Preparing for Surgery

I was lucky to have about five days prior to my surgery to read up on what to expect and get at least a little organized.

After my doctor said I would need to elevate my foot for about 22 hours a day for two-weeks after surgery, it hit me that recovery would be a long process.

Here are a few things I did or wish I did to prepare for surgery:

  • Prescriptions - Fill in advance.  Monitor your use, especially as the weekend approaches.  You don’t want to run out over the weekend or long holiday weekend.
  • Cast Protector - Buy a cast protector to use when you shower.  I purchased a Carex brand cover at the local grocery/pharmacy for about $6.  It’s self seals.  So far I’ve used it for 4 times and it has held up great.  I’ve dealt with taping together ziploc bag to cover areas and it’s really a pain, plus you have to use tape on your skin, and usually it leaks anyways.
  • Knee Scooter - Expensive but worth the investment for me.  I’ll end up using it for at least a couple months and will hopefully be able to sell it to someone else in need down the road.  These can also be rented or purchased used.  At the orthopedic doctor’s office, several people raved about their scooter and how much it has helped them safely get around during the recovery process.  It has a basket on the front which allows me to carry things when I’m shopping and around the house.  I might need to order the cup holder attachment since I’ll be heading back to work soon.
  • Crutches - While the scooter was on order, I purchased crutches from the pharmacy.  It took a lot of energy to go through a store on crutches but they are great at home.  Sometimes it makes more sense to use crutches so it’s nice to have the option.

I’d be very curious to know of other tricks, tips, or devices people have found useful or useless.

Thanks everyone!

My Rupture Story


I decided to set a goal to get in the best shape of my life by the time I hit 40.  There were several motivators, from losing weight, gaining more energy, and reducing the pains of my sit-down desk job.  I selected the gym closest to my home that focuses on small-group fitness and strength.

Date of Rupture

February 6, 2019, was my third class and I was feeling pretty good.  Sore from Monday’s workout but excited to be on track. Class started with its usual warm up drills and stretches. We then proceeded to do sprints down and back the length of the gym. I completed this drill without issues. I am a recreational runner and while I hadn’t ran in quite some time, I found the sprints invigorating.

Halfway through the one-hour class we begin a new series of exercises, beginning with another sprint - across the gym and back two times.

I got in position, ready to take off when the instructor said “go.”

She said “go” which set my body in motion.  I took off and the next thing I new, I was flattened on the ground, on my side trying to gather my marbles.  It felt like someone or something struck the back of my left heel as I was starting to run. My ankle was throbbing, along with the rest of my legs.  I lay there, in pain and in shock, trying to wrap my head around what happened and how badly I was injured.

Music was playing so I didn’t hear a “crack” or a “pop.”  After laying for several minutes I sat up and realized I couldn’t comfortably put weight on my injured side.  Eventually, I was able to get some help to my car (hopping) and drove home.  A couple hours later, I was able to put enough weight to “hobble” around my house but that was it.  I wasn’t familiar with achilles tendon injuries but knew something wasn’t right when I could feel a gap where my tendon used to be.

I made an appointment to see the doctor, who referred me to an orthopedic specialist, who confirmed that I completely ruptured my achilles tendon and recommended surgery.

Personal Takeaways

  • Go to a doctor as soon as possible - The trainer at the gym didn’t “think” it was an achilles tendon rupture because if it were, I would have been in unbearable pain.  Wrong.  First, I was in pain.  Second, as I understand it, a rupture, while painful, isn’t necessarily “unbearable” because of that area of the body does not get as much blood circulation.
  • See doctor sooner than later - Another reason to not postpone a trip to the doctor is that it could take a couple days to get in to see a specialist and then even longer to schedule a surgery, if necessary.  This could be important because the longer you wait, the more difficult surgery could be because the body will start to heal or form scar tissue.  I was able to see the specialist in two days and schedule surgery a week after the rupture.
  • Don’t Sprint - This may be a bit dramatic but I never would have thought such an injury was possible just by taking off to run.  Instead, proactively seek find out how to protect your body’s largest tendon!