February 28th, 2014

Anyone have mesh in their leg?

I’m just curious for those who may have had an ATR and had to have mesh to hold the tendon together. Anyway, that’s what I have. It’s like theres a lump in my leg. I guess I should mention that I’m just a little over a year of my second surgery, (but not my last). I’m just wondering if anyone else has any issues. Like am I always going to have an infection. Am I going to have to take an antibiotic for the rest of my life. The tendon itself feels pretty good. I’m off and on again with starting my jogging. I’m ready mentally. Physically though, it seems everytime I get done exercising, something new starts hurting. My tendon feels good running on the treadmill. It usually feels a little tight for about the first 1/2 mile, but feels awesome finishing up on the 3rd. Then the next day or so I may have some back pain or something wierd like that. Anyway, just wondering how many people have mesh in their legs and if anyone else is having similar issues.
If that’s what its going to be…then fine. I’ll deal with it. It’s better than starting over again. Especially after I’ve gained so much strength back.

February 20th, 2014

My Story

Story is probably a lot like everybody else’s. No matter how it happened, it
really sucks! What’s probably different in my case is that from the date(s)
that I ruptured my Achilles, I didn’t have surgery until 5-6 weeks later.

October 14, 2012, I was playing basketball. I don’t play every week or
anything, but I wanted to mix up my exercise that week as the following Sunday
I was going to be running my second Tough Mudder. I though some basketball
would be a great way to burn some calories and get some cardio in w/o having
anything much to worry about. I’ve been active my whole life. I developed a
passion for running in the Marine Corps. (I was a grunt for those who wanna
know-machinegunner). But running is my outlet when things a stressful-4 kids
will do that to ya! Anyway, I was going for the ball and it felt like someone
kicked me in my Achilles. I didn’t hear the loud pop or snap that most people
talk about, but it hurt like he**. I had to crawl off the court. I limped my way
to my truck and immediately went to the ER to have it checked out. I didn’t
want to, but my wife is a nurse and was pretty insistent that I go. I had it X-ray‘d.
They said it was okay and to just take it easy. I mentioned I was going to be
running a Tough Mudder the next weekend and was told I’d probably be fine.

first mistake-if you suspect any Achilles injury-ask to get an MRI. While I
don’t doubt the X-ray may have been alright, I think an MRI might have told me
whether I tore it or not. I took it easy that week and baby’d it as best as I
could. Then that following Sunday, I ran my second TM. My second mistake. My
wife (nurse) may have advised against it. But since 4 people had already
dropped out for one reason or another, I felt like I couldn’t let my buddy
down. I just told him I probably wouldn’t be as fast as normal. It didn’t help
that I rolled my good ankle on the fifth obstacle. I finished the 12 mile run
that day.

back I probably should have listened to the wife! I took a week off work to
re-coupe. Then the next week I was still pretty sore but went back to work. I
noticed that my ankle was still swollen and slowing me down. Not knowing what
was going on, I figured I had just hurt my ankle pretty good and it would heal
on its own. So I had an Automation Project that I had been working on for quite
some time at work and knew nobody else was going to be able to handle it. So I
spent the next few weeks working on it. So by now, I know something is wrong as
I can no longer lift myself up on my tip toes with my right foot. I finally go
to Ortho and explain my situation. This was on a Tuesday, just before
Thanksgiving. I couldn’t see the Dr till the following Monday (the 26th). When
he seen me, he simply asked if I wanted to have surgery on Wednesday or Friday.
He told me there was no sense doing an MRI and wasting money, he knew it was
ruptured and had recoiled.

first surgery was on Nov 30. I can remember the pain once the block wore off.
WOW!!! That was rough. I remember him talking to my wife and saying that he
really had to stretch the tendon because the ends barely met up. He used mesh
to mend the tendon together. I was on crutches and had a splint (partial cast)
for the next 2 weeks. I remember going to get my stiches out because it was
Christmas time and we put on a red and green cast. I took it easy that whole
time just waiting to hear some good news. I’m a technician and knew it was
going to cause some problems at work with me not being there. After another few
weeks I got my cast off and fitted for a boot. Still NWB. Things in my mind
were going fine. The incision looked good. I had an area about the size of a
fifty cent piece that still had a scab. Dr said it was fine. One day after
showering, the scab came off and I could see my mesh. I went under the knife
for an I&D (incision and debridement) on Jan 31. He stretched some of the
skin around it to help it close. Again, I’m no Dr so I thought things were
good. 2 weeks later I’m allowed to start putting a little weight on it. 2 weeks
after that, I’m FWB. I was able to return to work (light duty) on March 11. I
was glad just to be back.

this time things were looking pretty good. The fifty cent size hole had now
begun to clear up. It wasn’t completely healed. There was still some flaking
over. I was anxious to get back to the gym. I asked if that was alright. He
said yeah. I asked about swimming, he said sure. Keep in mind; I had NO PT this
whole time. Every time I asked if I were going to do PT, he said “Just let
it come naturally”. I wasn’t really sure how to take that but ok,
whatever. I’m allowed to go work out! I don’t know if it was the taking the
kids swimming or what. But I noticed some redness and irritation. I put up with
it for a while but it didn’t get any better. I went to have it looked at April
25th. Had my 3rd surgery on April 26th. This time we had an infectious disease
Dr involved. After my surgery, of which all that was done was just taking out
“some” of the mesh, I had a PIC Line. 40 days of antibiotics through
a line. Not Happy. At first my wife gave me the meds. Then I did it myself
after having longer extensions put on by the home health care nurse. She came
twice a week. I had to have my blood taken and PIC Line checked for any
clotting. It was a real pain in the …

forgot to mention, I was on crutches that whole time until my 3rd surgery,
where I finally got a knee scooter. That thing was AWESOME. Especially after
feeling so helpless with those crutches. I got my PIC Line removed on July 5th,
2013. I went back to work on the 15th. I was fine for a while. I think it was
maybe October when I had to take a round of antibiotics. Since I still have
mesh in my leg, my body isn’t really agreeing with it. I remember being told,
that since I was healthy, didn’t smoke, and was active, I shouldn’t have any
problems healing. I feel I’ve come along way. It’s now February 20, 2014, I’m
starting to run on the treadmill again. I’ve got a pretty good ROM. I can go up
steps again using my tip toes. I can raise up (slightly) on my tip toes again.
I remember what it’s like having to depend on help. I’m on another round of
antibiotics now. The Infectious Disease Dr says things don’t look bad. Just
maybe poor circulation. I’ve since started wearing a compression sock most the
day. It seems to be helping. Either that or the meds, or maybe a combination of
the two.

the meds work, I guess that’s what I’ll do. I just got a 90 day prescription.
I’d rather that then the alternative. A 4th surgery to remove all the mesh. And
a 5th surgery to use one of the tendon that goes into the foot??? My goal is to
run a half marathon this year and maybe a full. Just need to stay healthy. Wish
me luck



February 17th, 2014

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