Achilles rupture - air boot

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Just after some experiences please. Looking for people with partial ruptures who decided against surgery. How many weeks was it before you had a book, and how many weeks before you could partially weight-bear? Many thanks. 

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  • Posted

    I had the boot fitted at the first consultation, 5 days after the partial rupture. 4 weeks no weight bearing, then 6 weeks partial. (was going to be 4 but the consultant thought I was rather chunky so wanted to give repair the best chance). Just removed the boot and started physio this week. So far so good.
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  • Posted

    Had partial rupture about 1 year ago due to long term steroid (prednisone) use and 2 months on antibiotic Levaquin -  so there was no sudden injury.  Thought I just had Achilles tendonitis.

    Didn't have MRI done until april  2014 (which showed 11 mm tear,  soleus muscle tear, and extensive heel bone arthritis and edema). Wore boot June and July.

    August MRI showed only 1 mm regrowth.   Dr said surgery necessary.

    Got 3 more opinions,  1 from Orthopedic specialist who only operates on complex ankle and foot problems (does surgeries for NFL football teams). 

    All 3 drs said need surgery immediately to avoid complete rupture,

    Got 4 th opinion from  Dr who prescribed ultrasound,  deep massage,  and iontophoresis,  and recently exercises to build strength,  esp in atrophied calf muscles.  .  Have made slow,  but steady progress. 

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  • Posted

    Thank you. 

    No doubt - the protocol is SO different wherever you go and even then between different consultants. I understand that is often how it is with orthopaedics but I find it hard to have much faith because of it. 

    Somebody I DO have a lot of faith in though is my osteopath. Spoke to him at length yesterday. He believes that as long as the tendon had knitted back together it is best to start partial weight-bearing and deep massage as soon as possible. This was also my instinct. The majority of problems he sees and has to help with are from long-term muscle atrophy including the muscle that causes the swelling and lack of flexion. So I can only follow that advise if I go into a boot on Monday when I will be just over 3 weeks. My consultant believes in 9-12 weeks plaster. So I think I shall battle with him on Monday. Also that I want another ultrasound to see if it's healing. It is possible they will refuse both. 

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  • Posted

    I hear you re: hard to have faith.  My most recent orthopedic Dr. said pretty much what your osteopath said and emphasized  that the muscle atrophy and lack of flexion leaves you susceptable to re-injury.  He also said more time in boot would just cause more muscle atrophy,  and I was thrilled to not have to argue with him over that.  I think most orthopedic specialists in the U.S. are afraid you'll sue if you completely rupture cause you weren't prescribed a boot,  and weren't careful,  or were careful and had an accident anyway.

    Physiotherapist agrees and is now started me on reclining stair stepper (has been doing deep massage for weeks)_ as well as stepping up and down on actual steps (low ones).

    I hope that your weight bearing exercises and deep massage start to improve your strength and reliance on that ankle/leg and that you can get some relief from the swelling. 

    I just asked my physiotherapist yesterday how we'll know if it's healing without another MRI,  and she replied "We won't".   Oh well.  Maybe we will know.

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    • Posted

      I've found my first week out of the boot more challenging than I was expecting. The foot is pretty swollen, not bad enough not to fit in the shoe, but I need to elevate it in the evening. The bones of the foot are aching although the tendon itself is not painful at all. Going up stairs is fine, down is a bit of a shuffle still. Think I need to get a balance board this weekend
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    • Posted

      I've found my first week out of the boot more challenging than I was expecting. The foot is pretty swollen, not bad enough not to fit in the shoe, but I need to elevate it in the evening. The bones of the foot are aching although the tendon itself is not painful at all. Going up stairs is fine, down is a bit of a shuffle still. Think I need to get a balance board this weekend
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  • Posted

    Well it's my next consultation tomorrow. 3 weeks and 3 days after rupture. The plan is to go into another adjusted cast for 3 weeks but I've written ahead to consultant and asked for a boot instead. I feel confused with it all and the time scales to be honest. If he says no to the boot I'm not sure what my next move will be. I really want it to start some mild weight bearing and I just can't see why it would be unsafe to do so. 

    I started driving again today. At my first consultation they quite flippantly just said no. I tried to ask why as it's my left leg and I drive an automatic. They said about emergency stops which isn't relevant. So today I just started and it was fine. My 5 year was going to miss a party if not and it seems ridiculous. It was obviously fine. The problem is that I can't walk far when I get where I'm going so have to plan. 

    Oh I hope I get my boot tomorrow. Tempted to buy one from Amazon if not. 

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    • Posted

      My understanding was that the first 4 to 5 weeks after the rupture was to keep the weight off, keep it immobile as far as possible with the toes down to allow the tendon to heal itself. the more you move around and stress it, the more chance there'll be that it wont heal and they have to go in to tie it up together. After 5 weeks I I could take the boot off at night but still no full weight bearing for another 4 weeks. I could drive an automatic after 5 weeks, (feft foot) and got a fitness not to confirm that so I could drive a company automatic.. but its the mobility and stress issues that I guess they're beng cautious about. 12 weeks in and I'm walking with a stick, foot bones are really sore but the tendon is fine, though still weak. BE CAREFUL! It takes time :-( 

      I've got a large size boot going to tip shortly; it doesnt come to pieces very well for cleaning, hence not returnable, but you are welcome to it if you like! No heel lifts. It shouldnt be mor ethe a fiver to post uk

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    • Posted

      Thanks Tim.

      Had my 3 week consultation today. The doctor and nurse were brilliant. Spent some time with me going through my injuy and circumstanes with looking after little boy. Obviously they were concerned about my falls and his safety if we were alone when I had one. So weighing it all up, we decided on a boot with pwb but as little as I possibly can. Still aim for nwb but safer to be in a boot with full sole if I do need to a bit. 

      So got the boot with the built up wedges inside. I had stupidly underestimated how changing my foot position after 25 days woukd hurt and now taken adequate pain relief. It was so stiff as well. I genuinely couldn't move it and got all hot and sick. Felt a right idiot. Girl doing the boot was brilliant - totally relaxed. Offerred to get me some gas and air and do it quickly. Anyway, got stood up on the boot and my weight gradually sank it down to new position. Good news is that clearly the tendon has knitted back together so thats fab. 

      Nearly fell immediaely but managed a few steps pwb at home. Bloody hurts now though until it settles down. Feels like i've gone back a few days at the moment. Son has had to go and stay at grandparents tonight so a bit low about that. His safety is priority though and my pain too bad tonight. 

      What a ghastly injury this is.

      thanks so much for boot offer. I've ended up in a paediatric one as only have size 4 feet. Lucky as its all they had.

      Good to hear you're getting on ok. Sorry for the long post haha. 

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