Surgery Day and the Two Weeks After

My surgery day was Tuesday, January 21.  I was the first surgery at 9am, so I had to be there at 7am to fill out all the paperwork.  They got me into the back to get ready very quickly, and I was all electroded up and everything by about 7:45.  I was really nervous, and my sister came back with me to keep me company while they prepared for the surgery.  Basically for the next 45 minutes, it was a stream of people coming to talk to me and sign papers.  Anesthesiologist, attending nurse, some other nurse, the Physician’s Assistant, the OR manager, some other type of anesthesiologist that was going to possibly give me a nerve block, the doctor, and maybe a couple of others all came by.  There was kind of a funny moment when one of them was telling me about all the obvious risks of surgery.  My sister said she was looking at the heart monitor, and as they were talking about the risk, my heart rate was just rising and rising until they were done.  It gave us a good laugh and helped me get my mind off of how nervous I was.

At about 8:30, they told me they were going to start a little early as the doctor had a meeting canceled.  I could feel the stuff coming through the IV into my arm and they wheeled me back.  Once I got back there, I remember being back there for about 30 seconds before the lights went out.  What seems like 10 seconds went by and I was waking up in the recovery area.  I had a wrap on my leg from my foot up to my knee with what felt like a splint under it on the outside and under my leg.

When I first woke up, I was in a tremendous amount of pain and requested the nerve block.  Basically the block is a shot into the side of the knee that numbed my leg from the knee down.  I went in and out of sleep for the next couple of hours, but was finally ready to leave about 3.  Because of the nerve block, they put my entire leg into a brace to keep it straight, and told me not to take it off until I got the feeling back in my leg.  They also told me to start taking the pain medication as soon as I got the prescription filled so that when the block wore off, I’d hopefully not be in any pain.

I started taking the pain pills every 6 hours once I got home, but my leg was still numb when I went to bed around 2am.  I was starting to get nervous, but my sister told me they told her the block could last as long as 24 hours.  I guess the block wore off in my sleep, because about 5:30am, I was in the worst pain I can remember in life.  The pain meds didn’t seem to work for the initial pain at all.  This pain lasted for most of the morning into the afternoon, but finally got a little better in the middle of the afternoon on Wednesday.

Basically the rest of the week was all about keeping it elevated and keeping pain down.  I took pain medicine regularly until Friday afternoon, but my pain was very little by then so I decided to stop taking it.  I kept taking the aspirin for blood clots though.

My follow up appointment was the following Monday.  They removed the wrap and looked at the incision.  It looks like the incision is only about 2 inches long with maybe about 6 stitches in it.  They told me it was healing really well and that there was no sign of infection or anything.  They didn’t remove the stitches and they put me in a boot with my foot angled down and told me to still not put any weight on my ankle and I was on my way.  It sucks having to keep using these crutches, but I’m trying to stay positive about it.  It’s nice to be able to take the boot off to shower and what not, but they still want me to sleep in it.  I’ve struggled with that because this thing is less comfortable to sleep in than the original wrap, so I normally take it off some time during the night as I’m tossing and turning.  My follow up is scheduled for next Wednesday, February 12th.  Hopefully by then I’ll be able to ditch the crutches.

8 Responses to “Surgery Day and the Two Weeks After”

  1. What kind of procedure did you have? I had an Exparel block in the o.r., then a popliteal block (that I requested) in recovery. It must have been the combination, because my blocks didn’t wear off for over 24 hours!

    Sleeping in the boot was the worst. I bought a body pillow before surgery and that definitely helped.

  2. sounds like you had the minimally invasive surgery procedure? this sounded very similar to my surg/2 week experience, but they put me in a cast after my followup appointment which was easy to sleep in but very annoying not to be able to wash my leg for 4 weeks. I am 7 weeks post op and have a boot now and dont sleep in it and it is so nice. I think i would have felt very nervous sleeping without cast or boot first month or so. I had several dreams where I ended up kicking my leg and if i didnt have a cast who knows what happens!

  3. Hi guys….. Just found this site and kind of excited about having others to talk to about this….. I am 2 1/2 weeks post surgery for Achilles avulsion fracture. Not sure if any of those reading this had this experience, but would love to hear from you if you did. I actually completely ruptured my achilles as well 12 years ago. Never dreamed I would be going through this again, but here I am. This time the Achilles pulled off the heel taking part of the bone with it. The dr. Says the rehab will be similar to my previous rupture rehab. Btw, same foot :(

  4. Wow, Lissa! We’ve had lots of early re-ruptures here, and lots of delayed other-foot (”contralateral”) ATRs (including me), and a few avulsion fractures, but you may be the first long-delayed same-foot (re?) rupture here, with or without the avulsion fracture! (You could search the site, or you could find the spreadsheet where we’re all listed with the cause of our ruptures. . .)

    Send the email to get a blog of your own, if you’ve got the energy and interest.

  5. Norm, thank you so much for your reply. I am definitely interested in talking or blogging,(first time with anything like this :) With others who have had similar injuries! I was so excited about this site, but kinda of finding it difficult to maneuver…. My fault I am sure. Anyway, can you tell me how to search or find others who have had the avulsion injury? I have no idea what to expect this time, plus things have progressed and changed since my first ATR. I am trying to hang tough and be positive, but today’s a down day…. One of those pity party days I guess…. I will buck up soon!! I have been playing competitive league tennis for 20 years. Both injuries were on the court in the middle of a match…. Yesterday my dr. Told me I would be crazy to ever play again…
    Anyway, thanks again and if you have any advice or I put I would greatly appreciate it!! Oh, I also did email, but haven’t heard back about starting my own blog to ask questions etc….

  6. This site has its own design & takes a little getting used to, but it works pretty well once you are used to it. The two changing lists on the Main Page are the keys for me. Less addicted folks might use the search engine more.

    Soon after I wrote how unique you are, second time around(?) posted with a virtually identical story! Check the right-hand list on the MP if you haven’t seen it — you two may be soul-mates!

  7. HI Lissa!

    I avulsed my left achilles last August leaping awkwardly away from a rattlesnake. Completely off the bone. The surgery pictures are pretty graphic. I had 4 screws inserted to my heel and a 5th screw to use my FHL tendon (big toe) to further strengthen the achilles. Anyway, I was in a hard cast for 10 days, then in the boot for the next 9 weeks. No weight bearing until 10/4 still keeping the boot on. PT started 10/11. Full weight bearing/ walking on Halloween. I stopped PT on 11/6 because the therapist was way too conservative. I have been doing the strength training my self and I am happy to say that I am almost walking normally with little to no limp. I learned that when the OS reattaches the achilles, the calf needs to really stretch out to allow for normal walking. That was the hardest part. The mornings were always the worst….I would walk like a pirate for an hour or so. So now, 25 weeks after surgery, I would say that I’m 85% back. No running for the forseeable future though…..Good luck with your recovery. Any questions?

  8. Hey Steve sorry for delay! I got on this site and was reading like crazy for two days and ended up getting myself in a funk depressed lol. I have educated myself quite a bit. I am glad to hear about your progress and story because I really did want to hear what the difference between a reg ATR and the avulsion and far as recovery and rehab. I also now have realized after researching on here that I am 100% sure I also have sural nerve damage. The prognosis on that doesn’t look good, but I will pray it is not permanent. I have pretty much constant shock type bursts through my heels and foot. And cannot touch the back of my leg or foot without it burning like crazy. I don’t know if the dr. Did it in surgery or it was from the injury. I’m not sure if this happened to you but when my achilles snapped off the bone my whole heel burst open. Almost from heel bone to heel bone. The OS of 35 years said he had never seen this type of rupture before. I feel dumb now, but he sent me right over to the hospital and did surgery that night and I had no idea what he was going to do, I didn’t ask at all. Now I see all of these people researched etc. prior. Anyway, he put 2 screws in and that’s all I know. He took the cast off in 2 weeks and told me to start flexing my foot. I started and my heel was oozing and looked like it was opening up so I went back and he steri stripped it and told me to come back in a week. Wait to start flexing again until then. I have a boot but don’t wear it in the house unless I go out because any pressure on my skin is awful. I don’t know what questions I should be asking him. He kind of intimidates me, but since I have started reading here, I feel like I need to be more proactive! I guess my first step now is to ask him about this nerve issue. And then I was wondering about your rehab. Did you pick your place that you went? I do not have insurance, and I want to make sure I do the right thing. It sounds like you were a few months out before you started PT? Any imput you or anyone else has, I appreciate it very much!!

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-Spam Image

Powered by WP Hashcash