Nearly 7 weeks from re rupture surgery,scared to dorsi flex…

Hi all,

I’m 7 weeks post op on Monday. Doc seems happy. Nearly neutral in my vacoped boot and will crank it down on Monday, but boy am I scared to dorsi flex. I can just about stretch to neutral. My physio has asked that I use a towel to stretch beyond neutral from the middle of next week. I’m scared, scared of hearing that same loud pop and snap when it re ruptured walking up a disabled access slope at 14 weeks. Norm, Ryan, if you read this what do you think?

When I dorsi flex the tendon, at the point where I think the FHL was grafted feels really tender, like someone is sticking a pin in it. If I massage the area the feeling goes and I can stretch but it feels prickly, is the only way I can describe it. Has anyone else felt these sensations when dorsi flexing? I am really unsure as to how it should feel. It feels much sorer than it did when I was non op. Guess that’s normal if you have not been sliced through two tendons?

Scar lookes ace! Tis only 4 inches long and on the side of my leg in line with my ankle so you won’t see it from the back of my leg at all. Doc did this for cosmetic reasons (bloody hope it works). Rom in all directions except DF is almost normal. Calf, well that’s still a hairy twig but I am doing gentle exercises to build it up…ha ha, will be like this for months!

Hurrah I am FWB and have been since week 4 so can carry and slave about the house for the brats….sore come night time but my fault as I never RICE becasue it never swells so I just carry on and pretend it’s normal. Sometimes, maybe once a day, I do get a searing pain in my calf but it is soon over but a very strong pain. anyone else felt that?

Well, I’m off to bed now. Hubby on night out and I have just finished the leftovers of a fab curry from last night! Get an extra hour in bed too tonight here in the UK……clocks go back!

16 Responses to “Nearly 7 weeks from re rupture surgery,scared to dorsi flex…”

  1. Thanks for the post - good to see what’s coming in the next couple of weeks. Vacocast on Monday and I can’t wait. K

  2. Good work Sheena, hope everything goes really well this time around!! Sounds like you’re taking it easy and deservedly cautious…but I’m sure this time you’ll be aces.

    Take care, all the best for recovery!!

    Emm :-)
    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  3. I was very cautious about dorsi-flexion up until 12 weeks. During weeks 12-16 I started stretching a little more, and finally started stretching agressively after 16 weeks.

    I was more worried about healing long than a re-rupture. I figured I’d really have to crank on it to approximate the load I get when walking; but was intentionally trying to limit my dorsi-flexion range of motion until I was confident the tendon was strong, and not likely to elongate.

    It might surprise some to learn that, in this area, I was more cautious than either my PT or Doc recommended :-) I’d go through the motions at PT (to make them happy) but used a very light touch.

    My dorsi-flexion is still a little limited- but I only know that because I measure it. It doesn’t limit me at all; except when trying to get to really low angles racing (skating).

    If *I* had to do it again, I’d adopt the same approach.

  4. Hi Ryan,
    thanks for info. quick question please if I may. when you say you were careful, just how much were you actually dorsi flexing? I’m guessing you were beyond neutral just by looking at your first 100 days I think you had to be….I’m just about at neutral, plantar grade, at 7 weeks post op. I’m scared to stretch with a towel though just yet. Might wait another week…

  5. I think you’re asking what my range of motion was: there are pictures sprinkled through my blog that show where I was. 10 week update has a picture of me squatting (in dead flat wrestling shoes), 8 week update has a picture showing exactly what my range of motion was (knee to the wall), and at 6 weeks I’m doing squats again with the bare bar (less range of motion evident).

    At about 8 weeks, there’s also a video showing (VERY LIGHT) cable work with my calf. That’s a pretty good benchmark, showing where I was at that time.

    The range of motion I had is what came naturally, just through day to day activity. I was not “working” my range of motion until later. I didn’t spend time doing “knee-to-the-wall” stretches: those pictures were just taken to *measure* my range of motion… not to increase it.

  6. Still sounds like your recovery is going quite well Sheena. BTW I agree with EmmQ…. I’m pretty sure you are all aces this time :)

  7. Sheena:
    While I was doing active dorsi-flexion exercises at 7 weeks, I wasn’t doing passive dorsi-flexion exercises, using a towel to assist, until 11 weeks and then only very gently.

  8. What Ryan said. I was also a dorsiflex-stretching “wimp”, often doing a bit less than my PT told me to (and something STILL seems to be long!). I’d check UWO — — for what worked well for those 150 patients. If you’re a week slower than that, you’ll get no criticism from me. . .

  9. Hi Sheena, nothing abnormal in what your saying against my experiences, I think confidence in DF grows as the calf strengthens. Even now at 22 weeks the worries are there and I think twinges I get etc are all to do with the calf not being close yet.

    How are things?

  10. Hi Sheena,

    I couldnt wait for the Vacoped to get down to Neutral. although i came out of the hospital alot worse than when i went in :)

    I was pleased with the Vacopeds results and my personal progression. Doing stretches everyday, still sore.

    its great you can get around the house in the vacoped. My kids are happy now the boot is off that i can play fight with them…for a short time until one of them steps on my ATR leg!

    all the best.

  11. I did a 100% rupture of my Achilles and I am 6 weeks post op today!! Been seeing my physio and he seems to think I can start sleeping without my boot on! I’m nervous and don’t want any sudden movement in the night to do any damage! When did everyone start sleeping without the boot? Also interested in when people could walk normally in two shoes again? i really was hoping to be wearing high heels by endoif December for my 21st haha guess that’s not really important though. Hmm. Thanks in advance!!

  12. Caitlin, my Dr told me on Monday when I got my stitches out that I could take the boot off to sleep. I am only two and half weeks post op. I still keep it on for most of the night. I have a cat and I get nervous she will jump on it.

  13. Hi Caitlin,
    you’re young for an ATR how did you do it? I stopped wearing my boot at two weeks in bed but it was the second time I have done this so I knew what I was doing. I think at six weeks you will be fine but it is up to you of course. High heels are easy on your tendon but the problem is if you fall or go over that’s the danger with them. Two shoes, well anything from 6 weeks onwards but most people around 8 to 10 weeks depending on your doc.. The UWO protocol has you weaning off the boot at 8 weeks but I would always wear my boot on dodgy ground, grass, sand etc. I reruptured at 14 weeks so always take care.

  14. DavidR
    Hi I’m getting there thanks. 7 weeks now and I have started to stretch it a bit more as it was so tight. Can take a few steps now without the boot but not pushing off from it at all. The pain is easing now too so I guess it is healing well…who knows, just don’t want to do this a third time. How are you?

  15. I’m so so. Working crazy hours, don’t tend to get home until gone 10pm and as such haven’t had time for physio for a month, but I’m doing more now, I’ve been off the crutches for a month now. It’s almost the 6 month mark though and I was thinking I’d be able to do stairs (down) by now. Very tired, but progressing, just more slowly than I had hoped, but still progress. Still get lots of pulls etc, really need to build the calf.

    You won’t do it a third time! Hopefully you see more progress in the next couple of weeks. What happened about your job?

  16. Hi Sheena,
    I did it playing netball, game before the grandfinal just to make matters worse!
    I’m 7 weeks now so it sounds like we are at about the same mark. I have been sleeping without my boot and feeling comfortable. Im walking in my boot now with only a slight limp and have taken a few small steps without my boot. I always read about so many people re-rupturing their achilles so i think thats why im so skeptical and cautious! The physio tells me because i am only 20 and healthy i should have a quick recovery.
    But its still a mystery to me as to why i actually ruptured it!!
    How did u re rupture yours may i ask?
    This blog is great and really helpful, thanks!!

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