5 WEEKS IN VACOPED BOOT , 6 weeks post op and ANXIOUS !!!

I had a complete ATR on 5th February while playing tennis ( was going to serve!!!!)Heard a loud pop sound and felt as if someone hit me hard on my achilles with a bat or back of the tennis racquet .
NOTE-FEW SECONDS AFTER INJURY ,THERE WAS NO PAIN .But did feel weird , bottomless under my injured feet !
Luckily for me ,my coach had had a rupture too and could tell while checking me that it was an injury to my achilles.My friends and coach carried me to the car and help me drive to the emergency .
I had to go for an MRI and latter met with the surgeon who latter confirmed that i had had a complete ATR. Was given both the options (sugery and conservative boot method).After some research and speaking to one of my family sport surgeon decided to go ahead with the surgery .
Had the surgery the next morning . I was in for one and half hour. Came out heavily sedated and once the anesthesia stared wearing off ,felt better. The surgery went well .I was given pain killers and released to go home after another day .
First 4/5 days went by with bare minimum pain .The pain came back once the pain killers were reduced .
The first week was NWB .
Met the doctor again after a week and was fitted into a Vacoped boot .Went for a physio , i was taught to walk in boot , electric vibrations /ultrasound /very gentle massage to move the toe and fingers only ).I started PWB week 2.
I had my next appointment a week latter , the two knots holding the sutures were removed , bandaged and sent back home .This week the physio 2 times a week again .I was advised to remove the bandage on my own on day 17 and was allowed to wet the wound ( making sure it was a quick shower and the wound was not soaked to long in water .

Week 3 post op i was still having physio twice a week - ultra sound /vibration/gentle massage .I was also asked to do leg lifts with ankle weights 2-3 times a day . I have been religiously doing my 3 exercises for leg lifts with 1 kg weight on both legs 2 times almost everyday.

Week -4 post op PT reduced to once a week till boot comes off .I have to continue my leg lifts everyday.And also this week i went to the flater Vacoped heel with 15 degree planter flex.Once I  changed heel ,i felt sacred and stretched at the wound but the next day was better .

Thankyou so much to all my fellow bloggers and all those who have been writing and sharing all thats going on .Supporting and encouraging while self healing .

Now at week 4 and 3 days( IN BOOT) and waiting !!!! I have been reading a lot and have been wondering if i have been doing enough in the form of the only 3 types of leg lifts that i do 2 times a day .I have just started my upper body dumbbell work out .Going very slow with lesser weight than what i am used to .

I am told by my Physio therapist that all my exercises will start after 6weeks when my boot comes off .Also i am very anxious  to know whats the feeling like once the boot comes off and you have to take the first step.

How long does one limp ???

12 Responses to “5 WEEKS IN VACOPED BOOT , 6 weeks post op and ANXIOUS !!!”

  1. hi summer,

    i’m 7 weeks post ATR, aggressive rehab protocol. been PWB from week 3ish and FWB from week 4. started with CAM boot from week 2 with 5 wedges, went boot with no wedges yesterday.

    have the consultants appointment tomorrow and i’ll be able to comment on what the next steps (mind the pun) will be for me.

    my physio told me that during this early process you can do as much as you can (without pain) at your own rate. i was worried about calf atrophy and loosing muscle, but she said that what one has to worry about is loosing arse muscle!!!!! this was a revelation, and the rationale behind it (for those numpties like myself) is that since you are not using your leg you stop engaging the muscles going up to your gluteus (the affected side).

    so it seems to me that you have put in the right focus, amount, and that this will keep you going without trouble. i’ve started a ‘core’ routine from week 5 in order to keep the centre strong.

    all the different approaches are time and money dependant, so i wouldn’t beat myself up for not doing as much as others.

    i took the first ‘on my feet’ without the boot last week, week 6, and that was one of the weirdest sensations i’ve had… i couldn’t really feel my foot, ankle or anything to do with it. nevertheless, the foot supported me whilst standing (without moving) and it was absolutely fine. on that session the PT did a lot of work on the affected leg and foot and ensured that everything was supple, without working the AT. i was told off for ‘forgetting to engage with your foot’, this is almost airy fairy crap by the sound of it, but it is a principle of proprioception so don’t dismiss it: the foot-brain connection quickly diminishes and if you effortfully look at your foot and try to engage it whilst you do your exercises you re-work the nerve pathways to it. so when you do our exercises and wash your foot, look at it, engage the mind and try to feel!

    after PT did the session i felt that the foot was much more flexible and sensitive to touch, reason was that it hadn’t been manoeuvred and engaged fully as i was being too shy.

    main thing to always remember is not to flex ‘upwards’ beyond the 0 degree angle. as this will engage the AT and this can damage it.

    what i have had from week 6 onwards is this mild sensation of a calf cramp, it is very strange, it does not hurt, just becoming aware of it. a few calf twitches mid 6th week too. perhaps others can comment on that too.

    i hope that helps.


  2. Congratulations on the first steps out of the book, Pozaicer! That is really great! As for keeping my core in shape, I basically had my Dr.’s OK to use the stationary bike, even with the cast, so I did. Not a perfect solution, but better than sitting around all day. :-D
    My suggestion? Ask your Dr. for the PT referral and for the “2 shoes” date… And get heels to protect your tendon during the first few weeks of 2 shoes, or sneakers that have the huge heels built into them.

    Happy Healing!………. Manny

  3. Welcome to our Boot Clan, Summer!
    Check out Bobbie, Bonnie, Stuart as our super athlete bloggers :-)
    Happy Healing!………. Manny

  4. Hi summer, welcome to the blog. We have something in common. We both injured our left legs while playing tennis. I was playing hard that fateful day, it was a hard fought match, and went for a simple forehand from the baseline, and snap. Never had any warning sign or pain beforehand, and I have done forehands a million times. So you go figure.

    As far as serving, if you are a rightie, I suppose it was when you landed on your left foot after propelling yourself off the ground to serve. That landing can be hard on your left foot. I had been practicing this in the last few months and I think that could have contributed to the injury by making my tendon weaker by creating minor tears on it.

    @Ipozaicer: involuntary muscle twitches once in a while, I believe they are normal, I get them too sometimes. I think some people get them after heavy exercise.

  5. Hey Summer - I tore my right achilles the day after you on Feb 6th. It’s odd to hear of all the different schedules everyone is on. I’m jealous that you’re getting ultrasound and massage already after two weeks. I was 19 days in a NWB cast, and now two weeks in a walking boot. My surgery was Feb 11 so I’m almost 5 weeks Post Op. I just got cleared for physical therapy. I’ve only been doing motion exercises, but I’ve been two weeks in a boot, so I’ve taken it off once a day to put some weight on it. I’ve been cleared to walk more around the house without the boot. I walk without the boot in a similar fashion to wearing it. It’s definitely a limp -with most all of the weight coming down on the heal. I have little to no power pushing off from my toes and I shouldn’t at this point. Don’t even try it this early - unless directed to start doing so by your PT. I make sure anytime I walk without the boot that I’m clearly watching where I’m going and I’m not distracted by my phone or anything else. At our stage it can only take one lapse in concentration to forget you can’t walk directly on that foot and you risk a tear. Take it easy. Since we are within days of each other, I’ll be watching your progress.


  6. It was only till week three post op I had pt twice a week. The therapist told me that the ultrasound and vibrations are to reduce the swelling and pain. Since the swelling and pain was in control ,I was to just do my leg lifts at home. Since the 4 th week the PT is only once a week. Feels like I am not doing enough and it’s getting frustrating with a little weight gain.
    I still have the wound scab at to tiny spots , so it’s it’s difficult the give a good massage to the incessisson area ( luckily only one inch Long ), which I have been told to do at home 2-3 times using a bio oil or vitamin e oil. The scab is dry and by evening the incessisson area does get a little red and swollen.
    I have still do not have clearance to start motion exercises.
    Waiting for my PT this week , which marks it to Week 5 post op….. Week 6 post injury.
    Good luck with your healing …..

  7. Hi Manny ,I managed to find Bobbie’s blog but can’t find Bonnie and Stuart’s blog.
    Where and how do I find them.
    Wishing you a great day ahead .

  8. Summer, they post regularly, so you will see them around. Just scroll down… I might have misspelled some names. S40Love, Kevin, Metonia, crzkdsmom, shady, pozaicer, and more are also regular posters (Metonia, you are a poster girl! LOL) and Stuart, Bonnie and Bobbie (I always misspell one of the two, adding an american double consonant) give great advice. Oh, and Metonia is an expert at the surgical details and finds links for us on the internet. :-)
    Happy Healing!…….. Manny

  9. Summer - not sure on the Bonnie either. Did you mean Beanie’s blog Manny? Anyway mine is Xplora. Limping is bad for you. You should avoid it. There are ways to do that but sometimes when you get tired it cannot be helped. If you limp when you walk then you can shorten your stride and slow down. Before I got my boot off I was given exercises to engage my butt muscles again. They are the ones most responsible for walking and go soft quick. I think this was already mentioned. It wont be long now before you are back in shoes and the work begins. Best to wear shoes indoors as well. Good motion control runners with a higher heel (ASICS or Brooks). You can add heel wedges to them as well to take the pressure of your tendon and make it easier to walk. Barefoot is nice but it requires more flexion than you will have and you will limp. Of course limping is hard not to do when you have a big boot on.

  10. Hi guys I think Manny meant beanie she has documented well pretty sure summer this is who Manny “the champ” meant.
    Manny, Beanie & Stuart were all very instrumental on keeping me
    positive through my journey, loved the humour & the advise, thanks so much
    And summer take heart it us not as bad as it seems, wishing you a positive, fun & speedy recovery too

  11. Summer organic coconut oil or bio oil are brilliant for wound healing and minimising scar
    I actually used both one in morning massage and the other at night
    Coconut oil has magic qualities read up on it on google
    I also put a tablespoon into my smoothies for some added internal healing as well.
    Vitamin C & magnesium are a great boost also for healing

  12. It’s interesting to see how different info we all are having from pur docs. Mine said physio after 6-8 weeks with no weight bearing! I’m a bit lost since I did surgery in Bangkok and don’t have access to him any longer. Also suggestions for having a good sleep in the boot? Thanks and speedy recovery;)

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