Thursday, May 1, 2008

They Say Time is the Fire in Which We Burn

Here is a general time line of events for my injury.

2008

May 1:
147 days post-op. Nothing new to report. Continue with stair climber and elliptical machine. I have been avoiding jogging due to the swelling I experience from running. I am now only going to physical therapy twice a week. My therapist believes by the next doctor’s appointment I will not need any more physical therapy. My tendon continues to nag me every now and again. Some days it feels fine and others it feels like I have tendonitis. I continue to lift weights, concentrating on my calves, hamstrings, and quads.

April 17:
133 days post-op. Nothing new to report. I continue to work on the stair climber. Along with squats and lunges, I have been slowly increasing the weight on my lunges. I am lunging with a 25 pound weight in each hand. I am now able to stand to do a unilateral calf raise (fancy speak for stand on my toes with the bad foot). I cannot not hold the calf raise for more than a second, but I can do it. Side note: My surgeon stated the tissue is healed by 8 weeks. However, since the muscles are weak/atrophied and inflexible there is a risk of re-rupture. The surgeon stated the tissue needs to mature, and that takes up to one year. After I am finished with physical therapy I will need to continue to work on the strength of my calf, quad, and hamstrings muscles to reduce future injuries. Physical therapy, to date, has been nothing but flex and strength training exercises. As my surgeons "six month guarantee" date approaches I am beginning to feel more confident on the surgically repaired tendon.

April 4:
120 days post-op. I began running on the treadmill. A major milestone. I have also been doing calf raises (both legs), squats and lunges. As physical therapy becomes more aggressive, I have noticed how out of shape I have become. Just doing several sets of lunges leaves me winded and a sweaty mess. I have also been instructed by my therapist to work on the stair climber. My left calf is still much smaller than my right, and also has a lack of definition that my right calf has. I was assured by my physical therapist once I begin aggressive weight training on my calf it will return to normal size. I also have to ice my tendon constantly. With the aggressive physical therapy my tendon swells fast.


March 19:
It has been 104 days since my surgery. The tendon still fells stiff in the morning. The stiffness slowly disappears throughout the day. I have also noticed if I get up and start walking after sitting down for a long period, the tendon is stiff and I have a slight limp for the first couple of steps. As far as my physical therapy goes, I am still working on flexibility and balance. I am almost able to bend my injured foot as well as my healthy foot. I have just started working on strengthening the calf. My physical therapist has given me therabands (colorful rubber bands) to strengthen my calf muscles. I sit down and wrap the rubber band around my foot and just start flexing my foot. I am still not allowed to run nor do any high impact activities. I have recently moved from the stationary bike to the elliptical machine. That’s some improvement. At least I can break a sweat now.

March 14:
Doctor’s appointment. 99 days post-op. Doctor again tested strength and flexibility of tendon. Doctor was pleased with progress and stated I can begin to start more aggressive physical therapy starting in April. Next doctor’s appointment in two months.

March 3:
It has been 87 days since my surgery. I am almost able to walk normally. I still have the slightest limp. I am sure no one would be able to notice except for me. I am starting to feel guilty parking in the handicap parking spaces when I am able to hop out of my car with ease. I see the older people giving me the evil eye. However, when I see how far away I have to park when it’s raining/snowing out and there is a full parking lot; I don't feel as bad. **SIDE NOTE: Make sure you get a handicap parking placard from your doctor. Those things are priceless.** Physical therapy still includes working on my Dorsiflexion (bending my ankle) It has improved greatly, but it is still not to the point of my normal tendon. I am still unable to jog/run. I have started controlled squats during my physical therapy visits. Balance is the big area my therapist is concentrating on right now. Standing for long periods of time on the surgically repaired foot is a big problem. The reason being since I have not used the foot for over three months the muscles and nerves have "forgotten" how to fire properly, hence the re-education/therapy.

February 14:
70 days post-op. First physical therapy appointment after playing almost two weeks worth of where's the fax with the insurance company and rehab clinic. After the first appointment, it is now that I realize how much work is ahead of me to get back to the level of where I was before the injury. The therapy included an ultrasound massage, electrodes hooked up to my leg, and manual manipulation of the foot. I was given a list of movements to work on during my rehab process. The physical therapist stated the first few visits would be him just moving the foot around to loosen up the tendon. Later therapy appointments will include re-educating my calf muscles while strengthening and conditioning them. Reports on rehabilitation progress will continue to be posted.

February 1:
Doctor's Appointment. 57 days post-op. Doctor tested strength and flexibility of tendon. Doctor gives the okay to slowly wean off the boot! Doctor prescribes six weeks of physical therapy. Next appointment in one month.

January 23:
Progress Report - 48 days post-op. I can now get around without crutches. Crutches are only used when out shopping or any other time that requires me to walk long distances.

January 11:
Doctors Appointment. 36 days post-op. Given the okay to start putting limited weight on my foot (with the boot on). Doctor believes no more crutches should be needed by February, 1. Doctor stated physical therapy will be started after February, 1 date.

2007

December 24:
Doctors Appointment. 18 days post-op. Cast removed; replaced with the Boot - no weight bearing -

December 6:
Surgery (Doctor stated the operation was 45 minutes) - no weight bearing -

November 30:
Met with primary care physician and orthopedic surgeon. Surgery date scheduled.

November 29:
Ruptured left Achilles tendon.

I will be periodically updating this post.

9 comments:

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alphonsoericher said...

Good mind, good find........................................

Anonymous said...

I just ruptured my achilles tendon and am 2 wks s/p primary repair. Can you fill me in on what has been happenning to you over the past 1.5 yrs, since your last blog?

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冷淡 said...

愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。.........................

搖滾 said...

幽默並不是諷刺,它或許帶有溫和的嘲諷,卻不傷人,它可能是以別人,也可以用自己為對象。 ..................................................

開會討論 said...

good~ keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice day........................................

天才 said...

hello~world..................................................

Ken said...

Hi Doc:
Five years later - is your Achilles still good (I hope!)?

You may want to check out the Preventing Achilles Tendon Injury page of my web site www.AchillesTendon.com, which was just updated based on an analysis of a ton of peer reviewed medical research papers.

Neither of us want a re-occurrence of our Achilles tendon injury!