Friday, March 23, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 26 - Post Op Day 16

Walking in crutches isn't easy, so Kevin asked Dr. Smith to prescribe him a knee walker. Its looks like a scooter where you rest your knee on.

However, Aetna wouldn't cover it if you are capable of using crutches. Incapable would mean you only have 1 arm and can't use crutches.
Stupid Aetna.

Luckily, you can RENT these things by the month. Kevin found a knee walker for $75/month. Its a good investment, and now Kevin can help me walk the dog :-D

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 24, Post Op Day 12

Staple Removal Day!!

Today Kevin gets his staples removed and getting rid of the splint. It was uncomfortable, loose, and didn't offer much support on the sides. Kevin was very uncomfortable in the splint.
I'm surprised he was in a splint for so long, and not a hard cast right away.

We were hoping for good news, but due to the degree of "shredding" of his Tendon, he has to be in the hard cast longer than normal. Kinda Sucks.  Dr. Smith thinks he'll have to be in a hard cast for at least 6 weeks.
Right now, Kevin will be in a plantar flexion position (about a +30-45 degree angle) for 2 weeks. Then the following 2 weeks he'll slowly move the foot toward neutral position, probably 60 degrees. Then the next 2 weeks into a neutral at 90 degrees. Then Kevin will be able to wear a walking boot and be able to start weight bearing. After, another few weeks in the boot, Kevin will be able to start Physical Therapy.

I was hoping he could start earlier, so thus be closer to walking again. The longer PT gets pushed out, the longer it will be to regain movement. :(

I've studied other Achilles ruptures, and those patients were able to begin PT around 4 weeks after surgery, or as soon as the cast came off, but Kevin probably wont be able to start PT til 8-10 weeks after surgery. :(

Good bye splint!

Ew Staples..

Ew Removing Staples

Removing Staples

Bye Staples

Lots of swelling

Hello Hard Cast.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 16 - Post Op Day 4

Today was the first Post Op follow-up at Dr. Smiths.

He took off the splint to see if the wound was healing well and to check for infection. So far the wound looks good and he will be able to take off the staples in 9 days. 

Dr. Smith said most Achilles Tendon Ruptures will have a full distinct tear where he would sew the 2 ends together, but Kevin's tendon was "very" shredded so he had to sew it a different way, encircling and gathering the frayed tendon ends together to bunch it back up. Ew.. no wonder the tendon tore.. I can only image what the right leg looks like.. I fear its in a similar condition, and if so, preventative measures should be taken, asap. 

~12 cm incision. 




Friday, March 9, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 13 - Surgery Day

Surgery Day!

Instructions prior to surgery:
Fasting starting Thursday @ midnight, or Friday @ 12:00am, no food or water.
Also to not wear contact lenses during the surgery, in case the lenses dry out and scratch the eyes.

We were instructed to arrive at the surgery center at 1030am, 1 hour prior to surgery to fill out paper work. Paper work took about 10 seconds. Kevin was finally called in to change around noon. The nurses asked him what he was allergic to, and set up the IV.  A little after 12:30, the doctor was ready, and Kevin was rolled away into the surgery room.
I left and the nurses said they would call me 20-30 mins prior to when Kevin was ready to be picked up.

While we were in the waiting room we joked at what Kevin was going to eat and stuff ourselves with afterwards because the fasting had him hungry and thirsty.

Kevin said he woke up around 2:45 from the anesthesia. But he was just very tired and uncomfortable. He had an appetite, but he wanted to lay down and rest more than eat.

His leg is wrapped up in a splint instead of a full cast. I wonder if that is better?


In the waiting room

Initialing the leg by Kevin and his Doctor to make sure they operate on the correct leg.

Grump Kevin afterwards.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 11

2 more days until surgery (Friday). Its a love/hate situation because the sooner you get surgery, the sooner you can start healing. But the sooner you get surgery, the sooner things are gonna SUCK even more. At least now, before surgery, Kevin still has some mobility and tolerable pain, but after surgery, it will be no mobility and lots of pain.

I was hoping he would have had surgery within a week of the incident, but with the doctor we went with, and all the hassel we had to go through with the insurance company, it seemed better to stick with the original doctor, since they were there from the beginning. Aetna, the insurance company, really wants to make sure that you are as injured as the doctor and hospital say you are. (idiots)

Yesterday Kevin got his blood work done. The doctor said they need to do a red blood cell count 3 days before they can do surgery to make sure he wont bleed to death, etc.

Today Kevin said this is the most pain he's felt since the beginning. Its a dull achy feeling along the tendon and up the leg. I suspect the pain is from the swelling, and atrophy of the muscles.

The best we can do is elevated and ice it. 2 more days..

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rupture Achilles Tendon - Day 9

Today was Kevin's followup with Dr. Smith, the orthopedic surgeon, to evaluate the MRI results.

Dr. Smith confirmed that the tendon had a 4 cm tear. EW!

Surgery is schedule for Friday. In the meantime, Kevin needs to have a physical with blood work to confirm he is healthy enough for surgery.

The surgery should last 1.5 hours and the doctor will make an 8cm incision. Afterwards, Kevin should be in a cast for 3 weeks, and a boot for and additional 3 weeks. After that Dr. Smith will check on Kevin's progress to see if he can start physical therapy. If things go well, Kevin may even be able to start physical therapy sooner, but Dr. Smith thinks its best to wait about 6 weeks after the surgery to start PT.

So far his leg is pretty much the same as it has been for the past few days. It does get pretty swollen when it is not elevated. The most pain he feels is when he has to stand up and all the blood rushes down to his foot. But overall, he says it just feels uncomfortable.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ruptured Achilles Tendon - Day 4

Today we were able to pick up the CD with the MRI images.
I don't know how to really "read" them (yet), but these were the images that I thought showed some pretty gnarly stuff.

Kevin still wanted to cook dinner, but standing in the kitchen really causes his foot to swell a lot..
But on the brighter side, the skirt steak he cooked tasted really, really good. hehe

Right foot - unaffected foot, notice the distinct curvature from the malleolus (the boney part that sticks out on the ankle) to his foot.

Left foot: Notice there is No curvature on this foot from the swelling.

MRI images:
Now I don't know exactly what I'm looking at, but these seemed pretty gnarly.
I call this the "curly pig tail!"

I call this the "dark abyss" 

I call this the "crackers"