Surgery for Re rupture Monday Morning

Hi All,

I’m having surgery on Monday. Not at my local hospital and not free…..they simply could not give me a date and they say although I’m urgent I am not an emergency and that is that…. Not prepared to wait anymore and I get my guy who I trust.

Can I get as many post op tips from you guys please? I’m having a general. My hubbie says it would stress me out too much to be awake and although a general scares me I think he’s right. He also said I would annoy my surgeon talking all the time….that is true! I am hoping for no complications, what with my luck!

No holiday for us next year……

45 Responses to “Surgery for Re rupture Monday Morning”

  1. I got a general. I was such a nervous wreck- that was the best for me. I was asleep way before I left the prep room. This was all good! I do not think my anxiety could have let me be awake in the OR waiting for some pain or for the doctor to say something like “Oh My!” I would have had a heart attack!

  2. This has just made me chuckle. I think I would puke actually…….

  3. Have you ever had surgery before, under general anaesthetic? Some people react really badly to it, and wake up very sick and nauseous. If this is you - or if you don’t know - they can add an anti-nausea drug to the mix, which can make the immediate post-op experience a lot better. Ask about it.

    I gave my doctor a digital camera, and some quick instructions on how to use it. I asked him to take pictures of what he found, and then pictures of his repair. I wanted to know and am very glad I did that. If you’re curious (after all this uncertainty), you might want to do the same. On the other hand, some people just don’t want to know ;-)

    This is conflicting advice, I know: #1) stay ahead of the pain with the meds. Don’t wait until it really hurts to take them (that’s way too late) #2) Get off the meds as soon as you’re able to. At least for me, they just made me feel bad, and they can have some unpleasant side effects.

    You’re going to be super tired for a few days. The smallest of effort (getting up to get a drink) is going to be exhausting. This is normal- so, don’t worry about it. Some of this is the drugs getting out of your system. Some of it is just your body working extra hard to heal.

    Stay hydrated.
    Stay elevated as much as possible.

    And maybe most importantly- don’t try to do too much. Let the people around you help.

  4. Hey there,

    sorry to hear it was a re-rupture. Good luck with the surgery, hoping it heals faster this time. And stays healed!


  5. Ryan
    I have had generals and I have been OK. I will ask about photos I would like to know. Great advice and tips thanks. My mum is coming to help so I will keep out of the way…..

  6. Sorry no tips from me, being a non-oper, but good luck for Monday.

  7. Thanks Hillie!

  8. Oh Ryan, I did know about post-surgery nausea but deliberately didn’t mention it. You’re so honest! Doesn’t matter anyway, Sheena is obviously an old hand (must be a better way to say ‘old hand’) and will be just fine.

  9. You watch I’ll puke my guts up this time. Unfortunately I have had a total of five generals! Eek this will be number six. Always think I won’t wake up….

  10. You’ve had 5 generals?

  11. Yep! Two as a kid then kidney probs when having kids which meant exploratory ops and they looked in my bladder too. Not pleasant…

  12. I found I was a little nervous on surgery day but mostly excited. I know surgery seems a rather stupid thing to get excited about but, well, after 51 years of good health, I have always wondered what surgery is like. Now I know.

    I had a general since no other options were presented to me. Frankly, I would have chosen it anyway as the idea of being awake during surgery grosses me out. Anyway, it was not a particularly unpleasant experience. When I woke up, everything was buttoned up and I was in a splint. No nausea. Went home a few hours later with very little pain (never did use the pain meds I was prescribed). Only hiccup was I found it difficult to urinate for the first 48 hours. Apparently not uncommon after surgery (at least for men). Must have have been up and down at least 12 times that first night.

    Oh yeah, the surgeon took a picture of my tendon ends after she opened me up. My wife and kids enjoyed seeing it but I have not had the stomach to look at it my self yet. GROSS!!!!

    Hope yours goes seamlessly.

  13. Ah Sheena, you beat me, I’ve only had 4 generals. All I can really say is this, the op is the easiest bit of the whole process, and you have been through the rest already, so you have nothing to worry about. I’m 108 days post rupture and am in a far worse place than I was the week before and after the op. You will be fine! Plus the morphene is fun! Good luck.

  14. DavidR
    are you feeling a bit crappy again? I hope you are healing OK? I am scared of the op but yep the rehab is a bore and my calf is like a twig….

  15. Stay hydrated post op, take meds regularly not when it hurts - keeping the dose at a pain control level for the first 5-7days.

    It’s been said about the tiredness over a few days post op, but you already know this from previous experience.

    I’ve had 6 ops under general all okay, 5 on one knee including cruciate reconstruction and one as a child to have broked bones set.

    Glad it’s going to done soonest, disappointed the NHS let you down and send you my best wishes for the perfect repair :)

  16. Good luck Sheena!

  17. Hey Andrew and Hala
    good to hear from you.
    We are not rich and are scraping savings. I trust my surgeon he is a good guy. The NHS are putting the emergencies first which I can live with. I tossed and turned all night about paying but when they said they could not even indicate a time then that was the time to dig deep.

  18. OK, so it seems a few of us have had a few generals, I know we are all different, but I can honestly say this one to me was a pleasure, easily the easiest. The uncertainty of going non op isn’t there, yes you have the same level of risk post op, but you know that when you wake up the fibres of the tendon are bing held together, albeit artificially, but they are together and the natural healing process is definitely happening. I guess non op you don’t have the certainty that the 2 ebds have found each other and they don’t have the artificial strength of the stitches. So it really is the start of the healing process, whereas to my simple mind there is a little more uncertainty of when this begins non op. I’m not saying it’s a quicker process, just that there is some more certainty.

    Otherwise I’m not sure what more there is to say. you’ve been casted like this before, you will take painkillers as you see fit, and you know the drill. And having had a number of generals before there is no worry there.

    I guess the only new thing to you will be the scar, well you don’t even have to think about it until the cast comes off. Plus you have something to show for this whole thing you’re going through. I LOVE my scar, but then I guess I’m a little weird. I think most of the advice we can give will come in a couple of weeks time when the cast comes off.

    When I woke up in recovery I had been dreaming that I was texting everyone telling them how my op had gone, the first thing I said to the nurse was “sorry for texting, I know I shouldn’t have my phone in recovery”, she looked at me strangely and hit the morphene, within half an hour I was eating steak in my room and talking to my mum on the phone. As I said, the bad bit comes later when you remember how slow this is, but you’ll make it.

    Yeah I don’t feel great, not the ruptured foot though, it’s the other one, also getting very frustrated every time moving out of my parents gets delayed as that really is crucial to the mental side of things seeing as I will be going back to work and can get out once I leave here, but whilst here I have a bit of distance and can’t really do much, guess I have to wait until I can dump the crutches to be independent anyway, so no point moaning.

    Good luck, you’ll be better than fine.

  19. By the way, aside from the actual op fee and meds and anaethatist, do you have additional costs? Is there a hospital fee invloved, that’s normally the worst bit! Though any costs are a struggle, it will be worth it to get your life back asap.

  20. Good Luck Sheena. I hope it goes well.

    I was unfortunate enough to have the spinal anaesthetic; the surgery itself was fine. I was worried that i might still feel the pain, but no problems. The spinal is horrible in every sense of the word when it wears off! So i’m glad to see you’re getting the general :)

  21. Michelle
    why was the spinal so bad?

  22. Sheena - I’m the biggest wimp in the world with medical stuff (worried about my delivery during the entire 9 mos. of pregnancy) and the AT surgery was a piece of cake! (except that I was last one of the day and they unceremoniously dumped me in a wheelchair and out to my car before I was coherent…) No pain at all until the leg block wore off at home - then it was unpleasant if the drugs wore off - so take them regularly. At 3 days, I was fine except in the late afternoon to night so I resorted to pain meds during those times. The initial meds (percocet and something else) made me sick - even with anti- nausea stuff, but I switched to Lortabs and they did the trick. Whenever I couldn’t sleep the first week or two, I took a Lortab before bed, but I was ok during the day. DON’T use Motrin! I did for 4 days before I knew better, but apparently it delays healing of tendons.

    I had a lot of pain when my foot was down, so I kept it elevated (high above my heart) most of the time early on. Get some good movies, book, magazines from friends/library, etc and get an “invalid outpost” set up with stuff to do for your at home arrival. I read a LOT of Charles Dickens when laid up - he goes on and on and kills a lot of time, lol.

    So sorry you have to go through this - but it is a little comfort to know you’re sutured together as you’re rehab’ing. I hope you have a quick and speedy recovery - and call the docs if the meds aren’t working well for you. Let us know how to pray for you! Will be checking in to see how you’re doing!

  23. Sheena - just saw the general comment. Can’t you get a leg block? It lasted 27 hours after - I was pain free!

  24. Im not going to sugar coat anything - the first 2 days after surgery were great - until the nerve block wore off at 1:30 in the morning. The next 2 days really sucked. I stopped taking the pain pills because they contained muscle relaxants which worked on everything - including my bladder. To be honest - the first week was the worst for pain but after that it was simply uncomfortable.

    There are 3 things you need: ice - elevation & IPad :).

  25. I hate to show any weakness, but I have to tell you that the thought of anesthesia and being unconscious has always made me terrified.
    This was my first surgery, and I had a huge crying jag and a panic attack before we left for the hospital. (Thank goodness the children were at school).
    BUT - It was over so quickly, and I don’t remember a thing.
    The gas tastes the same way that Barbie Doll hair smells. Take big, deep breathes once they put the mask on, and it will all be OK.
    We all will be thinking about you - Good Luck!!

  26. Scott - ROTFL on your 3 needed items! My iPad got me through the LONG “in the chair” stage, lol!

  27. I am deathly afraid of even being in a hospital. So when it came time for surgery I didn’t sleep at all the night before. Got to the hospital at 5:30am. While I was checking in and on the verge of running out, two little boys around age 3 and 4,were checking in for surgery. At that point I told myself if the little guys were not afraid than I needed to suck it up.

    I asked the doctor to give me some anti-anxiety meds in my i.v.. They did and I actually fell asleep before even going into the operating room. Woke up and I asked my wife when I was going in and she said look down. I was already done. Got dressed and I was home before noon.

    The doctor gave me nerve block in my leg before going into surgery. This was the worst part for me. It didn’t hurt much, just felt really wierd. They also put a post surgery nerve block in my leg for after surgery pain. It was a tube on the side of my upper leg connected to a bag. The bag had the nerve blocking mds in it. The bag lasted 3 days. I felt no pain at all. Once it was empty I had to pull the little tube out of my leg. That was the worst part. Burned a little. But it was worth the 3 days of no pain. After that I really never had any pain.

  28. The iPad is a lifesaver. I think I ran mine down two times a day.

    They should have an iPads for patients fund or something.

  29. Hey Sheena, I walked on my completely ruptured AT for 30 days in an effort to avoid surgery. I don’t like hospitals or doctors and my preference was to go non-op and trust that I would heal. That didn’t work…I ended up in the Foot and Ankle Reconstruction clinic at my hospital literally 30 days from the original injury. And less than 5 minutes after the Ortho walked in the door I was scheduled for surgery. I cried and went home to get ready…I discovered this blog the night before my surgery and I read most of the night. Armed with information about the operation and post-op process I prayed and relaxed. The Pre-op was painless, and I laughed with the nurses a lot. And then the anesthesiologist came in with her serious attitude….Once they rolled me in the operation room, which felt like a meat freezer. They covered me with two blankets because my body began to shake and quiver from the cold, the next thing I knew I was waking up post-op still shivering and I was home within three hours post-op. Surgery happened while I wasn’t looking. The first few days were great because of both pain meds and leg block. I did well. My advice get enough information about the surgery (which you are doing with these comments), but also maybe from some of the other links on this blog so that you feel informed and some of the pre-op jitters will go away. Laugh out loud a lot, both pre and post op. I agree with the iPad advice. It was a life saver. And lastly, let people stop by and visit with you. I didn’t want to do that initially. People in my life see me as the strong one and I was definitely not “modeling” strength on my back, but I quickly got over that. I wanted to be connected to what was happening in the world around. Let people in and let people encourage you and laugh with you and your days will move forward and you will be up in no time. I am praying for a successful surgery! Blessings!

  30. Hi McDarling

    An interesting story, (how on earth did you walk on this leg for 30 days?) and a different take on the regular meaning of non-op.

    How did you feel once you had discovered the blog and read about the experiences of others - those who had operations and those who had professional non-op treatment? Did you initially realise that the AT ends were probably a little distance apart and might need just a little help to bring them back together again?

    A lesson for anyone new to an ATR - its not a diy job, and you do need help, and as soon as possible. No good being bloody minded and independent - it won’t work. Simples.

    ps “simples” - quoted by meerkats on UK tv.

    And aren’t we doing well in the Paralympics?

  31. HIllie - Forgive me for butting in. I found you can do surprisingly well with no Achilles tendon. I walked around on my ruptured tendon for 3 weeks becasue I was too stupid to recognize the injury for what is was (thought I’d just pulled the tendon). I was still able to move my foot over almost the full range of motion which was one of the reasons I didn’t think it was ruptured. The surgeon later explained that the toe flexor muscles will move the foot so that the toes point down. So the fact that you can move your foot doesn’t mean your tendon is not ruptured.

    I even learned how to disguise my limp so it was barely noticeable. When I first met with my surgeon, she even presented me with the option of just leaving it untreated since I wasn’t in pain and could still function fairly well. I didn’t think much of that option.

    Anyway, I’ve seen others on this blog who also went a long time untreated. It is possible!

  32. Hi Dave S

    When my AT popped it was diagnosed as a damaged calf muscle - the tear was high up, and the GP didn’t consider an ATR. At the time it happened, it was impossible to put weight through that leg, and the swelling took 10 days to subside, although not completely.

    Because of the compensating muscles and ligaments, I did start walking again after 3 days, and even drove to the hospital on the day I was correctly diagnosed. I went because it wasn’t getting better, and walking had begun to deteriorate. Needless to say, I didn’t drive myself home. My consultant recommended an accelerated non-op rehab protocol which I have followed.

    I’m now at 6 months and have read this blog for most of that time. There have been many who went for a long time untreated - but how many then didn’t have the choice between non-op or surgery? Although I can’t say that I remember a consultant suggesting just to leave it alone, there have been some who did little better - like 2-3 weeks in a cast then into shoes.

    Personally I wanted the best treatment - anything less is just not good enough.

  33. Hilie - thanks for the explanation. I should probably clarify that the doctor presented the “non-treatment” as an option, not a suggestion. I didn’t see it as a very good option as it would preclude running or sports for the rest of my life… not sure why she even mentioned it. She also presented the non-op route as an option but indicated that due to significant calf shrinkage over those 3 weeks of non-treatment, chances of success weren’t that good. So in the end, really the only viable option was the surgery.

  34. Hi all
    thanks for your advice and support. I wonder how ATR’s have been treated through the ages? Too tired to look now. Not sleeping well…

  35. Sheena, I’m not sure that I should add to everyone’s anethesia stories…mine wasn’t exactly as planned and I don’t want to say things that might scare you! BUt since you’ve had general beforre, I will tell my story.
    I was supposed to have a spinal and be awake for my surgery. I got the spinal (had no problems with that what-so-ever) BUT shortly after surgery began I was put under! My Ortho told me after the surgery that my AT was the worst he’d ever see in 30 years, and the surgery that was supposed to take 30 minutes took near 2 hours. (My surgery was not ATR, it was debridement and repair–but it was more “gunked up” in there than the x-rays suggested) After I woke from the surgery, I was told that I was having a “strong” reaction to the morphine. That was such a nice way to say that I was puking my guts out! Can’t imagine what there was to be puking as I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink from mindnight the night before and my surgery was @ 11:00 AM?? So, I was in the recovery room with a nurse wiping my face with a cool cloth and holding a cup under my chin when the stupid spinal started to wear off. First one of the techs added MORE pain killer to the IV and that didn’t go very well, but it sure did increase the puking. Then the Ortho and the Anesthesiologist both came back at the same time and the Ortho had the Anesthesiologist give me a local block in the back of my knee. That lasted 36 hours! YAY! I wasn’t able to tolerate the Percoset, even in half doses, that was prescribed post surgery, but was able to take Tylenol. Honestly, I only hurt for that one night after the local wore off.
    So, I guess I can say that I had a spinal, general, and a local all for one surgery! BTW, I’d never had any surgery or needed any kind of anesthesia before in my life other than novacaine at the dentist. All 3 of my kids were born “all natural”. I was making up for lost time I suppose…

  36. Daves, FWIW, I don’t think it’s “significant calf shrinkage” that makes the non-op option ill-advised on a “stale” ATR, but the fact that the period of frantic inflammation, healing, and scar-tissue formation has passed. Surgery doesn’t just pull the AT ends together and stitch them together, it also trims them and “re-injures” everything which restarts that natural healing process. Without that, NEITHER treatment approach would stand a chance of working. (Often, surgery also triggers INappropriate healing and scar-tissue formation, known as “attachments”, where separate-but-adjacent tissue layers that should slide past each other — all of them sliced and stitched during the op — heal together instead of separately. These are usually absent or minimal non-op, since the AT is usually the only tissue torn during an ATR.

  37. normofthenorth,

    Do you know if the tendon continues to rebuild itself over the years after the ATR? I’m wondering if there’s a point way down the road where you basically have a whole new tendon back there. Or does it just heal for the period after the injury and there’s a point where it stops developing. Also, thank you for all your posts. They’re very well thought out and well articulated.

  38. Hey Hillie,

    I walked on it for most of the 30 days fairly easily. I just kept moving. I took Advil and Aleve initially and kept moving. The night this happened, I had over 200 young people I was responsible for…Going to the hospital didn’t seem the thing to do.

    I am a pastor, we prayed for the leg and the swelling went down 4 hours after the injury. I went to sleep, got up the next morning and went to take care of the kids. The only time I had any major difficulty was when I went on vacation two weeks after the injury to the beach. But even then, I walked on the the side of my foot when attempting to walk on the sand and get in the water. When I wasn’t dealing with the sand, I had a slight limp occasionally.

    This blog helped me wrap my mind around the fact that this was an injury that I needed to treat. The fact that others shared their story gave me insight into what I had ahead of me. Once I understood what others had dealt with and what was in store for me, I felt informed. I felt like I could be apart of this community and I felt like I could move forward even if it meant slowing down and allowing my body to heal.

    I knew the night of the injury that my Achilles tendon had torn. There was an obvious separation. I could put my finger in it. That wasn’t enough to get me to a doctor. I wasn’t so much thinking I would or could heal myself. I was relying on the fact that I believe God heals. I still believe that, however God is not too big to work through doctors.

    For me, the delay was more about me not wanting to deal with doctors and hospitals. I really do avoid them as much as possible. This is my first serious injury in my 49 years on the earth. Apart from two c-sections, I have done a pretty good job of avoiding doctors, medicine and hospitals. I plan to regain my track record for the next 49 years. Thanks for asking!

  39. Hi Sheena,
    Sorry looking at this site on an HTC means I often whizz past some posts so I missed your news of a rerupture and have been lying low for a bit anyway. I started off ok, full of positivity but last week more tricky trying to turn another corner and keep occupied. I not only lost mobility also no income.
    I wanted to wish you all the best for tomorrow…had my op 3 weeks ago, few days after all fine esp immediately after in hospital great feeling very relaxed with drugs, tea and biscuits galore so no doubt private you will be looked after! Let them know if you feel sick then they can sort this out asap. I had option of staying in overnight but decided to come home. Had 3 days of Dichlofenac and Cocodomol (gave me constipation so try to keep hydrated and eat dried peaches/apricots/prunes) stopped drugs then as pain not bad at all. Keep elevated and don’t overdo hopping about. First 2 weeks in cast were ok in that back block isn’ t too tight and overlapped to the front. Post follow up they put on a full cast which is really snug - I asked about getting a boot but my consultant doesn’ t believe in going down this route until weight bearing. I will ask again about this when see him in 3 weeks after had the angle adjusted for first time on 18th.
    Am very keen now to get people together as I am also having very few visitors - people talk alot about coming over but in fact very few make the effort. I can fully sympathise with DavidR now!!! So if anyone fancies a night out at a pub please let me know! The more the merrier..I am in Surrey near Jn 6 M25..
    Don’ t worry tomorrow S, you’ ve given birth I haven’ t this Op will be a doddle..

  40. DollyDay Dream,

    I can sympathise, I’m on day 110 and I’ve had 3 visits. Desperate to move into the flat I was meant to move into the week after my ATR as at least I will be closer to people and more likely to get visitors. Good luck. And good luck tomorrow Sheena.

  41. Sheena,
    Good luck tomorrow! I’m an anesthesiologist, and am open to any questions you might have about anesthesia. I’m sure there is some good stuff in the 40 (!) comments above, but I’m at work now and can’t read through them all. I’m afraid there might be some bad info here too. Just send me a message if you have any questions/concerns. I had spinals for both of my surgeries, and am very happy I didn’t get general anesthesia. But general anesthesia is safe, and in the long-term, there is no difference in morbidity between regional and general. If they offer you a nerve block, get it!

  42. Hi Sheena,

    Once you get home you will be on crutches so you can’t carry a cup of tea or anything else. I spent 2 weeks on a stool in the kitchen scooting back and forth to make tea, sandwich etc. Had a tv in there so it was not too boring.
    Get here so you can shower, I tried a bin bag and it was rubbish (hehe).
    Get bio oil for the scar, I’m on it and it seems to be doing a good job of reducing the scar.
    Good Luck!

  43. Thinking of you Sheena! I pray everything goes well for you!!

  44. Hey sheena,

    Hope it the surgery was “the business” and your currently recovering well?!

    Take Care,
    Miss Emm

  45. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
    Arm Cast Protector

    Keep Posting:)

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