WoundedWhale’s AchillesBlog

Tracking my recovery……..

  • ATR Timeline

    • Name: woundedwhale
      Location: Shawnee
      Injured during: Volleyball
      Which Leg: L
      Status: NWB

      592 wks  4 days Post-ATR
      586 wks  5 days
         Since start of treatment
    • woundedwhale has completed the grueling 26.2 ATR miles to full recovery!
      Goal: 365 days from the surgery date.
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    July 2012
    S M T W T F S
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It Starts…

Posted by woundedwhale on July 1, 2012

On May 19th I went out to play a few games of volleyball.  What happened thirty minutes into the games has changed my life for the next year at least.  Initially, when I heard the pop I thought it was my Plantaris Tendon as I ruptured the one on my right leg two years ago.  The pain was similar, the sound and even the type of activity was all eerily similar.  I therefore took it upon myself to render a diagnosis.  I applied ice for a few hours and then found my boot from the Plantaris and put it on.  I figured about two weeks would suffice and then I would be slowly beginning my walking as I did previous. 

After two weeks I removed the boot and felt the weakness in my calf and the inability to push off on my foot.  I thought it was just responding at a different pace than before.  I continued to walk on it, mow the grass, even completely clean out the garage of shelves and redo how everything is placed.  That is when I noticed the swelling.  Continued swelling, I had my cankle.  I decided to make an appt at the ortho.  I went in and could I have been more wrong, ruptured Achilles.  To confirm I did all the standard stuff including the MRI.  Yep a full rupture and had recessed to a spacing of 2.6 inches. 

Which brings me to this past Friday, Jun 29th, my surgery was completed.  For the most part there seems to be no complications, I will be in a splint for two weeks with dorsal flexion then back into the boot for approximately 10 weeks.  At this point the pain is tolerable.  I have noticed that when I leave my foot elevated I get a huge spike in pain around the heel.  I can quickly alleviate it by lowering the heel to the floor for a few minutes.  I am trying to rest as much as possible the first few days.  I have a very supportive wife and two fantastic kids.  I did get a set of Mobilegs crutches that pretty comfortable and not so ancient on the technology.  When I have to get a boot does anyone have a comparison over Aircast v VacoCast?  Being I am going to be in it for 10 weeks in summer I want it to be comfortable.  Also, my doc only carries the Aircast. 

Anyway this is my first post and with continue to update as I go through this new challenge in my life.  Things I am missing right now….cycling (esp with Tour de France on), carrying my kids and being mobile.    

5 Responses to “It Starts…”

  1. normofthenorth Says:

    2+10 weeks immobilized is a lot, and seems to be unnecessarily brutal, maybe even sub-optimal compared to a faster protocol. It also makes me worry that the other steps in your protocol (like PWB, FWB, PT, exercises) will come too late. Check out the UWO study on this site (among the studies) and the fast modern and successful protocol they used — linked at the end of that study, or also at bit.ly/UWOProtocol (in the version the authors faxed to my OS in Toronto). And see if your Doc has a good justification for taking you slower. Platitudes like “better safe than sorry” and “you don’t want to do this twice” are NOT good justifications, since the evidence suggests that going faster is AT LEAST as safe as going slower (at least up to the speed of the UWO protocol).

    I like hinged boots like the Vaco (and others), mostly for the transition to 2 shoes and for protective use (in scary environments) just after 2 shoes — though the Aircast is fine and is the one the UWO study used to get their excellent results. I’ve never seen a Vaco up close, but most folks here who’ve used it recommend it highly. For the first ~6 weeks, during which hinging is generally scary, I think they’re pretty much all the same.

  2. Scott Says:

    In the beginning I was supposed to be in a splint for 2 weeks and then a boot for 10-12 weeks but at my 8 week appointment he said I didn’t need to wear it anymore.

  3. woundedwhale Says:

    Norm - I will start my PT after the two week checkup. He did say I will be NWB for six weeks though. I should get the whole protocol when I go in for the follow-up on the 10th. From what I can tell he won’t take it slow. He will be as aggressive as I can be. There was some hesitantcy due to the length of time from injury to surgery..

    Scott - that is great to hear.

    Thank you both for the responses.

  4. chip777 Says:

    Hi I did the same thronging it was a calf strain for 1 week
    And I have had FWB as I have a 8 month old son , been in boot for
    5 weeks and doc says its healing great , and had no opp going back July 9th
    To hospital and taking boot of and being given heel wedges for my own shoes

  5. georgebrown Says:

    Pain is manageable my ass. You have been doing great - please remember the number of people that are a call away! Let us help.

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