16 week check in

Well, I have made it this far on what seems a life altering event.Maybe a year from now it will recede in my memory, we will see. All in all, things go well. I am doing PT every other week now and many of the exercises are the same with minor variations and tweaks. I work out daily; I’m not sure how else one could recover from this injury.
Mobility: Pretty good, some tightness across the bridge of my ankle and general tightness in the tendon area in the morning which passes. Plantar flexion is about equal with both feet and dorsiflexion is about 80% of the healthy leg.
Strength: This is a work in progress and I can see where the 1 yr recovery is not an exaggeration. I am doing the same exercises mentioned elsewhere in the blog but am still a long way from one leg heel raises with the injured leg. There is incremental progress in this regard; I can notice advancement week to week but not day to day….very frustrating.
Activities: I am walking on level surfaces as well as an off road trail with uneven surfaces. I can’t really push off as hard on my injured leg as I would like, but it generally feels good the more active I am. I have been riding my road bike for the last 2-3 weeks on a local asphalt rail trail. This is for the most part flat and I just spin, high cadence in the saddle only. I can’t really get out of the saddle and load the injured leg yet; this is the equivalent to a one leg heel raise, but will keep at it. This will be a good measure of the rehab program.
Limp: Its still there but very slight, and probably not noticeable to others. As I stride forward with the injured leg there is a brief moment of weakness where I collapse onto the good leg.This is as much in my head as in my gait, but a very real thing. When I am fresh and strong, no limp and when I am fatigued it comes back. Probably no great surprise.
Pain: Not really much pain, rather some general discomfort after big workouts. This can run from the toes to the upper calf and affect lots of different soft tissue areas.
Summary: Not much more to say. I continue to enjoy the blog site; I gain as much or more info from the bloggers and the related postings as I do from my medical team. Good luck to all on their recovery.

12 weeks

Well, I am 12 weeks post op this Thursday, and things continue to get better. I am doing PT once a week and have a full set of exercises and stretches that I do daily. The progress is slow, but measurable. I did 12 minutes on the rowing machine (first time since the injury) at the gym yesterday and it felt great while I was rowing but sore last night. I followed this with 3 mile walk today on flat ground. The limp is till there, more defined when I am tired. I still have a lot of weakness in the calf area and single leg heel raises are a ways out, but at least there is some muscle definition in this area now. Although I still have some stiffness in the achilles area, my remaining pain is in the heel and it really gets sore by the end of the day after being on my feet. I continue to ice when I get the chance, and use a topical CBD cream to help with inflammation for the calf all the way down into the arch of the foot. It is interesting to sort out the mental and physical components of the healing. On the one hand I know how far I have come, but at the same time it feels like there is so far to go…and no doubt there is. So it goes back to taking it a day at a time - ‘patience young grasshopper’ (in my case ‘older grasshopper’). On the bright side I played 9 holes of golf last week, using a cart and a 3/4 swing, but it will be a bit before I am back on the tour. I hope everyone is well out there with their rehab; we are in a special club.

Calf Pain

I am eight weeks post surgery and rehab is going well with 2 shoes, fwb and increasing mobility and strength. I’m doing PT 2x a week and in the gym pretty regularly with a set of exercises. My concern is with significant pain and swelling in the calf area. I am icing and getting massage but the deep muscle tissue still is very tender all the way up to upper calf. I imagine this is ‘normal’ but not much fun…anyone else have experience with this?

Progress

Six weeks post surgery and I have been released for FWB in the boot and driving as needed… woohoo!(good riddance to the knee scooter, lol). I have an aggressive PT and she wants me out of the boot in 2 weeks. Still have some pain and swelling in the calf and ankle area; it gets aggravated by the walking, but I’m not complaining. Related to this, they call this a walking boot but it is terrible for trying to establish a proper gate and tends to hyper extend the knee. Someone needs to invent a better option, maybe they have and i just got the wrong product. Im doing theraband strengthening for the foot an achilles area and ROM exercises as well as bridges, planks and upper body stuff. Net of this is that the leg is ‘waking up’ and is getting stronger, but slowly. Also doing stationary bike for 20 mins at setting 9 which gets the heart rate up a little. All in all, it seems like a bit of a milestone on this tortuous path.

So I am 2 weeks post surgery and I had the sutures out yesterday. The incision looked fine, tight and clean. During the last 24 hrs I have had some light pain at the incision site which I assume is normal. I have been released for PT at 3 weeks but can’t see the gal (background in college level team sports) I want until the 26th so I have cobbled together a workout routine I can do that is NWB for the injured leg, maybe 10-12 stretches and  exercises for lower and upper body. As part of this, I am doing unbooted ROM exercises with the affected leg, holding it in the air and doing light rotations with the foot. This produces a light tug on the tendon but no pain. Am I pushing this too hard, or should I just trust myself? I am waiting to hear back from the doc on this but not holding my breath. I can also put light weight (10% maybe) on the wedged and booted foot, just for balance, with no pain. Anyone else remember this point in their rehab…thoughts?

So, 6 days post surgery. I am off the painkillers, just taking a small dose of acetaminophen as needed. Incision site feels ok, tight and tingly with a dull ache. I am catching up on reading, tv (ugh), and surfing the web looking for info related to the injury and surgery. On the rehab front I ice regularly just above the splint, and keep the foot elevated. In addition I have a BEMER unit donated by a friend which emits a magnetic resonance to help in blood flow; figured it can’t hurt. Lastly I started some stretching/strenght training yesterday. Prone on my back I am doing crunches and leg raises in 2 planes. Using the knee role as a bench I am doing thigh curls as well as bicep curls and shoulder presses using a 15 lb hand weight. I am careful to keep the injured leg in a neutral position, and no weight on the foot bottom. Not much of a workout but really helps to keep me from feeling like I am just turning to mush.

Its my 4th day post surgery - time seems to be going very slowly. Sleeping has been fitful, a combination of pillows, foam blocks, etc to keep the foot in the air and some separation between my legs really helps. Frequent daytime naps make up for what I don’t get at night. I am going to attempt to go off the opioids today, just acetaminophen, will see how this goes. I got a knee scooter which really helps with mobility. First doctor visit is still a week out.

Cserpent, I see you on the blog a lot, thanks for the well wishes. To other members, I am curious -the pain block pretty much killed all sensation in the leg for the first 40 hrs after surgery but now the pain is kicking in, deep and throbbing and I am using the hydrocodone painkillers which make it bearable. I wondered how many days people found they needed the opioids before they were able to get by with straight acetaminophen?

Yes, so I had the surgery yesterday, but maybe back up a little to the event. My wife and I were traveling in Amsterdam when I went for a jog in Vondlepark. No weird movement or violent shock, just a sharp slap to the back of the leg accompanied with a sharp cracking sound. I almost went down, caught my selg and dragged the leg back .5 mis to the hotel. I continued to walk on the leg for 2 days trying to talk myself into thinking that I had a calf muscle tear-flat footed through the beautiful squares of Brussells with our tour group. The injury site was starting to swell so I went to a hospital emergency room and I was diagnosed with the achilles injury by a competent orthopedic resident fluent in English (can’t imagine how this might have gone on some on treks in Tibet or Peru). So we worked with the Road Scholar, the tour group to rearrange our flight home ten days early. Travel insurance kicked in and we flew first class (small blessing) back to Spokane, 24 difficult hours, arriving home on June 17th. I went to a sports medicine clinic on Monday morning and the surgery took place yesterday at 2 PM. I had both the general anaesthetic and a block. Everything went according to plan and I woke up alert and in no pain. I slept well last night, still a little groggy and the block is still in place - no pain at all at this point. I’m not looking forward to rehab, just thinking a day at a time. Grateful for the blog, good community. BTW, I have promised my wife that we will return to Europe and continue our trip in 2019. Thanks for the well wishes.


Long journey

Headed for surgery today, need to get started on this thing. Ive really enjoyed others peoples posts and intend to participate during recovery.