A question for any and all…

On the eve of my 5-wk post-op visit (when I get to find out when I get to start PT), I thought I’d pose a question:

Aside from the immediate post-op concerns of bleeding, infection and non-healing, what would be the most concerning thing headed into physical therapy.  My list is as follows:

1. re-rupture

2. healing “long”

3. healing “short”

4. continued, chronic pain

What say you?  And are there any other potential pitfalls that I haven’t thought of?

9 Responses to “A question for any and all…”

  1. Continued Chronic pain would give me a bigger problem. Others seem to be done away with at some point, but the continued pain and aggravation is one I do not want to hear regarding my procedure…

  2. Ultidad - Interesting, but I’m not sure I can decide what would be worse. A re-rupture obviously sounds terrible and has to be mentally as well as physically draining, but the other three could have a more lasting/lingering or permanent affect on your overall recovery. Fortunately, only a small percentage (including me) suffer from any of the scenarios you listed. I wouldn’t be too concerned although it is good to be aware that complications can happen. Good luck as you head into the next phase of your recovery.

  3. Chronic pain was the worst for me. The physical therapists will massage it so much to get the scare tissue out and that is the worst. It has been 6 months for me and I made it through physical therapy and I am still making it through physical therapy with no severe difficulties. I was worried about re rupturing my achilles too but so long as you do what your surgeon has told you, you will be fine. PT will be hard at first but after a while you will know ALL of the exercises and notice the improvement in balance, walking, and strengthening.

  4. Ultidad: After my first surgery, I was worried about over training and ending up back where I started again. So in a sense, I was worried about another rupture or being wiped out by surgery again. My PT knew me from work we had done together and he knew he had to keep me from hurting my self again. I hadn’t learned patience yet. It took 3 Achilles surgeries to teach me that. My PT was great but eventually I went out on my own. I ended up (like I mentioned before) with two more surgeries but thankfully it wasn’t because of anything I did, it was a structural issue and so far I think the other surgeries have worked. By the way, I had an amazing doctor for surgeries 2 and 3. He just got a shout out in the 5280 Best Doctors in Denver. He is what I call a Jedi Doctor.
    I never even thought about healing long/short. I didn’t know yet (after first surgery) that my Achilles’ were too short to begin with. I had already had chronic pain in both legs for about 10 years prior so I didn’t really care much about that. I just wanted my leg to work again.

  5. As long as you follow a knowledgeable PT’s advice (do get recommendation) I would have no concerns at all.

    But pain should be your guide.
    I find I feel better after PT, she massages the scar tissue, but not excessively, and when I say I do not feel comfortable with an exercise, she accepts it, and gives suggestions.
    I started PT 6 weeks after surgery and the ultrasound is supposed to be beneficial for breaking down the scar tissue, and that can not be done at home…

    I am persuaded that my re-rupture was caused by not properly having healed after conservative treatment. I always had pain in the tendon after that, while after surgery, none.

    PT to me is mostly about methodically getting back the lost flexibility and strength caused by the immobilization. And after so many weeks I still appreciate their guidance.

  6. Smish - 3 surgeries? what’’s up with that?

    Lessons learned?

    I’m only 10 weeks into this, but I am fearful enough of another ATR that I’m not sure, at age 49, if I’m going to return to the sports that tend to lead one here in the first place.

    Tom in Georgia

  7. Thanks for all the feedback, folks.
    Smish- I am in Denver as well - do you mind sharing the names of your surgeon and PT?

  8. Ultidad: My surgeon was Dr. David Kim and my PT was Joe Teixeira from Performax. Both really great. Dr. Kim is an amazing doctor.

    Tom in Georgia: It sounds worse than it was. I had a rupture surgery and when that never seemed to heal right I went to a foot and ankle specialist. That’s where I found out that I was on a really bad merry-go-round and I needed some re-construction done on both Achilles’ to get off. So far I think I am off. I really feel sorry for some of the people on this forum that have had 3 ruptures or are battling infections. My heart goes out to them.

  9. How about never having PT prescribed? It never came up during any of my discussions with my surgeon, perhaps he thought my GP would take care of that - if I had a GP that might have been an interesting call.

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