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
Clam (for my hip)
I’ll upload a video that is probably easier to explain.
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.
It was on the Sunday after Achilles surgery when I started to feel pain in my calf. Initially, it didn’t bother me that much as I attributed to the re-engaging of my calf after the repair of my Achilles. However, the pain increased to the point where it bothered me when I rested and when I was on my crutches. I was also using my iWalk during this time to get around the house so I wasn’t sure if that had some contribution to it.
On Tuesday day 5 post operation, the pain became so immense that I decided to call the doctor the following day. I thought it was due to the cast being too tight around my calf. I called the doctor’s office on Wed. day 6 post operations. The nurse asked me how long has the pain been ongoing and I said 3-4 days. She expressed her displeasure that I didn’t call sooner. She relayed the info to the doctor and he wanted me to go see him right away! Normally, I wouldn’t mind going to see him but he was in his other office way out in Anaheim which was about 45 min away! I indicated that I wasn’t sure if I could get a ride that far out. He said he needed to ensure I didn’t have a blood clot and that I had to go to the ER right away.
This was totally unexpected. I didn’t want to incur another ER visit so I found a way and got a ride to Anaheim from a good friend. With just 15 min notice, I was on my way.
I arrived at the office and waited for about 20 min. While I was waiting, I had a conversation with another patient of Dr. J who had bone spur removed from his foot. That’s one interesting thing about orthopedic patients. You tend to feel this sort of camaraderie with others as the physical disability is so visible. I’ll share a bit more about this when physical therapy starts.
When it was decided I had to see a doctor for the pain, I knew the calf had to come off. Prior to this, I had penciled in the first doctor visit, which was another week away, to get the cast removed. I was a bit looking forward to this to see how the scar was and maybe get the cast removed early. I first answered a few questions with the same nurse who took my call then a cast technician came in to remove my cast using this Dremel like tool. There was so much padding that it kept coming out. The color of my foot was actually pretty good. Also surprisingly, no bad smell 🙂
The doctor came in and gingerly removed my foot from the cast. I wasn’t sure what to expect from my scar as this is the first time I had such an incision in any part of my body. At first glance, it looked like how I expected to look. The doctor said it looked really good. There were some slight dis-figuration along the actual suture but it was very straight and no discoloration or swelling.
He pressed on my calf in various areas and inspected it. He asked if I had any pain right behind my knee along my calf. I said no. The pain was more deep down in the main calf muscle. He was relieved and pretty sure it was not a blood clot but wanted me to get a Doppler ultrasound. We had trouble finding a place that could offer this with such short notice but I managed to find a friend whose neighboring radiology center had a unit and was able to fit me in. I never had a Doppler ultrasound but they basically use the sound of blood whooshing through my veins and blood vessels to see if there are any abnormality. The result was negative. What a relief! Another good news is that the doctor cleared me to wear my walking boot and didn’t have me go back in to get another cast.
It’s only been two days since surgery on my Achilles and the side effects of the medication has been quite evident. Recovery is going to be slow and I’ve pretty much been spending the day on the couch with my foot elevated. I started having very little sensation back on my toes which helps me to feel that I am actually moving them. I’ve been taking both the Morphine and Oxydocine together since the mistake I made the day of the surgery when I only took the Morphine and called for mama! With that said, the side effects was in full swing exactly as the doctor warned me. I was having constipation and actually had no BM whatsoever which was very odd as I have very good BM (apologies for TMI). I was also nauseous or just “dazed” after taking the meds. I did have anti-nauseous medication that was prescribed to me but I didn’t bother to take them as I wasn’t planning to leave the house and I didn’t want any more drugs in me. Driving was out of the question. I just enjoyed being pampered for a change. Glad my wife is a stay at home mom!
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.