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Achilles rupture surgery - support group

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  • Okay, here goes.

    So far, 60 days in from a very long time without surgery on a neglected full ATR.

    original ATR something like 24/01/07, first consultant (ME) 0/10 for missed diagnosis of complete ATR - instead applied strapping and got on with life 'it's a sprain and will improve!'

    Indeed after 3 months or so it had improved to a fashion - poorly organised scar tissue tried to form across the bridge. Until I re-snapped it in April, you know the treatment by now! More strapping and getting on with life, (Ohh god those missed steps on staircasews used to hurt!)

    Enter the NHS on it's gleaming white charger! Go see the GP to be told that it was a mild partial tear otherwise I wouldn't be able to walk around as I was doing! Given the ultimate in surgical correction technology - an elasticated tubigrip! 0/10


    More months of despair at slow semi-repair.

    Enter the private sector

    Trip to private physiotherapist - quote of the day "that's not right! You need an ultrasound"

    10/10 sorry DavidG1 but this guy put me on the right road as soon as he could.

    Trip to BUPA ultrasound where a consultant took excellent care of me, answered all questions asked in his clinical remit and showed genuine empathy for my plight and told me the whole history (with the scans to reinforce it) of how many times I had ruptured and re-ruptured the damn thing! Yeuch! 10/10 excellent diagnosis and support.

    Trip to BUPA consultant surgeon where someone who really KNEW what he was talking about performed a THOMPSON's - YES! He also showed tremendous compassion and empathy for my situation and for the first time I allowed myself to recognise the plight I had been in and to feel some pity for myself. This was a tough time for me, I tend to have a very matter of fact approach to life with a stong - just get on with it, mentality. To actually face up to my plight and recognise that the discomfort I had been ignoring to get on with things was actually excruciating pain that I shouldn't have been feeling was very hard. Even now I can get very upset and tearful (I don't do either of those so this is a new emotion for me.) It was as if because the consultant surgeon told me it had been bad finally I was allowing myself to recognise the degree of injury I had been ignoring. Talk about denial!

    So the surgeon get's 12/10 for the time being, offering to do as best as he can with the mangled mess I have presented him with. 10/10 for his diagnosis and offer of hope and a bonus 2 for his humanity and non-judgemental approach - I'd love to see a copy of the letter he sent to my GP!

    Okay, he very quickly put me on his list to be fixed as should have happened at the outset - yeay! Go NHS you can work when the right people are in charge.

    Hospital staff were excellent, couldn't have asked for better! 10/10

    Sliced and diced on the Friday am out on the Saturday lunchtime! yay! 10/10

    Since then a couple of re-visits to clinic for each stage of my continued repair. 8/10 staff have been great but 90 minutes of waiting gets long but hey, they are VERY busy! So no problems here overall.

    Currently waiting for my next apppointment to be told I can try walking without the boot - although I don't wear it anymore (other than if I have to do any serious walking or if I go into work for anything.)

    My heel was sore as described above due to non-weightbearing on the skinpad. So with my usual flair for looking after myself I have been walking around the house barefoot and now the heel has sorted itself out! It didn't like barefoot at first but soon hardened up.

    I'm being careful on the dorsiflexion part, however I'm beginning to use the balance muscles as I walk barefoot around the house, it feels great to actual walk like the gymnast I used to be not the frankenstein's monster gait I had developed.

    I'm sure positive mental attitude has a lot to do with this.

    Ohh yeah David my next appointement is on 27/09/07 at the Heath if you fancy meeting up.


    • sorry all that turned into a bit of a rant didn't it!


      • SWANCV; May I suggest the Village Hotel on the Coryton roundabout say 12.30.
        the hotel does bar meals etc at reasonable prices. Its where the M4 meets the A470 to Merthyr ... Easy route home for you after.


        • I noticed David G1 mentioned that his heel had started to swell a bit. Mine has and I was wondering whether anyone else has experienced this? It is a slight bulge on the tendon. It is pronounced in the morning, but after regular icing reduces a bit.

          I've stopped doing heel raises but am continuing with the other exercises. I'm also trying to keep off my feet, but this will be difficult as I will need to drive in the next couple of days,


          • AmiS - mine seems to be good, my foot is swollen, it swells as the day goes on but generally seems to improve. No increase in swelling in the area just all positive issues I'm afraid.

            DavidG1 - I shall speak to the chauffeur and tryt o lure her with the thought of nice food!


            • The internet can be a wonderful but also demoralising thing. Doing some research: an inflamed and swollen tendon is a sign of tendonitis. Treatment is anti-inflammatory drugs, icing, physio therapy (!), reduce the activity causing it (heel raises), rest, and possible immobilisation

              I didn't know this could happen post rupture op, but strangely met someone at a course the other day to whom this occurred. I think my physio suspects but hasn't said. I'm a bit shocked. I will do all of the above and probably return to the boot for a while.


              • ohh AmiS I really hope that it isn't as bad as that. Keep us posted on the development regards your tendon. What can you do to reduce the strain, yet still make progress.

                For my part I have avoided wearing shoes since the op. I have been wearing surf sandals (flip flops or thongs if your in Oz) So no rubbing against the back of my ankle at all.

                Good luck dude.


                • AmiS - I have a nagging soreness and a bit of heat around the tendon at the moment, I think we're more or less at the same stage so it may be the same thing, if you say it's tendonitis that figures, I've been basically trying to force the foot to behave normally (bored, bored bored of limping!!!) and it has responded by twingeing every step I take. Also I get a soreness in the heel, that is, the actual padded bit that hits the ground. I don't understand why this might be.

                  Thanks everyone for sharing your exercises, I don't really have much to add except for "la plancha", which I described in an earlier post and probably is best left in the medieval dungeons of Olde Europe.


                  • [QUOTE=swancvs] What can you do to reduce the strain, yet still make progress.

                    This is a really good question. It does seem that normal everyday movements, as long as done cautiously, seem to make good progress. I've been on holiday recently and haven't seen the physio for a week, nor have I done any exercises, but I have been walking up hills, swimming, generally being gently recreational so the foot gets used in all sorts of ways anyway, and except for the soreness that seems to indicate I've overdone it a bit the whole thing has improved as much this week as any other week, including some much longed-for freeing-up of the tissue around the AT which allows me to dorsiflex much better.


                    • Hey Peteb,

                      Glad to hear you are doing well, I think you are right, I have pushed hard but gently if you know what I mean. Small moves...


                      • PeteB
                        You are like me - fed up with things, trying to get back to normality except our tendons don't want to! Are you doing heel raises and if so, how much weight can you put on your heel?



                        • Originally posted by AmiS
                          You are like me - fed up with things, trying to get back to normality except our tendons don't want to! Are you doing heel raises and if so, how much weight can you put on your heel?

                          If you are doing heel raises correctly there should be no weight on the heel !!


                          • AmiS, I am not yet doing heel raises cos the physio hasn't got me on to that yet. I've tentatively tried by myself going up on tiptoe on both feet but so far the bad leg doesn't like it - pain in the AT and weakness in the lower leg muscles and even the knee. The foot is willing. Nevertheless, this problem is something that is improving by minute degrees each day. The trouble is that when you overdo it, the AT starts hurting and then you have to avoid activity to rest it, so it's one step forward 2 steps back. The thing that is difficult is having to accept that this process takes months and months, other injuries take only a few days or weeks to sort out.


                            • My physio had me going up on both feet (heels lifted) and then slowly transfer the weight to the bad leg before dropping down on one leg with as much control as possible.

                              At first it hurt like hell, but then as I carried on it became progressively easier until I could maintain balance on the toes of the bad leg. As the days went on, I was able to manage a single heel lift - not to any great height but considering that a few weeks ago I couldn't even move the bad leg it has all happened rather quickly.

                              So, persevere and be aware of the pain but try to work through it.


                              • AMIS; I am going to take a bet it's not tendonitis, the internet does tend to give you a worse case scenario. The tendon has not been activitated for several weeks and it is going through a reparing process. There is bound to be some side effects/swelling. You only have to read the earlier posts on this thread that the heel swelling is part of the course.

                                I found out what the scratching was on MSN groups and it was simply the plaster and I was right to cut it and tend to it.

                                Just slow it down a bit, it's easy to forget that full recovery can be as long as 9 months to a year.

                                CHIN UP...DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT.