Keeping positive

Last hospital visit !

Hello everyone,

Well I had a land-mark visit to the hospital today in that the surgeon has ’signed me off’. In other words he doesn’t want to see me anymore (barring any set-backs).

He had a good look and feel of my tendon ,did a few tests and declared himself pleased with the results. I am now walking without crutches or a boot albeit slowly. I am still suffering with some pain and stiff-ness around my ankle particularly in the morning but I’m getting there.

I haven’t posted for a while as there was nothing new to report but I’m planning on keeping in touch and following the progress of others on the site.

Thank-you once again Dennis -you have enabled me to access so much support particularly during the early dark days and also the site has been a treasure trove of help and advice. May I thank everyone who has contacted me on various matters (not all ATR related !!) but special thanks to UKnodger, Annie. Jimbo (we should meet up for a beer!) and Maestro (Yes I stayed awake for the whole of the Superbowl).

So I’ll keep chipping in when appropriate and I look forward to reading about everyones steady journey toward recovery - my Doc said today I have 6 more months of recovery - a rather startling revelation but he’s been right about timings up to now so I have plenty of time.

                                           Cheers everyone

                                                                       Richard xx


Happy Christmas

To all my ATR colleagues - Thank-you for all your support and comradeship these last few months - its 23.45 here in England on Christmas Eve and I’ve just washed down a couple of anti inflammatories with a gin and tonic !!

A festive Xmas and a happy New Year to you all


American Football

Hello everyone (particularly US citizens)

My recovery has spanned the end of the baseball season and the pre playoffs season of the NFL. I managed to work out the rules of Baseball but I have a football question  -

(1) After a punt if the receiver drops (fumbles) the ball can anyone dive on it?

(2) If the punt receiver decides to let the ball bounce and leaves it alone can the chasing pack dive on it?

(3) What is a touch back?

Thank-you in advance. Achilles going slowly at this end - still struggling with painful top of foot but able to get around ok with boot on and support from crutches


Foot Pain

Hello everyone,

Well I’ve been out of my cast  for a week now and I have seen the physio. Progress with the tendon is great, it is healing well and I can, after some manipulation, get it to almost 90 degrees.

However I am being hampered by a lot of pain across the top of my foot - This isn’t a very scientific description but the pain is across the area from ankle bone to ankle bone where the bottom of your leg joins the top of your foot.

Its stopping me putting much weight on my foot and hampering me when I try to pull my foot towards me. Ice helps but only temporarily as the stiffness returns once the ice has gone

Any suggestions would be gratefully received, I do think i’m struggling because my foot has been held in an equinas position (pointing down) for such a long time

                                                          Thank-you and take care everybody

                                                                               Richard xx



7 Weeks - Leeds United Get The Boot !!!

Hello everyone,

Firstly apologies to all you non UK ATR’s for the rather cryptic post title - for the UK types, I knew it I just bloody knew it was going to happen!!

Anyway no more bad news from me despite the week-ends debacle at Histon, I’ve been to the hospital today and its all good. Healing well, out of my cast and into an air-cast boot with physio starting as soon as I go to see them and book in.

My ankle feels quite tight but I have some ROM exercises to do at home when the boots off(I can take it off when resting / sleeping) so I am really chuffed.

Jimbo- the soreness I was feeling was due to a slight ripple which had formed in the big elastoplast thing(scientific!!) over the wound which was irritating the skin - it was a bit red but nothing to worry about.

So all in all I can get around much easier now in fact I’ve just been for a walk!! albeit only 200 yards to the end of the lane where I can see the woods and the river. I haven’t seen that view since July!

The Doc has virtually handed me over to the Physios now,he says they will make decisions about how my progress is going and how long I’ll be booted (he estimated 4 weeks with a gradual removal of the heel lifts at one a week). He doesn’t want to see me again until the end of Jan when he expects ROM to be normal.

I know I’ve still got a stretch (haha) in front of me but you know there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Thank-you everyone for all your support since July it really has been a blessing.

                                                   Richard xx



Hello everyone,

Don’t panic there’s nothing wrong!! - however as many of you know watching films has been a major part of my life these last few weeks and tonight I’ve watched the ultimate orthopaedic nightmare -Oh yes James Caan trapped in the house with the deranged Kathy Bates looking after him.

Strangely I can feel an extra urgency to get better - I’ve also hidden the key to my shed where, yes you’ve guessed it, there’s a sledgehammer!!

PS -Young bloggers under 30 may not have a clue what I’m on about - Ask your Dad,he’ll tell you!!

                                                       All the best everyone

                                                                                                    Richard xx

First post op visit

Hello everyone,

Well I’ve just returned from the hospital where I had my post op cast removed for a wound inspection. It all looked ok no sign of any infection and the scar had closed all the along its length (about 6 inches). I say stitches they were actually metal staples placed very close together and it did sting a bit when they were taken out.

So I’m now in a NWB cast for 4 weeks. The Doc said I should then go back in to the air-cast boot after the 4 weeks as long as there’s no hiccoughs along the way.

All in all I’m pleased with how it all went today, I feel I’ve made some tangible progress.

I’m celebrating by going off to see some friends who live by the sea in Pembrokeshire for a few days - they’ve got a nice boat which I can go out on (Weather permitting) - I’ll have to wear my water-proof cast cover with by life-jacket!! definitely not cool.

                                   Cheerio all


PS - I forgot to say - I found out as well as repairing my tendon the Doc augmented the repair using the plantaris tendon from my foot - extra strength apparently.


All done!

Hello everyone,

Well I,m done, no problems excellent service at the hospital. ‘Tendon repair and secondary reconstruction’ was the official description of the op. I have to say when the Doc was talking to me afterwards I was still a bit woozy and didn’take it all in - however I’m seeing him again next week so I can have a proper chat then.

I do remember him saying that there had been hardly any scar tissue growth on the ends of the injured tendon which he found suprising, he said it was like repairing a recent rupture rather than one which was 13 weeks old. I don’tknow whether thats a good thing or a bad.

However its back to see him in a week , plaster off and wound inspection(hopefully stitches out ) then 4/5 weeks in a NWB cast - I really can’t stop thinking I’ve been here before but I know time will pass quickly.

Pain ok, I’m trying to keep pain killers to a minimum and only use them as neccesary. otherwise its bed for me for the next few days leg up reading and checking the ATR blog every 5 minutes - my wife thinks I’m having an on-line affair!!!

                           All the best everyone



Bad News

Hello everyone,

Well all my fears have come home to roost today. I had a telephone call from the hospital on Friday asking me to go in today (Mon) to see the Doc. They stipulated I must see the surgeon not one of his juniors and I immediately smelt the proverbial rat. For those not familiar with the NHS system in the UK it is almost unknown for them to chase the patients looking for work so it was with a heavy heart that I settled in for a longish wait in the clinic this AM.

When I finally got to see the Doc he looked long and hard at my ankle , did some more tests and I could tell by his face what was coming - surgery. We talked through the process and the recovery period and again the folly of the steroid injection. The surgery is scheduled for Oct 16th and then the recovery period on top.

As far as recovery goes I will be back to the beginning thereby rendering the last 12 weeks a waste of time which is a shattering blow psychologically. I am committed to getting through this however I’ve got to say I have had better days


Bath - Time

Apologies to those of you with delicate stomachs. I’ve just been able to properly wash my foot and lower leg for the first time in weeks - How much dead skin! - it looked like some creature had been shedding in there. I bottled out last night and slept with my boot on it just seems so weird to be free of the cast(actually quite vulnerable) but its great like now to be able to sit with it elevated doing my gentle ROM exercises.

I did see a physio at the hosp on Monday and she gave me(on Drs orders) some simple exercises. I can get my foot quite a way to flat before the tendon starts to complain, the most painful area is around the ankle joint generally - I’m hoping now I can start to move it again that will ease over time. I’m not allowed to put my weight through the tendon but I can now walk (with crutches) and partially weight bear. That is so much easier than NWB and makes me feel I’m beginning to exercise my leg again.

Thank-you for your messages of support and Dennis I know its been said before but jolly good show for making this site possible. It was a strange thing at the hospital on Monday I felt really well prepared in terms of general ATR knowledge and no way was I going to get fobbed off and that is due in no small part to your site. Cheers everyone.