4 months post-op

Its been just over 4 months post-op.  I’ve been getting better slowly.  Still walking with a slight limp but sometimes people cannot tell.  It all depend on the day.  Most days are good but on the exactly 4 month post op anniversary, I had pain in my achilles tendon and was limping badly.  My PT thinks is just normal up and down.  Nothing seems to be off.  I’m now doing exercise bike for 10 mins and its still feels like my foot is rolling in an oval instead of circle.  Need to work on it more to get the balance between the 2 leg before I can get on a real bicycle.  I can now do 1 leg stand on my bad leg for 15-20s.  Finally, last week I walked 30km total according to my phone.  The longest was 3 30 mins walk with 5 mins rest in between.  Also, i drove my manual transmission sports car for the first time in months.  I was driving using left leg on brake when I was cleared to drive and man, it takes some getting use to the heavy gas and brake paddle using only my right (bad) foot.

Overall, Im glad with my progress and mostly back to normal life except no major exercise and a little slow walking.  I’ll be traveling in the last 2 weeks  of June and will need to walk a lot. Hopefully I be ready by than.

3 month post-op

Its been just over 3 months post-op. I had my checkup with my surgeon last Fri.  It was pretty routine and said that I’m doing well overall.

Will continue PT for another 6 weeks and see him back at that time. He mentioned that will probably be the last visit.

I’ve been on 2 shoes full time without crutches for about a week now.  Still walking with a slight limp and very slowly but getting more normal by the day.  The soreness on top of my feet is almost gone but I’ve been pretty tired for the whole week.  On Sat, I had the longest walk since my injury, walked around a park slowly for about 30mins and it felt OK.  Was pretty tired afterwards and achilles tendon has a little soreness.

I celebrated my 2-shoes with having a Whiskey tasting party with my friends Sat night. Had 14 different whiskey from around the world and it was the most fun I had since the injury.

Standing in the shower

Its been 3 PT sessions and I’m getting a little better overall.

After practicing walking barefoot at PT, I’m now walking more barefoot at home.  Still, I’m wearing the boot and bring my crutches when i got out or to work.  My therapist has me tried standing heel lift on both feet and I cannot really do more than a few.  That will have to come a little later.  But one side effect is that I’ve enough confidence to stand in the shower again.  I still put the chair in the shower just in case or to to hold the arm rest if I’ve turn around but it was rejuvenating to have water flowing all the way down through the legs to the feet.

Goal is still the same, trying to get to “normal” walking by end of the month.

First day of PT and I’m driving

Have my first PT session today.  The therapist was very nice.  After going through what happened so far and answered some of the questions, I was measured for ROM and strength. I also walked barefoot for the first time to show her my current condition.  For ROM, my injured side feet is 100% when pulling up but about 10 degree less when pointing flat.  100% point outwarda and about 5 degree less when I point inwards (to the left) as compare to my right foot.  Strength wise, I’m a little weak on pushing and also pulling to the left side.  I can even see my feet shaking when I pull to the left against her hand.

I often feel a stickiness of the tendon to the skin when I move my feet and she give me a good massage on the tendon and told me that there are some soft tissues and swell that can be massage away.  It felt very good and I don’t have the stickiness feeling through out the whole day.

The exercises were simple, using the band for left/right, up/down pulls.  She also recommend I do some bridging on the floor.  One interesting exercise was toe curl, my toes were not curling as much as my good feet. Even through I’ve been curling them since right after the surgery.  She mentioned depending on my progress, we will do different exerciser next time.

I felt the first session was a good start. Although I still walked out of the clinic in boot with crutches, I was definitely feeling better.  It will be 4 more weeks of 2 session per week.  The goal is to walk without limping by the end.

The real icing on the cake is that I’m allow to drive!!!  Freedom!!!  Cleared by my surgeon and the therapist. I was able to change from boot to my shoes with the heel cup and drove back home.  It was about 15 minutes and it felt great.  I was extremely careful and used my left foot for braking.  My left foot control is good since I normally drive a manual car.  I’m going to drive automatic for a while and my manual car will have to stay in the garage a little longer.

Not quite 2 shoes

Saw my surgeon this morning.  After examination, he had me put on my shoes and walk. He feel that I’m not ready for 2 shoes yet because I was still limping.  The fire alarm down 4 flights of stairs definitely aggravated the tendon, so I’m still in the boot.  He told me, I can try 2 shoes at home but definitely in the boot outside and most of the time inside.  Still no driving.  Its a little set back but I rather take it slow than risk the recovery.

4 weeks of PT has been prescribed.  I’ll see if I can get it started next week.

First time back in the office since injury.

It has been over 2 months since I’ve been to the office.  Been working from home since my injury as my office is over 25 miles from home. As of last weekend, I was finally able to start walking in boot without crutches.  Got a co-worker to take me to and back today. I was actually pretty excited to go back to the office.  Everything was OK until the fire alarm went off and was told that it is not a drill.  So, I have to walk down 4 flight of stairs.  And it was a false alarm. That was slow and painful.  Afterwards, I noticed that my achilles tendon starts to swell up again.  I pop’ed 2 Advil to help control the swelling.  I’m now resting at home with my leg up on ice.  Swelling has gone down and hopefully it will be fine tomorrow.

Going to see my Surgeon this Fri to see if I can move on to shoes and drive again.

3 more weeks to shoes

Saw my surgeon today at 6 1/2 weeks post-op. I’ve been in boot for a week now.  My ankle motion is about 90% of my good feet. My strength is ok but still not string enough to push myself up. Heel wedge is gone and told me to continue to put more weight on in the boot.  The goal is to be able to walk in boot without crutches in 3 weeks, if all goes well, I’ll be in shoes then.

My feet’s still swollen, more after I walk around. He said it’s ok. My blisters are mostly dried up and now my skin is flaking off like crazy.  There is still a little itch but the medication cream helps a lot.  There are still many dark spots underneath. Will see dermatologist again next week.

I was a little surprised that my surgeon did not prescribe PT yet. He said, I’m doing ok and just keep doing them simple excerise he showed me and it is good enough for now. PT can come at the time of the shoes.

Walking is a luxury even with boot and crutches

Its been 3 days on the boot, with 50% weight baring. Even with crutches wnd boot, I fount walking to be a luxury.  Just touching my feet on the ground is a joy.

Instead of scootering around the house. I try to walk as much as I can.  My Achilles is quiet stiff when I woke up. But about 5 mins of moving my ankle around to loosen it up. I can put my foot flat 90 degree with my leg. I do limit my walking to a couple of minutes a time because the Achilles start to feel tight. I don’t want to over do it at this point. I have the boot remove when I’ll sitting down to work and moving my ankle most of the time to loosen it up.

Last week with the cast, I was so down, due to the itch and pain. Also could not sleep when most night I just lay there in discomfort for 3-4 hours not able to fell asleep. With the cast off, I’m getting full night sleep. Even with a blistered leg, I’m feeling so much better both physically and mentally. It gave me a burst of optimism on the road to recovery.

Will be seeing my Surgeon again this Fri and hopefully he will clear me to start PT.

As for my leg. It was 90% covered with blood blisters when they open the cast. 2 of them were larger than a penny and full of dark blood. It was a big disgusting mess. The dermatologist gave some Triamcinolone cream and it helped a lot. Pain is gone but still itchy (less than before).  She taught me how to wrap with bandages when I put my boot on and going to sleep. The blisters has mostly dried up today and I see some of them flaking off. She think I must be allergic to the cast lining because there isn’t any around my incision and my foot where they were covered by another lay of meterial.  Anyway, it will be a few week before it all heals up and there could still be some dark spots left afterwards.

Cast off, boot on

After about 5 1/2 week post-op, I finally got the cast off and on to a boot.  I have 1 heel cup in the boot and got cleared for 50% weight baring with crutches.

Will go back next Fri to see how I progress and he will prescribe PT.

My whole lower leg come out of the cast full of blisters and blood bobbles.  It is disgusting, I was referred to see a dermatologist this afternoon.

Goal is back to the court this year

Ok, familiar story, playing sports (badminton) and bam! It snapped….

Time line:

Dec 11, injured while playing badminton in the evening. It was the last point of the game and 1 step, I thought, who hit me at the back of my leg. I knew it is bad.

Dec 13, see surgeon, he mentioned that the rupture is higher then normal, so there could be some muscle tissue around and it may take longer to heal.

Dec 18, had surgery.  Surgeon said it’s one of the worst rupture he has seen in 13 years of doing this.  He said my Achilles’ tendon looks like spaghetti when he opened up. I was put on a splint and sent home.

Dec19, Dreamed about jumping and asked, why some one step on the back of my leg? Jumped again an it hurts. Woke up in serious pain as I was probably kicking the injured leg in my dream.

Dec 21, stopped using pain med. Lay in bed all day

Dec 27, first post op visit, stitches were removed, and put into a cast. He made me bend my feet as much as possible. Maybe around 50-60 degree. Due to the servility of my Achilles, He wants me to stay in the cast longer. Until 1/28.

Dec 30, first time going out to have dinner with my family

Jan 1, go out to have dinner again with family. Feeling pretty good.

Jan 2nd, started workin from home on desk. Injured leg gets tired after about an hour. Need to lay down for an hour before going back to work.

Jan 8, 3 weeks post-op. Really feeling good. Was able to sit on desk for 3 hours working with my leg up.

Jan 11, In the evening, pain comes back!  It is not that bad but constant. Itch also started. Basically cannot sleep.  Laid in bed the whole weekend but condition did not improve much.

Jan 13, cannot take the constant pain any more. Took pain med and was able to sleep.

Jan  14, call Dr’s office, he mention, it probably sit too much and I need to lay down more.  Back to work 1 hour, lay down 1 hour.

Jan 17, pain is mostly under control but woke up with leg swelled up. I can feel my foot is swollen and even my knee is swollen. Went to see the Surgeon, after examination, he determined everything is still fine. He mentioned it is normal that in the 3rd-4th week, patient gets pain and swollen due to increase in activities. I have a rash around the knee, he told me to use hydrocortisone cream.

Jan 19, the cream works, much less rash and itch now.  Been laying down more but every time I get up, I can feel the blood rushing down the leg and there is tightness and a little pain at the Achilles.

So far my experience seems to be much slower than many of the blog I’ve read but in line with the few people I know that had this injury. I don’t mind being slowe as long as I can get a full recovery in the long run.

My goal is to be back to the badminton court by end of this year, even if it is not a full game.