7wks and 4days on

Saw the consultant yesterday for the third visit since the accident. He carried out some foot articulation tests and then gave the tendon site a good going over before announcing that as far as he could tell all was OK and it had healed exactly as  he would have expected at this stage. I fully expected to be re-booted for another 3wks until the new year but quite unexpectedly he said to go home then remove the boot and go into two shoes. When I inquired about physio he said that as my foot was able to articulate well physio was not needed and I should now just walk as much as possible to strengthen the leg etc.  I was given a 10mm wedge to wear for up to 4wks or until I could do without it and was discharged from his care. I am trying not to ‘overstep’ at the moment as I can still feel a slight ‘drag’ on the tendon. It feels strange to try and re-educate my leg to assume a normal gait instead of having the boot via my shin lift the heel of my foot. At the end of the last update by ‘gravity’ was a seemingly good physio protocol to follow and I may incorporate that into my routine so my thanks for that useful info. I also tried the car (on the drive) today for the first time and pressing the brake pedal hard causes no discomfort so that may be another milestone passed. The past 8wks have been a drag but looking back I can now see light at the end of the tunnel. Finally for the moment A very happy Xmas and New Year to all fellow club members and many thanks for your comments and the support from this fabulous site.

13 Responses to “7wks and 4days on”

  1. Don’t sell the boot yet. It’s useful for scarier outings - crowded areas, hilly terrain, etc. There’s also an exercise schedule in the UWO protocol - at Cecilia’s page or bit.ly/UWOProtocol - and maybe the other 2, too.

    Keep it incremental, and Watch Your Step!

    You didn’t mention limping or feeling vulnerable. If you’ve skipped those when starting 2 shoes, you’ve had a remarkable rehab!

  2. I’m curious as to how you feel about not being prescribed Physical Therapy?

  3. Hi Donna,

    Perhaps I should have mentioned in my blog that my daughter does mobile hairdressing and one of her clients is a physio/ personal trainer and she has been discussing my sorry case with him. He has kindly set out a routine for me to follow without wrecking my tendon again until the healing is at least two weeks further on at 10 wks. We are fortunate enough also to have a fairly well equipped gym in the house and today I tried out the rowing machine, cross trainer, static bike and vibroplate without any adverse effect on the tendon. So with his encouragement and guidance I will be getting back to gently incorporating these into my routine starting tomorrow. Trailing to the hospital just to be given a few stretches would be such a pain anyway. As a side I was glad to get into shoes at approx 8wks as the boot was such a nuisance to put on and off fighting with the Velcro that stuck like a limpet to everything it touched and like an earlier reply to sleeping in the boot I would wake up and tear the thing off as it was so hot in bed then the noise of the tearing Velcro would have the whole house awake. At the moment I actually find that I can walk more naturally in my stocking feet rather than trainers although I am nervous about pushing off too heavily from the ball of my foot as yet. I have taken out the 10mm wedge and substituted a shallow gel heel in each of my shoes for outdoors. Good luck with the migration to shoes and remember to take it steady, you don’t want a re-rupture setback now.

  4. Glad you have a plan for exercises- your OS is right as far as prescribing walking but working on strength specifically is something that I think is pretty important. Heel raises are one of the main exercises in rehab and starting these seated should be the safest way to go. I am a bit worried about adding the rowing machine in though- I am a rower and a coach and have noticed that rowing is often left to the 6 month point on protocols. If you are going to row then modify the stroke- stay off the balls of the feet by shortening the slide and keep the drag factor at zero. Have fun and be patient!

  5. Hi found your comments very helpful my rupture mirrors yours even to the dates i am 7 weeks post op .I had plaster 2 weeks then insisted on boot not cast with 4 wedges went back to surgeon week 5 quick check he said it was healing very well .I can fully rotate and flex my foot almost as normal slight tingling that’s all . The surgeon removed 2 wedges and said remove other two over next 3 weeks and signed me off, no mention of physio .Tried built up trainers at home and was fine however decided to go to physio when ankle swelled .He checked it and told me it normal then he had me stand on my toes fwb. Then he put me on wobble board which was fine . Down to 1 wedge now use boots if I feel at risk . I would mention that I was told insurance companies take dim view of driving after achilles op either leg .Suspect our ages are similar as you have grown daughter .All the best with your recovery Ian

  6. Hi Ian,

    You don’t say which country you are in and I went non- op here in UK. Regardless I assume insurance companies are the same world wide and will try their best to weedle out of paying in any case. There comes a time with any injury when you have to try and get back to leading a normal a life as possible and mostly that depends on the individual. I have had more debilitating injuries in my time such as torn hamstring which caused far more pain and difficulty in driving than this but it was still necessary to drive at the time. Also probably like yourself I have officially been discharged from the consultant care and have been left to my own devices so to speak with no official physio needed so I am wholly responsible for my ongoing therapy and lifestyle decisions. My son in law is in the local police force and he says that it is fine to drive if my injury does not in any way impair my concentration or reactions which it does not. By the way I am 68. Best of luck with the rehab, take it steady and don’t overdo things even though you may think you can you are still healing.

  7. Hi thanks for replay .Have you tried bio massage oil I have found it marvellous apparently it lubricates the sheaths of the tendon .I had my tendon done by leading specialist on his strong recommendation physio tells me he did superb job . Appentley op reduces re rupture risk .Can I ask you if you are on blood thinners .Regards ian

  8. Hi Ian,

    No I’m not on blood thinners. Not sure if this is only offered after the op method. It was never mentioned to me but I do take a low dose aspirin daily anyway so maybe that is the reason.

  9. Hello Ian!
    Surgery has lower rerupture rates than old-fashioned slow non-op treatment, AKA Conservative Casting. But modern non-op ATR treatment documented in studies >2007 - including the three featured at AchillesBlog.com/Cecilia/ Protocols - yields clinical results statistically indistinguishable from surgery, without a scar and without most of the complications.
    When using emu oil and other solvent oils or chemicals that penetrate into tissues, always ensure that your skin is clean, or you’ll drive surface contaminants into your tissues. Emu oil is often formulated with Don’t inflammatories to exploit this action.
    Re driving: this is a hot button topic, for obvious reasons. Most of us make lots of risk tradeoffs every day, including risks to other people. We really shouldn’t drink coffee in the car, or tune the radio, or wait until Tuesday to get the car repaired, or… or… Driving with a boot or a weak AT and calf is one of those, and a big one. It’s characteristic of all those tradeoffs that (1) they look different to different people, and (2) they look very different in different contexts: in advance, in hindsight after things went well, and in hindsight after things went badly.
    Don’t blindly follow your PT’s advice if it seems very aggressive or non-incremental. They do sometimes do harm. (One of mine caused me a painful 1-month setback, AFTER I complained that she was being too aggressive!) Heel raises at <7 weeks sounds very aggressive to me, even if you escaped unharmed.
    Anticoagulants (”blood thinners”) are controversial. Many people have to be treated with expensive and potentially harmful drugs in order to avoid one DVT, and even more to avoid one serious PE. The clot risks are a bit higher post-op (though definitely nonzero non-op), so surgical patients are more likely to get anticoagulants. There are similar arguments about X-Rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs for apparent ATR victims. I personally think all 4 are unnecessary, but reasonable, intelligent, and well-informed people can (and do) disagree.

  10. Hi Now week 8 post op .I am now walking normal shoes no lifts no pain and driving . In retrospect have taken informed risks seems to have worked for me .Professionals must be cautious presumably they have seen re -ruptures .2 physics checked me last Tuesday and both said can ski in one month such is my recovery .I think I have 80% strength back slight muscle wastage . Walked 2 miles today . My protocol was to push to slight edge of pain and stop that action and put leg up to recover .I realise my treatment for myself not for everybody but am risk taker by nature .My physio actually had rupture 4 years ago and has slightly wasted leg now and is really surprised by my recovery .all the best Ian

  11. Sounds great, Ian, but if you go too far you could still find yourself back at square one with lots of time to reconsider. Good luck.
    I’ve only seen one study that went so fast the results sucked. And even there, the rerupture rate was <<50%, so most people won the bet. Not my kind of risk to take, or recommend to others, though.

  12. Hi normofthenorth thanks for your comments must stress I am not recommending my recovery procedure to others just sharing my experience .Since my last post my achilles gets stronger daily .I feel my surgeon did a superb repair ,he does only feet and ankle injuries .Expensive but worth every penny .About a week ago realised had stopped thinking about my achilles ,however I remind myself to be careful .Maybe the moral to my story is to get very best surgeon .My sister is medical and has helped me through this period .

  13. Fully recovered tennis golf no muscle wastage .was told by everyone I year in fact after 10 weeks played tennis albeit nervously .I don’t even think about now .All depends on risks you find acceptable worked for me .good luck last post .ian

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