Crutches and Confidence. Panic Attacks and Pain.

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I've been on crutches for almost 2 weeks after a RAT however I didn't know about the non-weight bearing thing until 2 days ago. So really I've only properly been on crutches for 2 days and I'm really struggling.

I could use any hints or tips anyone can give me. I'm feeling very anxious and panicky when I go out. And I'm in a considerable amount of pain.

Thanks, Vicki xx

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Vicki.  I presume you have been to A&E / Hopistal.  Are you in a cast or lower leg boot?  Did you fully rupture or partial tear?  If you are not in a cast or lower boot, you need to be in one.  Let me know your situation and I can give you some pointers as I did mine nearly 3 weeks ago and am on a rapid rehab non operative program.

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Stephen,

      Initially I went to a&e and was given a cast, crutches and painkillers. I was not told about weight bearing or how much I needed to rest etc.

      I went to see the orthopaedic surgeon on Tuesday and I was given a new cast and told absolutely no weight bearing. I'm due to have an ultrasound in the next few weeks to see how bad the rupture is BUT my consultant thinks it's a significant partial rupture.

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    • Posted

      Vicki, I am glad you are in a cast, toes down!! Based on Andrew's advice (Andy is a friend of mine who replied to one of your other posts) I asked firmly for an ultrasound to assess the damage & they said yes.  If you havent got a date for it, push really hard so they do one as you dont want Andys experience of a massive gap between tendons and a re-rupture without surgury. I have hard floors in my house downstairs and have a study chair on wheels which is was really useful in the 1st week or so. Are you being given Fragmin ? (anti blood clotting injections you self administer).  If not, demand these as these anti blood clotting agents should be mandatory for Achilles injuries due to poor blood supply down by the ankle. Elevatate your leg whenever you can really helps with the pain / aching as it reduces the swelling the foot.  The pain will go eventually - mine reduced significantly within a week and I only get occasional dull aching. Crutches are a real pain, but you will get better and skilled at using them, especially on stairs and getting around when non weight bearing. I still find sleeping really uncomfortable and wake a few times in the night due to my airboot (which ironically is very heavy). I am now after 3 weeks, partially weight bearing with no pain when I have my foot balanced or gentle pressure when using crutches. The husband of a friend of mine is one of the best Foot and Ankle consultants in the country (in Glos NHS) and I am under his & his teams care.  He said the long term recovery prospects are very good & he does this rapid rehab which encourages weight bearing as soon as possible that reduces the muscle wastage and improves rehab time and lessens re-rupture...although time will tell (but he is the expert not me). One other thing to note is the consultant said these blogs / forums are really useful to share experiences, but generally have people posting that are experiencing issues or have had problems vs. those that are recovering well and dont see the need to search blogs etc for other peoples opinions. So for all of us having issues or sharing our experiences there are more out there who are recovering well.  Keep your spirits up!!!  Keep letting us all know how you are getting on.
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  • Posted

    Hi Vicki,

    I'm 12 weeks total Achilles rupture and I promise you there is life on the other side. If your in a cast you should have your foot situated like your in heels. No weight should be put through. I found crutches really hard so used a frame. Also I lived on the sofa for 3 weeks at first. Get a small bag you can put over your shoulder and a lidded cup for drinks etc.

    being nwb was awful. I was given a wheelchair to use outside and began my hatred of crutches inside. Your on the very early stage. I'm now mobile indoors without crutches but need to use them outside. I've just started driving again and will be returning to work on 17th June after 4 months off. The pain and acknowledgment of the Achilles is always there and if I'm on my feet to long the swelling is huge but I I've it with elevation. You've a long way to go Hun so be prepared xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Jenny,

      thanks for being so understanding, I really needed that today. I'm just feeling kinda low - I was on a diet and doing exercise before this happened, I already lost 10lbs and a clothes size. This just feels like a massive setback.

      I am in a cast and it is set like a high heel would be - how long should I expect the pain to last?

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    • Posted

      Its so hard. I was big before this happened. I'd actually had surgery on it on 13th Feb to mend an old injury and was 3 weeks into healing when I snapped it. You will get really low days. I remember not even brushing my teeth for couple days as I was so low. But keep Los of fruit near you. I had a basket with everything I needed in it including spare bottles of water and pain killers. Co-diene are the best (spelt wrong lol) and your GP should be able to prescribe them. Keep it elevated as much as you can and if your hands are sore put padding on crutch handles or if really sore, crawl on hands and knees lol. Done that many times. Keep strong. I promise you come put the other side xxx
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  • Posted

    My daughter found crutches horrible too. See if you can get some padding on them so it dosent hurt your sides and make sure the pressure is not in your arm pits as you can do serious damage. She was no weight bearing for 8 weeks and on crutches for 9. Physio started around week 7 for her and was at times painful. She was walking in shoes by week 10 with a limp which is getting better everyday.

    We were told to keep it elevated as much as possible in the first 3 weeks and bought her a wedge for sleeping.

    There are knee scooters you can buy which are supposed to be really good. Its such a frustrating injury, hang in there.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tracy,

      thanks for your lovely reply. I'm still having a lot of pain and the crutches are not really helpful. I have elbow crutches but I did make pads for the hand grips so no blisters. I also made a wee bag to attach to my crutch - I keep my phone and purse in there.

      I'm sleeping with huge cushions under my leg but I'm very restless at night.

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