Tag Archives: achilles

5 month post surgery and last physical therapy

This week I had two milestones. It has been 5 months since my surgery to repair my Achilles and yesterday I went through my last physical therapy session. I don’t know if it was a mental thing but I also felt very comfortable walking without any pain and only minor tightness. When I wake up, my Achilles is tight but slowly becomes more loose. I can feel strength and barely limp especially when I have shoes on. When I am on my bare feet, there is still some struggle when lifting my heel off the ground when I take a step.

All in all, I am happy with my progress. I was hoping to be able to get into full activity including sports by month 6 but that looks like it will have to be pushed out. I still cannot jog or jump. I can somewhat manage a job but its really oblique and doesn’t look or feel like a job. It is best not to push it and slowly stay with the strengthening regimen of strengthening my calf and muscles around my foot.

I decided to end my physical therapy due to two reasons. The primary one being the cost. On April first, my deductible will reset and  I will need to pay the full amount out of pocket. Second reason is that I am already set with my exercise routine. As long as I am disciplined, I should be good to go. The physical therapy office I went was a godsend. They were very helpful and diligently worked with me to ensure I did my exercises correctly and pushed my reps just the right amount. I left them with some cream puffs so I hope they enjoyed it! I would highly recommend them if you are looking for a place near Pasadena.

Dec 29 2014 – physical therapy – no boots

I achieved another milestone! I no longer have to wear my boots! It was very difficult to get around with the boots and felt my leg being weighted down. I can now go about without the boots but will use a small heel pad similar to these Dr. Scholl pads. The ones I got was from Dr. J. who had them in his office. It helps with my calf as they were not strong enough to help me push off from my daily travels. It’s so good to be back in my own shoes! I still had issues with fatigue when wearing dress shoes which had less support. If I wore jogging shoes or basketball shoes with the heel pad, I was fine. However, I still could not stand or walk at long distance. I had to be mindful that I had to find a place to sit once I start feeling pain.

Hi, I ruptured my Achilles.

This is my personal journey to recovery from a full Achilles rupture on my left foot.

I am 35. male, 6″1′ and 208lbs and in relative good health. On October 13, I was playing basketball when I slipped and felt a pop on my left foot that resonated through my body. It was like a flash went through my entire body including my head. It was an awkward sensation. Something I have never felt before. I slowly manuevered as teammates came alongside me asking if I was ok. I was hoping for my ankle to swell up as it has many times when I sprained my ankle. No chance. My left foot kept shaking, that is when I knew something was really wrong.

I had surgery to repair the rupture on Oct. 23 which went well. I want to document my journey as a support for myself and others who are going through the same thing. I will share how I went through my decision process, Achilles recovery exercises, nutrition, and more.

Feel free to post on the forums section and interact with others alike.

 

Nov 21 Achilles Physical Therapy

Just shy of one month since surgery to repair my Achilles, I had my 2nd physical therapy session. I’m still in the boot most of the time but it is nice that I can now take a bath without any concern. Being that this was the 2nd session, I was less nervous. The session started with more observation of the scar and swelling. It still swells especially if I move it a lot of put it down. I have occasional throbbing pain but not as bad as when the first two weeks out of surgery. Steve worked with me using the grastron technique to settle the swelling and scraping the scar tissue. He also helped massage my calf which is actually more painful then my Achilles and worked on my actual surgery scar. He encouraged me to use my fingers to break the tissue around the scar so it won’t heal firm.

Now finally to some exercises. This is the menu I was given which has a list of exercises, movement, and icing.

  • foot pumps x 30
  • Write alphabet with my toes x 2
  • Seated toe raisers
  • Band exercises
  • Clam (for my hip)
  • Ice

I’ll upload a video that is probably easier to explain.

Update:
I couldn’t find the video that was taken at this time so I just made a new one. Disclaimer, I am not 11 months removed from my surgery so the range of motion will be much more than someone who just had surgery a month back.

 

There are crutches then there is iWalk 2.0

Growing up, I was very fortunate to not have to use a crutch for a very long time. The closest I got to using a crutch was in high school when I had a knee contusion which lasted only about 3-4 days. I lived in an area where everyone drove so I barely had to use my crutches to get around. This time it was different. I had to heavily rely on the crutches to get around within my house and outside. The morning after the injury, I woke up in the morning to the kitchen to make some coffee. It was a challenge but I managed to brew a cup while resting my full weight using my armpit. Then it suddenly hit me. I couldn’t move my coffee to the dining table from the kitchen as I needed to use both hands to walk with the crutch. It was a revealing moment of things to come and the challenge ahead. I ended up hopping my way to the dining room (which I do not recommend) and spilling coffee along the way. “Great…”, I thought to myself.

I did what I could to enjoy my coffee and breakfast then started reading online on Achilles recovery and surgery options. It was then when I came across an advertisement for iWalk 2.0 which was strategically placed at an Achilles surgery information website. I read the testimonials and studied the videos and I was sold. I’m usually very skeptical of infomercial type adverts but I was desperate and they sold me on exactly what I was able to still have control over. I went over to Amazon and read the reviews and pulled the plug.

The iWalk 2.0 arrived on Friday Oct 15th. It came in a well packaged box and assembly was IMG-20141126-WA0005simple. They had numerous warning to make sure you follow the video instructions, which I did, and was glad I did. There were numerous adjustments to be made to ensure the height of the knee rest was appropriate and the belts were snug. Assembly took me about 10 min with no tools. It literally took me about 15 seconds to get used to the iWalk. Almost immediately, I was able to move around my house with ease but most importantly, regained the use of my hands and arms. Not only am I able to use my hands to carry my coffee around the house, I was also able to cook and do the dishes to help alleviate my wife from doing everything.

Some recommendations. You need to adjust the settings to ensure the belts and latches are snug. If it is loose, you will not be able to walk and may be dangerous. Also, it is much easier to release the latches if you loosen the length of the belts before you unlatch them.

Now for some cons. If you are in an environment where you need to sit and stand a lot, this may not be your best option. Although, it is not difficult to take the iWalk off and on, it is a hassle as there is no way to sit down with this on. Getting on and off a car is a hassle. The item is quite bulky in its configuration making it difficult to lift it across you to store in the car. Lastly, you can trip and slip with this especially if you get caught on the exterior of your injury. I have this on my left foot and if I was moving to my left and get caught or trip over a crack, I will fall. There is no way to save yourself except to break your fall with your arm. You just need to make sure you left your leg as if you are walking and not drag your iWalk across the pavement.

All in all, I am very happy with this product. You will get A LOT of people approaching you inquiring you about your iWalk. Most of them are curious and simply want to know how it works. A lot of Amazon reviewers claim that you will get a lot of “looks” and experienced a bit of stigma in public places but I didn’t this. If anything, people took a quick look and then went on their own business.

Give it a try and leave a comment on how it goes!