2nd post op visit

Hi again,

I saw my surgeon for my second post-op, ~4.5 week mark.  While it was a brief 10 minute visit - I was happy to hear that he was pleased with how the incision had healed and how the tendon was coming along.  He did a quick check to evaluate the strength of my calf and told me to start up physio. He also explained again how I should avoid eccentric exertion on the tendon to avoid the risk of re-rupture.

Anyone else find they have very brief whirlwind visits post-op?  I can’t even remember when he said I could go two-shoes it all happened so quickly.  Regardless, I’m very pleased with the progress and think I lucked out with a great doctor!

hope everyone is enjoying their weekend,


Catching up to the present…[2 weeks post-op]

The Surgery:

The surgery went quite well. I was given the choice of a General or a spinal… They seemed to play up the risks with a general ["chance of paralysis, blindness"] - these were due to the fact that I’d have to be turned into a prone position to perform the procedure and if I wasn’t awake, I wouldn’t be able to keep my neck strong.  Prior to hearing the risks, I was tempted to go for a general, but I figured if an epidural is good enough for child birth, a spinal probably would suit me well enough.

The spinal was uncomfortable getting it put in… the anesthesiologist described it as “alot of pressure” which was pretty accurate.  The funny part was I couldn’t tell when the spinal took “effect” and since I wasn’t facing down I couldn’t tell when they started operating… I could have sworn my legs never went numb when they told me “We’re closing you up now and putting on the cast” and that was that.

I believe the operation took about 45 minutes to 1 hour, but they gave me a mild sedative as well so I lost track of time… I was in the recovery room for the next hour or so before I was ready to be discharged.

My first cast:

My first cast wasn’t a full rigid cast. The surgeon had explained that there would be significant swelling, so they would basically splint it with a semi-rigid cast that would accommodate the change in size, but also protect the tendon by keeping it in an equinus[? - toe-pointed] position.

In 2 weeks, I’d get it removed and be given an air cast.

Thank goodness for family:

I think I must have had the smoothest initial 10 days for recovering from the surgery.  The post-op pain was significantly more severe than the post-injury pain.  Fortunately for me, my sister’s family let me squat at their place… My mom mobilized herself as well and I pretty much got treated like royalty… Even my 5-year old nephew volunteered to sleep in the guest bed so that I could be closer to the bathroom…

So pretty much that meant I was lying either in bed or on a couch for 23.5 hours/day which must have helped with the swelling.  I went off of the prescribed Tylenol-3 after 36 hours… I had a pretty bad headache for the next 12 hours [my guess is withdrawal] but after a good night’s sleep I was feeling very good.

I booked my two-week followup and got my first cast taken off after 10 days.

The boot! [PWB?]

The nurse cut off my first cast and fitted me with an aircast [at first a medium, but then given a small because the medium looked "too big"] which even right now I’m kind of dubious if it’s the appropriate size.

The surgeon examined my healing and explained that I could walk with the boot if I wanted… I was a bit surprised especially given all that I’ve read on the various blogs here… He said that I would be fine walking as long as my foot was in the boot and it was properly adjusted.  Given my excitement, I obviously tried to take a step… OUCH… there was quite a bit of pain along the back of my leg as it was pretty much the first time any pressure had been put on it.  He then said: “Just because I say you are allowed to walk, doesn’t mean you can walk”… I understood and continued to use the crutches.

My next appointment was scheduled 3 weeks from that appointment, and that will be when I begin doing physio.  For now, he just wants me to work on moving my foot up and down in the air…

With my boot, I was given a bunch of felt inserts to elevate my leg in the boot… every 3 days I take one of these out… The nurse cut out 6 of them, and I’ve removed one thus far…

My breakthrough came thru about 4 days after having been put in the aircast… I was able to walk around without too much pain in the boot… But my leg does grow sore from not being elevated…

Other than just being able to walk, it gives me a sense of relief… While my family has been as compassionate and caring as anyone could possibly ask, I felt really bad for asking for the most menial of things [like getting a glass of water].  If it’s available, I say for the first while take it as a necessary evil because your leg will thank you for it… I’m just glad that hopefully, I won’t have to impose like that again for a while [knock on wood].

Now, I just need to find some pants that will fit overtop of this boot!


So many injuries, so many treatments

Hi there,

“Allow myself to introduce… myself.” - Austin Powers.  Actually, my name’s Mike - and I’ve found lots of interesting things off of this site.  While it’s highly debatable whether I’ll provide any useful information back to the community at large, I figured I’d give it a shot…  Plus, I like being able to follow my progress along the marathon tracker.

The event:

The injury itself seems to be “classic textbook”… I was playing <insert sport here> volleyball and as I was turning [ed: I wish I could say I was jumping or something heroic], it felt like someone collided into me and stepped directly on my calf… I went down like a tonne of bricks and sat up with a bit of numbness + tingling in my left leg.  I was quite certain that someone had run into - and was looking angrily around.  To my surprise and dismay, I was informed that I had managed to do it all on my own and nobody side-swiped me.  At that point I grew a bit concerned.

For me the pain was surprisingly low… there was just tingling sensations and I knew I couldn’t quite control my left leg as well as my right leg… I figured I had just cramped up or sprained something so I elevated the leg and someone kindly brought me some ice.

After about a half-hour of letting adrenaline wear off, I started walking on it… slight pain when applying pressure but nothing ridiculous… Still having seen a fellow player tear his achilles a few years prior on probably an equally innocent looking playing, I was concerned and went to Emergency at a nearby hospital.

The Diagnosis:

I got to the hospital around 11pm, and eventually got to see a doctor around 4am… I was very lucky to have my sister wait with me and help me around.  Doctor asked what happened, he did the Thompson test which came back positive [? -well confirming I had ruptured it anyways] and said “You may or may not want to have surgery. An orthopedic surgeon will discuss with you the pros and cons of each tomorrow”…   My injury was apparently so textbook, that he went to get one of the nurses to show her how the Thompson test worked…

Well, later that morning around 8am, I was going to have an ultrasound but the Orthopedic surgeon performed the Thompson test for himself, and declared that there was no reason for ultrasound - “they’ll probably just indicate it’s a partial tear - inconclusive”.

I was explained my options of either non-surgical and a surgery repair. I was told the surgical repair would require less time in a cast, require smaller casts, less risk of re-rupture and pretty much be certain that I would be repaired.  It had the risk of infection or complication due to surgery.

Given my age and level of activity that I wished to continue - I pretty much was all set for surgery.  What I didn’t expect was that he would be able to perform the surgery that afternoon.

To be continued…