thelifechangingpop’s AchillesBlog

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Dance the night away

Filed under: Uncategorized — thelifechangingpop at 5:33 pm on Saturday, November 9, 2013

So I undertook to follow the advice “dance as if no one is watching” and initially did so in high heels then kicked these off and jumped around barefoot to all the 80s greats. Such fun. Then upon jumping up from my  chair, and taking an enthusiastic step towards the dance floor for the final song, I suddenly had no left achilles. Initially thought that I must have kicked the back of calf against a chair as whole lower leg felt numb but realised when I couldn’t really weight bear that I’d done something major.

Fortunately had plenty of good cabernet sauvignon in my system for pain relief and once I’d managed to convice my veterinary colleagues that this was not the kind of injury that just needed another glass of Cabernet I went to the emergency room at the clinic conveniently located across the road from the hotel we were all staying at for our 2 day Veterinary Business Forum.

So this happened in the very early hours of tge 23rd October 2013. The emergency doctor made a diagnosis of tendon tear but wouldn’t commit himself to saying whether it was complete or partial. Put me in a back slab, gave me a set of crutches and  an injection of painkiller and told me to be back at 8 for an ultrasound. Total rupture, 4cm from distal insertion point of tendon made with aid of ultrasound. Was interesting to see the pictures. If I’d been thinking clearly I would have asked him to ultrasound my right tendon as have a niggling fear of the right one copying the left, gulp.

Back to emergency room for another back slab (support cast that runs from toes up back of calf, bandaged on) to keep ankle in neutral position.  Box of painkillers and instruction to have surgery as soon as.

Flew back to Cape Town from Johannesburg that afternoon and saw surgeon on Thursday morning. Surgeon told me pros and cons of surgical vs non surgical repair and based on his info that surgical repairs healing faster with less chance of rerupture, and having dobe a few surgical repairs of ruptured achilles in dogs and cats I opted for the surgery. Went home in moonboot, similar to aircast boot.

Surgery was done on Monday 28th October 2013 and leg put in back slab with soft bandage. The surgeon had said that I would go straight into moonboot after surgery but he changed his mind, am realising that this surgeon does this often!

Discharged next morning after I’d seen the physio who told me to wriggle my toes often and gave me a series of exercises to do with my injured left leg in order to keep muscles strong. Follow up appointment scheduled with surgeon for 11th November.

At home spent most of time with leg up. First 3 days needed to take painkillers every 6 hours. Also on an anti-inflammatory and taking Traumeel, a homeopathic remedy.

More history to follow…….



Comment by Mr WordPress

November 9, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

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Comment by normofthenorth

November 11, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

Lots of interesting stuff here, TLCP!! Your idea of routinely imaging BOTH legs could produce some important insights into “our” elevated risk of “doing” both ATs eventually. It’s always done for Thompson’s tests and visual & palpation exams, but virtually never done with UltraSound or MRI, AFAIK.

Much of the pro-op advice you heard has been undermined by the newest and best published trials, though the “bottom line” is still something that well-informed active ATR patients (& Docs) can disagree about. E.g. If you don’t go to PWB and PT at your 2-week follow-up, you’ll be slower than the non-op patients in the 2010 UWO study, and you’re already slower than the non-op patients in the newest UK studies, including Exeter.

You write:
“Back to emergency room for another back slab (support cast that runs from toes up back of calf, bandaged on) to keep ankle in neutral position.” Was it really in neutral position?!? I hate using strong words like “malpractice” but I can’t think of any legitimate clinical reason/excuse for anybody doing that. All ATR patients should be immobilized in equinus ASAP (at diagnosis), then given a chance at fully-informed consensual choice of treatment — one of which has already begun with that immobilization.


Comment by Ron

November 11, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

Hi Lifechangingpop,

Good post name, and sorry to hear about your rupture.

Seems that you got through the first 2 weeks or so, so the worst should be over (pain wise). I also see that you are back at the Doc’s today - update us please.

Wishing you the best,

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