9 weeks of crutches and lost independence is starting to take its toll.

I am officially full weight bear now, however I can’t seem to kick these crutches. I’m not sure if it’s strength, confidence or what. I have tried one crutch ( on opposite side), I’m doing my hip exercises (as well as calf and achilles). I still have my vacoped fixed now a 0 degrees.

Im starting to get so frustrated that I can’t walk without my crutches and I wonder what others expereriences are transitioning from crutches to walking. I’ve been trying for about 10 days. Physio says I need to bd patient, but I’m concerned I’m going to slow and am too protective.

On the upside, I’m back at work full time, showering by myself with boot off, sleeping a little better, swelling is getting better and going to physio and masseuse each week.

Ive learnt a lot about myself and also myself as a health professional. I think I will have an absolute new empathy for my patients with a new understanding of pain, frustration, social isolation, loss of independence, and recovery.



Comment by superjewgrl

August 25, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

Great post purple. Is your masseuse connected to your physio, or is this a special achilles massage? I start PT in a couple of weeks and I’ve been dreaming of a massage.

I think one day you’ll just wake up and won’t need the crutches anymore. As someone on this site mentioned, there are no short cuts, so take the time you need until you don’t need them.

Good luck and let us know how your progress is working out. Take Care.


Comment by kiki

August 25, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

Hang in there, purple! You’re doing everything you need to, and I’m sure it will all fall into place soon. I haven’t done any hydrotherapy myself, but I wonder whether it would feel safer and be easier for you to try taking a step in the pool, holding onto the edge for balance?


Comment by seaweed

August 25, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

keep the faith purple…look at the video on ryanb’s blog where he gives some tips on how to walk with the cast. I am non-op but started with PWB at 2 weeks and was FWB at five weeks. it took a little getting used to but find it easier to walk in the cast than I do out it when I shuffle around the house. I’m at just over seven weeks now and also at 0 degrees, don’t despair!


Comment by loumar747

August 26, 2013 @ 2:16 am

Hi Purple,

Hang in there - it does get better. I’m just wondering, why, if you’re in the vacocast, you can’t walk. Is it painful? I personally loved the ‘boot’ and found walking with it to be quite liberating. I’m no ‘normofthenorth’ but maybe if we understand what the difficulty that you’re having is, maybe we can give you some tips. If I’ve totally missed something, forgive me, as I sometimes think that when my achilles ruptured I lost a few brain cells. Remember, we achilles rupture bloggers are here behind you cheering you on!


Comment by purple

August 26, 2013 @ 5:25 am

Thank you all for your kind comments,

To answer your questions, superjewgrl, my massage started with my physio and I asked if I could see a masseuse at the clinic I go to as an additional session. The massage is amazing… But can be quite painfull too. An important part of recovery as I understand :). I hope I wake up and not need them soon!!

My twin Kiki, I’m not allowed to start hydro until I’m out of the boot and stable on my feet… Plus it’s winter here so not ideal. Indoors will be my option once I’m not going to slip!! Thanks for the kind comments x

Seaweed! Thank you, I did see Ryan’s video very helpful. Good to know its taken you some time also.

Loumar, I don’t have pain (a little through heal but nothing terrible), I just feel like I’m going to fall over without my crutches!! Even with one crutch I feel like that. I wonder if it’s all in my head as I don’t seam to hear of others having this difficulty. Maybe I’m just inpatient!! I will just need to remember it takes time. I love the boot too… I just hate the crutches!!

Thanks again all, I see masseuse tomorrow and physio Thursday. I’ll keep you updated on my ridiculously petty concern!!!

Purple xx


Comment by spacemonkey

August 26, 2013 @ 9:04 am

Hello Purple,

What a beautiful colour scheme you have chosen for your blog. I too find it difficult to come to terms with the lost independence, I seem to spend a large chunk of time arranging lifts to places or waiting for them to turn up. The things you take for granted until they are gone? I have been walking around with out crutches for about 5 days now. I take them with me if I will be walking quite far, they just make it easier. After getting my cast replaced with a boot, I started off by walking around the house with out the crutches as there were plenty of walls, door handles and banisters to hold on to. I initially took a step with my right foot (the good one) then moved my left in line with it ’stepping to’. Once I got a wedge out of the boot I was able to step through an walk a little bit more normally. It took a few days to get comfortable with this and I have left the crutches behind for the last two days at work. I think the important thing is to stay upright and not have any more accidents so I would not get too concerned whether or not I was using crutches, as long as I can get around. Crutches are beneficial for making people realise you have an injury and giving you a bit more room…. Happy Healing :-)


Comment by kellygirl

August 26, 2013 @ 11:25 am

Sorry to hear that you are having trouble in the boot. I haven’t read the other comments but I will add my 2 cents. It’s very important to have the boot cinched tight to make sure that you are not stressing your achilles. Try to level up the other shoe by wearing a sneaker with a heel or some other kind of stable shoe. When you walk, really push your booted leg forward so your shin pushes against the front of the boot. You really have to rock/roll forward. I would try this around the house or with a crutch for support until you get the hang of it. Good luck.


Comment by kellygirl

August 26, 2013 @ 11:26 am

That Vacoped has a rocker heel right? (Curved on the bottom.)


Comment by Nicky

August 28, 2013 @ 9:30 am

I have been given the all clear to FWB in the boot today (8 weeks) and I am feeling your pain! I cannot imagine how I am going to be able to fully weight bear. As soon as I put more pressure on, it feels so tight. I also seem to have forgotten how to walk! I hope you are getting there. Let us know.


Comment by Sharon

August 28, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

Hi all! I’m in the middle of my 5th week post op and last week they gave me the go-ahead to go FWB, but I just don’t feel I’m ready. I tried with one crutch and end up hopping, I tried by holding walls, but it still hurts like crazy in my heel since they had to drill holes in it when they reattached my tendon (it had pulled away from the bone). I hate feeling like I’m being a “chicken” about trying to walk again, but the pain is stopping me at this juncture. I will say though, I just started hydro-therapy and light swimming to regain some mobility in my foot/ankle/calf, so hopefully this will help me towards my FWB goal and give me some confidence! Also, I found this pamphlet super helpful, so check it out! massgeneral.org/ortho/services/sports/rehab/Achilles%20repair%20rehabilitation%20protocol.pdf

Good luck and happy healing to everyone!


Comment by normofthenorth

August 29, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

Purple, I’ll just add +1 to what everybody else has said. All good stuff, it should work. One step at a time.
Sharon, if the pain is UNDER your heel, it’s common — “normal” even — and could respond to cushioning. I found some squishy gel footbeds, and put one in my boot. If it makes “that” foot even higher, boost the other foot to match so you can walk level. When I went to 2 shoes (& barefoot), my heel-bottom sensitivity got worse, and gel shoes (Crocs) worked magic for me.
Rolling your foot over a tennis ball (seated) often helps too, though this sensitivity often lingers, even without special reasons — like with non-op folks.
If the pain is at the BACK of the heel, I’d be much more cautious and concerned, and back off and ask your OS about it.


Comment by Sharon

August 30, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

Thank you for the suggestion about the gel inserts and the tennis ball “rolling” (which, I am doing at this very moment while at my desk!). I can feel the twinges on the bottom of my foot while doing this, but am confident that this will help immensely in getting me ready to walk with my boot as my goal is to be crutch-free in 1.5 weeks. Have a great weekend, all!


Comment by purple

August 31, 2013 @ 4:07 am

Hello all you lovely people,

Thank you all so much for the advice, I have taken it all and tried to put it into practice. Last night one of my friends who is a prosthetist and orthotist gave me a “shoe shoe”… Essentially it is a shoe for your shoe, a piece of rubber that fits onto your shoe to build your good foot up and “even up” your feet. I have found this very helpful. I am able now to awkwardly walk (just around the house) with one crutch. I am noticing that small amount of pain at base of my heel but understand this to be normal. I feel I am slowly getting there. Physio says I’m a bit behind but that it is what it is and I will walk with some little more confidence.. He wanted me to get to pool also how’re surgeon has asked to wait til boot is off and no more crutches at risk of slipping.

Thanks for supporting me. Slowly slowly. Can’t wait to throw out the crutches!!!



Comment by Kiki

September 8, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

How are you doing, Purple?


Comment by purple

September 9, 2013 @ 4:57 am

Hello Kiki!

I’m doing well thank you! I’m just now able to sort of walk with no crutches around the house. Tonight was my first time able to do some housework with no crutches… Who would have ever thought I’d be excited to be doing housework?!! Boot comes off on Thursday so that is also exciting and I can head to the pool! Maybe I’ll be able to get rid of this pot belly I seem to have acquired!!

How are you progressing Kiki? I haven’t been on for a while, I’ve been a bit slack!


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