Achilles debridement and repair to both feet get a knee scooter

by Jayden
(Western Australia )

I have had on going pain in both Achilles for several years at the base near the heel. Later to be diagnosed as insertional tendinitis. I was in mid 30's at that time and enjoyed sport at a social level including Australian rules football, squash, tennis, indoor cricket, touch rugby, gym or any other sport that would give me something to do to still allow to keep relatively active.

At first the pain was manageable with anti inflammatory medications and pain medication on the more severe days usually after a footy match.

Over the last few years I started to feel pain first thing in the morning and most of the day.

Once warm I could run on the Achilles but felt pain however it was less once warm but when I stopped I could hardly walk for several days after the pain was becoming more and more problematic in my day to day life.

I knew I would not give up sport unless I could no longer walk or run or be a little competitive in sports that I was playing.

I got referred to a sports surgeon and had MRI scans showing inflammation and bone spurs on both feet as well as a minor tear on the right. The first thing he recommended was to stop playing sport which I told him was not likely unless he was putting me in a moon boot however I said I would try several weeks rest with cortisone patches.

These did nothing in my opinion except make my pocket lighter so after the several weeks I put a stop to them.

The next therapy was a cortisone injection into the heel area around the bursa. This did well and reduced the pain considerably for several months and I continued my sport. The pain was always there and gradually became worse though I was still playing footy and training twice a week. Eventually the pain was again extreme on most days I was limping around barely walking.

I asked the doctor other options and he advised shockwaves therapy, stem cell injections blood plasma injections and surgery. He said that he could no guarantee anyone of those would work at all. I discussed the successes of surgery which was the biggest risk though had the highest prospect of fixing the issue.

I was advised that seemed the best as unless I was physically unable ie in a moon boot I would continue to play sport as I could handle pain. I advised him I wanted to finish the football season then would go see the surgeon. I got another round of cortisone injections to both feet and away I went until September 2017.

I booked into the surgeon after explained my history and he advised of the risks and likelihood my footy days were over though I could get back to a relatively pain free existence with a little running involved still. I accepted this and asked if he could do both at same time which he advised no due to risk of blood clots and the fact you would have not let support so the plan was to do the left one first and once the left was strong enough to weight bear he would do the right. He advised due to my occupation etc to expect to have 14 to 16 weeks off work.

I was booked in a week later for day surgery with an overnight stay. I did my research read blogs and other people’s stories to get a guide of what to expect so I could be prepared.

I bought a knee scooter online after reading several persons rating them as a necessity. I told my peers and love ones of this purchase and immediately the banter began however if you take anything from this and you are to have surgery get a knee scooter. It offers so much in the terms of daily living and I would now after surgery be lost without one. I looked at hiring but the cost to higher was too much compared to buying one. I also purchased crutches so I had both options available.

Day of surgery. In I went at 11am to
get measured up for the vacoped boot then off to day surgery got dressed in my hospital gown they shaved my left leg halfway up and there I weight in a hospital bed until 5pm.

Another thing bring stuff to do because of the wait. I had my phone and headphones and charger which got me through the mundane wait.

I was wheeled into surgery said hello to my surgeon, got dosed up by the anethatist and out I went.

I woke up 2 hours later to some pain where they gave me some fentanyl and I was back to normal except my left foot was in a boot.

I stayed over night knocking back painkillers as the pain was there but the nerve blocker was masking most of it. I had a terrible sleep as only got a few hours before each check up but before long it was morning. The surgeon came in saw me said little except the surgery went well he said you can put as much weight as you can bear on your leg which will be very little, rest and elevate it when home and I’ll see you in 2 weeks.

A physio came and showed me some exercises and how to use crutches. The nurses gave me my take home Medicine of painkillers laxatives, blood thinning injections for 14 days which you self administer into your stomach area and away I went home.

Once home I had some sleep. Unfortunately I could not get comfortable on my bed as could not raise my leg high enough I went out to the lounge area and got into my lazy boy chair I had just bought for this purpose. It allowed me to raise the leg enough I wouldn’t feel the pain as blood wasn’t putting pressure into it.

The following day the pain became a lot worse as the nerve blocker had worn off. I got used to pain killers and lived in the lazy boy for about 4 days.

I could manage getting up and doing things including making food thanks to the knee scooter. Showering I could stand up in shower and used a chair as support. I had elastic bands to seal up top of the waterproof bags the hospital gave me for my boot as the tape was terrible.

I decided I would use one bag per week as they gave me 5 and I did not want to buy my own.

After 4 days I could put a fair bit of weight on the boot. I still hurt if the leg hung down to long and was not elevated. I tried to keep a good diet of protein and vegetables and fruit. I bought vitamin c tablets a I read I helps in wound repair so though give it a go.

There is a little pain after injections and you get bruising in the stomach where you put the needles. I made sure I took the laxatives and have stopped the pain killers after 5 days as could manage pain without.

I use the knee scooter to get out and about and I have shops I can walk to. I use dumbbell weights and weight bench to exercise each day and do push-ups sit-ups easily even with the boot on. I use an app to track this exercises and it help breaks up the day.

I am due for my first check up next week and will update on progress. I hope this helps others who may be getting surgery in the near future and happy to respond to any questions.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Jayden.

Thanks for all the details and sharing your experience.

Give us an update anytime, and after the check up.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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