Im in week 8 and lost the boot on Monday. I was so excited and after Monday night all seems quite well.

However the last couple of days things have gone down hill.  They did explain I would have some swelling in my ankle but this doesnt seem to have gone down overnight or after keeping my leg elavated. To be honest at home with 4 kids I dont get a great deal of time to rest but I thought overnight would have seen an improvement

More concerning is the pain I am feeling in my calf. Last night I had really difficulty sleeping. There is a constant discomfort in my calf and it is so tender to touch. I can only describe it as the same as feeling you get after you have had a bad cramp in it.

Can anyone tell me if they have or are experianced anything similar ? I am off on a plane trip tomorrow and would like to ensure that this isnt going to make things any worse

Thanks

22 Responses to “Help !!!!! - Advice Needed”
  1. hillie says:

    This blog is a great resource for us all but I hope that you are checking this out with your doctor this morning. I wouldn’t want to sound all ‘doom & gloom’ but you really don’t want it to be early symptoms of DVT, and certainly not when you are going on a plane so soon. Or are you worried that a doctor will advise you not to travel?

  2. smiler says:

    Have been trying to speak to a doctor all morning but have had no luck

    Ive also been chasing the physio department, apparently they have sent me a letter and they cant get me in till July 24th !!!!!!!!!

    So that would have been over 2 weeks from having the boot removed.

    Im on the phone raving up now as I type this !!!!

  3. hillie says:

    My physio simply suggested that if I ever had a problem like this, to check into A&E, no messing, too important not to. And you have that flight tomorrow!

  4. Hala says:

    Sorry to hear this. As you know I had my cast removed ont he same day as you and my swelling is going down well overnight and I don’t really have any pain at all. Let us know how you get onwith the docs and/or A&E. Good luck :-)

  5. smiler says:

    Just returned from the doctor, Not my usual one but seemed ok, Checked the calf over and said it will be tender and the swelling is expcted and not a lot I can do other than not to over do it…..If only I knew where that line was not to cross :-)

    He suggested while on plane i take in lots of liquid and to move around cabin when I can. he did say the risk of DVT has increased but the fact I’m a non smoker with none of the other contributing factors means the risk is still fairly slim although he did tell me the symptoms to look for should I get worried

    So Budapest here I come !!! Might not be as mobile as I want to be but back to the boot and crutches !!!!!

  6. Hala says:

    Well, have a fab time - I’m sure you will - but stay safe!

    I drove a few miles today to pick up my daughter from a friend’s house - a bit scary but very liberating! Things are on the up I hope. Just need to still take care….. :-)

  7. smiler says:

    Well done you

    I managed to force the hosptial into getting me in to physio on Monday so that was a bit of a result. Very concious of re-rupuring at the moment as they say weeks 8 - 12 are the danger times so this is why I’m reluctant to do to much without some professional guidance

    Putting the boot back on for the whole time in Budapest will elimate all risks I hope that once Monday is out of the way I can really kick on (so to speak)

  8. Hala says:

    That’s great about the physio, a real result. I am just home from mine and feeling a little less liberated…! I went without my crutches as it felt fine to walk but she was horrified and gave me a new set straight away to go back to the car park with. She said what you just said - that weeks 10-12 were very dangerous and I should try and be on my feet for only 20 mins at a time, and only doing gentle stretches when my leg is up. I didnt dare tell her I had driven to the appointment!

    She said she had expected I would be in a boot for the next few weeks but as I wasn’t, than I needed to be even more careful. Since I had been reading Ryan’s recovery blog just before I went out I’m quite confused now about what the right pace is, but definitely inclined to be more careful than I was being.

    Any experienced AT-ers got any thoughts?

  9. hillie says:

    Well done Smiler, doctor today, physio next week - you’re on a roll.

    Enjoy Budapest - that boot is going to be a real ice breaker….

    Looking forward to hearing more about this next week.

  10. housemusic says:

    smiler,
    DVT is a risk with our injury and quite a few people on the board were put on blood thinners. As a precautionary measure you could take a low dose of Aspirin, once a day for two months. I stayed on the daily Aspirin for four months post op, and took it again at six months post op when I had to get on a 13 hour flight.

  11. hillie says:

    Hala

    Began coming off my crutches after week 4 when I went into boot, and only used them again a few weeks later if I went a short distance without my boot on (indoors only). Shoes with heel pads by week 9. Crutches close by but not used. To be honest, although I could handle crutches well, I often felt that I was more at risk when I used them. Maybe I was wrong but I did have faith in my boot and my balance. Ever tried recovering from a slipping crutch? Very scary.

  12. normofthenorth says:

    +1 to Hillie’s comments on the hazards of crutches! Getting off them at ~4 weeks post-whatever is good for your health, IMO.

  13. starshep says:

    Smiler,
    Going from boot to 2 shoes with out and physio seems a bit risky to me. It took me about 2 weeks to transition. During that time I went back on 2 crutches then 1 crutch and finally no crutches.

    As far as the swelling goes. the boot does help keep it down, so some of it will be from the lack of the boot. If you haven’t done so, I would strongly urge you to get a compression sock. They do wonders to get rid of the swelling.

    The dangers of a DVT can not be overstressed. While the odds of having one are low, the possibility is there and one breaking from your calf and going into your lung will really ruin your day, and your life. My doctor told me that if I ever had one at night, I should get myself to the emergency room immediately and get an ultrasound done. While I never did have a cramp, my doctor noticed significant swelling 2 weeks after I was into my boot and concerned about a DVT sent me for an ultrasound. Turns out I had a clot in a superficial vein but they still monitored it for the next 2 weeks and had me take an aspirin a day to thin my blood (while I was in my cast I was on a prescription blood thinner). I guess he didn’t want to be the first doctor to have a patient die from non-op complications. LOL Still unless you had an ultrasound during your doctor visit, you can’t rule out a DVT by just looking at a leg. If the cramps continue, push for an ultrasound. Sitting in an airplane for an extended length of time can increase your risk for a DVT so walk around as much as you can. Also explain to the airline your condition and see if they can seat you where you can raise your leg. Some airlines can be very accommodating on this.

  14. starshep says:

    Hala,
    The thing to keep in mind about RyanB is that he is very athletic and a healing machine. In fact I suspect he is one of those mutants from the X-Men comic books :) While he certainly knows his stuff and is an inspiration, if you want to see the pace of someone that is a mere mortal, I have detailed my experiences with physical therapy in my blog starting with this one: achillesblog.com/starshep/2012/05/21/summary-of-first-11-physical-therapy-sessions/

  15. Hala says:

    Thanks for everyone’s replies. Starshep, you made me laugh out loud with your comment on RyanB - he seems to be able to do everything well, even his blog is super-charged!! (Hi Ryan, if you’re around :-)) Your PT experiences do seem to be more realistic but hillie and norm are still in support of no crutches, so I guess it varies and there is also the element of luck as to how safe you are. I don’t feel any safer on crutches but, as someone said, I didnt feel unsafe 3 seconds before my achilles ruptured, so it is difficult to know how reliable my body’s information is. I guess I will play it by ear but definitely err on the side of being careful, I can’t imagine how depressing it would be to go back to day 1….. :-(

  16. kimjax says:

    I agree about ryanb, lol! But I try everything he suggests - even if sometimes it’s a bit much for my aging self! The cross legged driving was the best - got me where I needed to go one day - and didn’t require strength, just coordination! Hala - I feel much more comfortable without crutches in the boot - they get in the way and have the habit of slipping. I did take one crutch with my two shoes to PT as I have to navigate a short dirt trail and didn’t know how stable my foot would be in the shoe.

  17. starshep says:

    Hala,
    The more I think of it, the more I remember that the period of 2 crutches and 2 shoes lasted only a few days and the period with one crutch lasted only about a week so the crutches really didn’t last too long once I got into 2 shoes.

  18. Susan says:

    I periodically had calf pains, charley horse pains like you described. Oh and swelling both internal and external. On rare occasion I would use a pain pill as I was going to bed. This seemed to help my body relax and my leg/ankle would be much better the next morning. I agree with the low-dose asparin suggestion. Watch out in that 10-12 week period but I think that’s more the time that people try things they shouldn’t. Enjoy your travels!!!!

  19. ryanb says:

    Checkin’ in after being away for a while, and I have to admit, I am sitting here chuckling a bit. An X-men mutant wouldn’t have broken their Achilles in the 1st place! ;-)

    On a more serious note- I did accelerate things because I had a good recovery. But a big part of me wonders how much the converse is true… I think that always pushing myself was one of the reasons I had such a good recovery. With a sample size of 1, that’s a really tough question to answer; given all the variables, it’s really hard to draw conclusions comparing different results/healing-rates experienced by different individuals with similar (but still different) injuries.

  20. starshep says:

    Ryanb,
    Glad you found the humor in that.

    I truly believe that in recovering from this injury, fortune favors the bold. Exactly what is bold for some is different for others. We are all different in terms of age, level of fitness, access to therapy and healing ability and it is up to each of us along with our therapists to find just how hard we can push ourselves. Towards the end of every physical therapy session my therapists always asks me if I would like to do more and no matter how worn out and tired I am, I always say yes. There are time when I get back to my car, I have to sit there for a few minutes before I leave, but therapy sessions are too valuable to dog it.

    I think I’d vote for the latter. We have good recoveries when we push ourselves as hard as we can.

  21. smiler says:

    Well Folks, Back from Budapest in 1 piece (Achilles wise at least) and off to see the physio in approc 2 hours. Will let you know an update for that one later

    However things I have learnt from a Stag Do while wearing a Aircast Boot

    1. Alcohol is only a temporary pain killer.

    2. Shaking your boot(ie) on the dance floor often gets you funny looks but plenty of attention

    3. After dancing for several hours, even in the boot, the next morning alcohol does not numb the pain

    4. In an airport situation it doesnt matter if your leg is hanging off people still want to fight you to be first on and off

    5. Escalators are not the best place to be, Especially when they suddenly stop when your half way down.

    6. Cobbled floors and alcohol and a boot are a lethal cocktail and should never be mixed

    Im sure as my brains starts working again I will remember more but something to get you smiling this morning

  22. Hala says:

    lol :-) Looking forward to hearing about your physio!

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