It’s been awhile since the initial injury and I’m BACK! Playing tennis without thinking about the tendon, been skiing and of course working. I have a very nice keloid on the back of my leg but it really doesn’t bother me. Now when I see friends and co-workers walking around with the “boot”, I give them encouragement and hope. Oh yeah, I’ve also taken up golf in the little spare time that I have. It is a treacherous game but lots of fun. it takes a while to get the swing but after that its you and the silly little ball on the ground. I’ll be checking back more regularly……..
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It amazes me that I was so looking forward to returning to work only to find that it was NOT that easy to slip right in. First of all I have to limp-hobble to my car in the garage, then drive to work which has been a relief, but once in the work-garage, I take off my sneaker, strap back on the boot, “walk” to my office and put in 8 or sometimes 24 hours, and reverse the above to get back home. The first week was really harder than I initially thought it would be. It was REALLY BUSY! By the end of the day, the leg has been edematous and quite a bit sore. Still, I am happy (I guess) to be back at work as everyday there is a new challenge. My itinerary for recovery (per my doc) is that I have about 14 more days left of the cam boot and then not only can I start PT but I can wear two shoes (injured one with lifts). Time is moving on.
P.S. The wife is happy at her new-found freedom. Just heard that one of my co-workers did the same thing playing basketball, so I will contact him and invite him to our blog.
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On Monday, the 14th of September, I had the cast removed. I was fitted with the cam boot and given instructions to begin rubber band strengthening within the next two weeks. The boot is OK but I marveled at how much atrophy there was in the lower leg and calf muscle. The incision had healed fine but is still itching a bit. I got most of the dead skin off after about two days. I am now able to shower, swim and drive. Can’t believe how much I missed driving myself around town. Even though it is a hassle to walk to the car with the boot, take off the boot and put on a soft driving shoe, get to my destination, put the boot back on and then stop at various local stores just to repeat the process when driving back home. I am planning on returning next week to work and will see how that all pans out. I’ve noticed like other ATR’s that at the end of the day, I have swelling and a little soreness around the ankles but in the morning all of that is gone. Tried to walk without the boot an that was pitiful. No strength for pushing off, so I’ll be patient and wait until I can get into the full swing of physical therapy.
Labor Day at my sister's house
I can actually stand without the boot but there is no pushing off because the muscles are really weak. A very scary observation is that the other Achilles (the good one) has been sore recently. I brought this to the attention of my Ortho guys and he stated that it is because of the additional weight and pressure that has been on the tendon since surgery. I have vowed to be very careful as I do not wish to go through this again. The thought of experiencing another ATR on the opposite leg is totally depressing.
My newest assistant. The boot!
Incision site after cast removal
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Can’t believe that August went so fast. Since my injury occurred while playing tennis, I have been remiss to watch the US Open in Flushing New York but the tennis channel has all of the matches. Got a call from my orthopedic RN yesterday and hopefully I will get this cast off on the 15th. In the meantime, I continue to do toe and ankle exercises in the cast. The toes are getting a bit dry but no rashes yet.
From what I can gather, the next phase will be to get refitted with a cam boot and then more physical therapy. At least with the boot I can take it off to drive and wash my leg (hip to toes). The scar itches at times and I have avoided trying to stick anything down the cast so as not to disrupt the incision. I can only imagine what it looks like. The OR report states that it is about 10 cm. long!
I spoke to a friend of mine who actually had an ATR last year. He admitted that he did not follow the rehabilitation protocol and now one year later has a limp and cannot run. Believe me, that was enough incentive for me to get back to running, skiing, tennis, golfing and bicycling even more than before.
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My leg is feeling better today after a long shower this AM. Boy did that feel great. Also my friends have been stopping over and sitting down to talk about life, jobs, the news and the Olympics. Quite a brouhaha with that S. African female runner! Went out with my crutches for hamburgers & beer and then some sushi on Thursday with friends. Tonight I may go to the movies but I wonder if I should sit in the handicap section with the crutches? We’ll see. Feel like I’m ready right now to start PT but from everything that I’ve read on this site and from Sports Medicine Journals, I have a bit more time to go. Something that people never think about is where the heck do you place your crutches when you go out to a restaurant? Do they go on the floor beneath you, on the wall next to you or do you check them with the coat lady?
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OK, so now I’m like 12 days post-op and I had the soft splint removed only to be replaced by a hard (just below the knee) cast. I saw the incision site and it was OK. My surgeon states that I’ll be living with this cast for the next 4 weeks (yuck). There goes the rest of the summer!! The crutches are lightweight but you have to use them to get around EVERYWHERE. The stairs are particularly daunting but I manage. Anyone know of exercises for people in crutches? If so let me know. Here’s a picture of my best new friends.
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Thanks for the kind and reassuring words. I go to the ortho guy this coming Tuesday to get stitches removed and peer at the incision. Still can’t imagine another couple of weeks in a cast.
Had trouble with the MRI attachment because it was a TIFF format but now changed to JPEG will try again and attach to this addendum.
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Thought that ‘d be OK with the long recovery since I have not been off work for anything in about 28 years. Thought that I’d catch up on reading, DVD’s, computer stuff and all of that jazz BUT after 8 days postop without being able to drive, using crutches zoning out on day-time TV (very boring), I am soooo glad that I found this website. I AM NOT ALONE! The links have been very helpful and I know that I can get through this. So for this first blog I will upload the MRI of the right leg which was injured on 08/01/2009.
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