First Followup appointment - Tuesday the 23rd of July

I arrived at 9:30 for my 9:45 appointment, checked in at reception and took a seat.  My wife had given me a lift and had dropped me at the door before going to park the car; it was raining quite heavily with a bit of thunder and lightning too.  I had barely sat down when I was called along with a bunch of other people to go and sit in another waiting room, it reminded me of school.  It was encouraging as it was only 09:33.  I sent my wife a text to tell her I was now in the Green waiting room 20 yards down the corridor.  I noticed a sign as I walked in to the Green waiting area, “PATIENTS WAITING AREA ONLY” as if you are going to sit for the ‘hours’ 20 yards away from a friend, partner, child or whoever was kind enough to give you a lift to this ‘arse end of nowhere’ hospital. What is the point of that sign? As I sat there waiting in the window less environment surrounded my miserable injured people (of which I was one) I obviously once again had too much time to ‘think’, for me it is a dangerous time, however I harmlessly fixated about the stupid officious sign, the dreariness of a windowless waiting room and the fact it did not have a clock.  No doubt it would only highlight the inability of the NHS to stick to a timescale.  Thank god my wife turned up at that point and saved me from overthinking more crap!

10 minutes after my scheduled appointment I gave up and went to the toilet without even an ounce of fear I would be called for my appointment while MIA.  It was well past 10 when out of the blue a plaster technician quietly walked past me and said come with me.  The most personal touch I had received in the NHS, someone who worked out who I was and came and got me other than shouting my name across a waiting room.

As I got myself in to the plaster room another man who introduced himself as a registrar started talking to me and said he was going to look at my stiches.  It quickly became clear I was not going to see the consultant and once again I had to ask to see him.  It would be much better if the NHS could do what they say, if my appointment was for a registrar to check my stitches and wound end of, then don’t tell me I am going to see the surgeon again!! And I wouldn’t come armed with a bunch of questions for him.

My plaster was removed at this point I had to call on all my self-restraint to stop myself swearing like a docker.  I remember clearly being told by Miss Phillips they would make an incision of a couple of inches in around the Achilles, the reality was a large incision up the back of my leg, around one and a half times the length of a TV remote control.  A device I had become too familiar with.  It was worse than I had imagined, I almost did not notice the other scar “where they went looking for the Plantaris” as the main one was so “*******” big! #pissedoff!

Anyway he very kindly came to see me and attempted to answer my questions.  The main element of my concern was the difference between pre and post op explanations, I remembered his assistant telling me it was worse than they had expected.  However he seemed to think I had been pre warned about everything and told me I was in ‘shock’ and ‘in denial’.  I do not doubt that, however the shock was not as great as the one when I saw my leg with the plaster off.  Regardless of what he said he was obviously aware that this would be a shock to me and I was not aware, something is failing there.  The fact if I did not have the operation I would have a limp was the overriding authority to carry out whatever operation, and rightly so, It is me who has the massive issue dealing with it.


The Repair:          Where the original ends of the tendons joined together?  Yes, once the leg was opened there was a gap of around an inch they had to bring back together. Great care was taken to protect the membrane around the tendon. (Paratenon) despite me being unconscious it was still very difficult to bring the two ends of the tendon together and a lot of muscle manipulation was required.  ***I think he said it was stitched together with a vycerl suture ( suggested these would dissolve in the body over an 18 month period.

What was the issue with me having Thin Tendons? – what does that mean?

Yes I have ‘weedy’ tendons, the right leg is the same.  Smaller tendons will break easier.

Why are they thinner? Would a thicker tendon changed the approach to Surgery?

The fact they were thinner made no difference to the surgical approach………………..hmmmmmh

Was there any signs of longer term Tendon Degradation?

No could not tell, you get no warning the tendon just breaks..

Recovery:             What would be normal pain? What would be a problem?

No pain

Best pain relief (if needed)


When will I be able to put weight on the foot?


Re-rupture:         Would the treatment a second time be the same?

No….  some kind of graft would be used to treat a rerupture.

Physiotherapy:                   Could he give me any insight or recommendations for an Achilles specialist?

Good Question, no recommendations.  (to be honest in todays ‘not my fault’ society I did not expect one)

In this orthopaedic dept, an Achilles rupture is usually treated by surgery in sporty people under 40.  If my ‘presentation’ had been earlier I would have most likely avoided surgery.

Anyway, the staples were removed from my leg and a new Equinus plaster put on my leg and I was sent of to continue my recovery for another 3 weeks…

2 Responses to “First Followup appointment - Tuesday the 23rd of July”

  1. OMG. What an ordeal. I do find waiting areas to find very humorous and ironic signs and issues. Why does it always seem that the answer to any question is “Well, it was worse that what we originally thought.” What is all the pre testing done for if not to show how bad the tear actually is. My MRI clearly showed (it took an hour to complete) a 70% tear and when the doctor came out after surgery. “well, it was worse than expected hanging on by a thread.” Then why spend the money on the MRI when he knew as soon as he saw it 3 weeks ago that it was an achilles tear. I honestly do believe it is all about money and the doctor’s have to go the route of the insurance companies if they want paid.
    Anyway, sorry for getting on my soap box. I hope the rest of your appointments are a bit more positive and you get well on your way to recovery. My 1st followup is Tuesday, 8/23. Can’t wait now to see what the incision looks like. That burning pain after surgery is a killer which I think the boot makes worse.

  2. On the plus side, I have been wearing ‘the boot’ for nearly two weeks with no pain, it does not seem to bother the scar..
    Good luck….

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