Roughly 3 weeks after my Achilles surgery, I had my 2nd post operation appointment with Dr. J. Everything was going smooth. Very little progress was felt on my end as I was still in my boot majority of the time and I was 0% weight bearing which meant I was not allowed to put any weight on it. At most, the only exercise I was getting was just moving my toes and pressing my foot against the boot and sofa. After this appointment, the doctor cleared me to be 50% weight bearing. I honestly wasn’t sure what this meant. After discussing, he explained that I could place my foot on the ground as I used my crutches. This meant a bit of a change in my routine as I was on my iWalk when I moved from point A to B. I now I had have my crutches with me and place my left food on the ground as I moved.
Here is a video on how to walk with 50% weight bearing on the foot with Achilles surgery.
Physical therapy for my Achilles tendon rupture couldn’t come fast enough. I know this would probably be the most difficult part of my recovery, even more difficult than the surgery. I’m not a very patient person. When I want to get things done, I want it done in the fastest and efficient way as possible. This is the exact opposite. Achilles tendon rehab is going to be a long and will require a lot of patience as it heals extremely slow. Slow than bone and muscle.
I was a bit nervous at first but the people at this clinic made it very easy to get acclimated. People were very friendly and every chatted with each other. People of all walks of life were here. You see high school athletes who had an injury playing pep sports to the retired fireman who tore an ACL while mountain biking. Everyone had their war story and how they get there.
I worked with Stephen, an intern who graduated from USC, and was toward the end of his 3 month turn. Stephen was very attentive and worked with a seasoned PT to ensure I was on the right track. As I just had the stitches taken out, there was very little I could do in terms of exercise and how they could work on me. The did spend a lot of time deep tissue massage my calf as it was in pain. They used a scraping tool to help the scar tissue. I believe it is the Graston technique. They scrap the tissue to help the soft tissue align. It also helps with increased blood flow and helps alleviate swelling.
They measured how far back I could pull back my toe without discomfort and measured it for record. There were very little exercise I could do. As for actual exercise, I were to move my toes to stimulate blood flow and push my foot against the boot or the arm of my sofa. That’s it. My physical therapy indicated that the following week I can try some band exercises.
After I was done, I iced my foot and hobbled back on my iWalk2.0.
First day out of my Achilles post surgery. Everything went smooth. I was wheeled out to my car and my wife drove me home while I was still a bit nauseous from the anesthetics. The drive home was not bad at all. It took all about 40 min from the 405 to my house which is amazing. I’m reminded again how great it was to have the surgery done so early in the day.
Considering just a few hours after the surgery, I was feeling pretty good. I don’t remember what I ate for lunch but I think I had some noodles. There were minimal pain but it was due to the medicine and the nerve block that was still in effect. I took some prescription pain meds and just watched TV while keeping my leg elevated.
What was most challenging throughout the day was getting use to this cast. This thing is big and heavy! At times, it felt like the cast was going to do more damage than protect my injury. The cast had plenty of cushion and I was warned to strictly not to get it wet. I was also instructed to move my toes to make sure the blood flows. Honestly, I didn’t feel anything and couldn’t really tell if I was actually moving my toes or not. I had no sensation due to the drugs.
There wasn’t much fanfare throughout the day until I went to bed. The day before, I picked up Morphine and Oxycodone. Morphine was the long lasting pain med and Oxycodone was for short term as I remembered. I didn’t feel much pain so I figured I would only take the Morphine and it would be sufficient. Boy was I wrong! I went to sleep a little past 9:30pm but woke up at 11:30pm in immense pain. I had to wake up my wife to have her get me the other pain medication. I took the Oxycodone and after maybe an hour the pain rescinded. Hindsight, I should’ve taken both the Morphine and the Oxycodone before going to bed as that was going to be when the nerve block wore off.