Ruptured achilles tendon - recovery and driving

Ruptured achilles tendon - recovery and driving

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mikeyr

Original Poster:

2,962 posts

177 months

Monday 18th April 2011
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SO it's just over a week since I completely ruptured my achilles and 5 days since it was operated on. Currently I'm at home bored with a nice big plastercast for company. Didn't make for a very fun birthday on Saturday! frown

Anyhoos, anyone else been through this and know how long it takes to be driving again? My daily transport is a CBR600 so not sure I'll be back on it anytime soon and the wife uses the Scooby for her commute. Considering getting a tatty automatic to tide me over when I do return to work but if it doesn't take that long before you can drive a manual it would open up a wider range of cars.

OR is someone going to pipe up with the great news that I will be back on the motorbike within 24 hours? wink

alfa pint

3,856 posts

195 months

Monday 18th April 2011
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Ouch! I share your pain, having trashed the left one a few years ago and will need to sort out the other one before it gets to the rupture stage.

It's not good news I'm afraid. I was in plaster for 6 weeks, followed by a removable aircast for another month, followed by 3 months of physio. I put my old MG B in for a shed load of work and borrowed the garage's big automatic hilux surf for the duration. Was able to drive again after about 10 weeks.

No snags since on that ankle though, so it's paid off.

mikeyr

Original Poster:

2,962 posts

177 months

Monday 18th April 2011
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Thanks Alfa - looks like its a tatty old Proton auto or such like for me then. eek Unless I flog the bike which would free up cash.

Strange injury - never really hurt as much as I'd expected but I knew what I'd done straight away. FOotball injury did it for me - looked round accusingly to see who'd kicked me and saw no one within 10 feet! How did you do yours? Doesn't sound good that you've had issues with the other one - I'd never had any pain or signs of it going. confused

alfa pint

3,856 posts

195 months

Monday 18th April 2011
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Too much running in boots carrying a full bergan did the bulk of the damage. Also running in shoes that didn't correct my overpronating ankles.

I'll get the right ankle sorted out after September and I've finished the Glasgow half marathon with my mate. I can at least take the aircast off it to drive home - takes a month of complete fixed rest to let the perforations heal and then physio to build the strength back into it.

mikeyr

Original Poster:

2,962 posts

177 months

Monday 18th April 2011
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Just seen your GTV - very nice! Had a red one myself but it was cheap and a little under loved so when I bought it had the usual issues. Was written off by a careless reverser in a car park - grrrrr.

Thanks for the info, got my first physio next week so we'll see what they say.

tom-p

111 posts

177 months

Monday 18th April 2011
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I know exactly how you are feeling, I completely ruptured my Achilles tendon 2 weeks ago and have been in an aircast boot the NHS reccommended against surgery.

Over the past few days I have been in and out of the hospital Saturday, Sunday, Monday and have another appointment tomorrow as my calf is in agony. They first suspected DVT then afterwards not a clue whilst still in agony. I wish I just went private.

paulrhodes

1,792 posts

206 months

Monday 18th April 2011
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alfa pint said:
Too much running in boots carrying a full bergan did the bulk of the damage. Also running in shoes that didn't correct my overpronating ankles.

I'll get the right ankle sorted out after September and I've finished the Glasgow half marathon with my mate. I can at least take the aircast off it to drive home - takes a month of complete fixed rest to let the perforations heal and then physio to build the strength back into it.
Exactly the same for me.. too many boot runs and overpronating. Fortunately caught it before it went and just perforated the bursar sack but it kept me in rehab for months. frown missed an afghan tour and was generally miserable.

Feel for you buddy. Try and put the time to good use and do some academic work. Something to keep your mind active.

K77 CTR

1,536 posts

166 months

Tuesday 19th April 2011
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A lot of orthopaedic surgeons don't like to operate on Achilles tendon ruptures as the outcomes aren't always good but will often operate if pt is very sporty.

I don't think it matters whether private or nhs! It is a long process though either way, but generally shorter if operated on.

Bill

49,111 posts

239 months

Tuesday 19th April 2011
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K77 CTR said:
I don't think it matters whether private or nhs!
yes The only difference is the food and accomodation are better.

As has been said OP, you can expect 2-3 months before you're starting to use it.

mikeyr

Original Poster:

2,962 posts

177 months

Wednesday 8th June 2011
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Well, many weeks on and I've now been out of the various casts and into a boot for 2 weeks. I've mastered crutches and can probably represent the UK in any hopping events planned for the London Olympics.

First physio appointment on Friday - been in limbo really between having the boot fitted and getting any advice on what I can/can't do. Came back to work after 6 weeks after the op and found that it is good to keep the foot elevated otherwise it swells hugely. Wasn't an issue at home as spent most of the day lazing with the foot on a stool.

Last week my foot was at 20deg in the boot, changed to zero this week, bringing some pain in the Achilles which feels very "tight" now. Nice to actually have a painful sensation though as I found the time in a cast wasn't painful which makes the immobility even more frustrating. Bought an automatic car when I got the boot, not sure if could have fitted in a car comfortably whilst the foot was at 45deg in a cast.

Only other side effects were a horrendous tan line, incredibly skinny leg (lost 1 and a half inches in width) and nasty flaky cracked skin where the cast was.

I'll update this as the physio goes on so others can compare/contrast their recoveries (not that I'd wish this on anyone). Get the feeling that it's all gonna get harder and more painful from now on as I work on recovering strength and movement!

KENZ

1,229 posts

177 months

Tuesday 8th January 2013
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I don't suppose I could get an update on this thread. I too have torn my achillies tendon. First 2 weeks, calf was really painful, then the pain changed to gripping sensation round the ankle area. Now I have no pain at all and wish I could get the cast off to see how we'll it's healed. Back to ARI Cast comes off on the15th :-( I've not taken any pain killers and not seen doc since the injury.

How long was it until you were safe to drive, bear in mind the injury is to my right achillies. Should I push the NHS for a airboot on my next visit.

mikeyr

Original Poster:

2,962 posts

177 months

Wednesday 9th January 2013
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I feel your pain.. Well, to be honest, I didn't really have any pain, it was when the cast came off and started having to try walking it started to hurt!

Were you operated on too? I would have been able to drive once the cast came off as was left foot so as long as had an auotmatic it was ok. But for driving with right foot, I would have wanted to give it a month after cast came off and progressed to the boot because still took some flexibility to come back. When did you do it?

KENZ

1,229 posts

177 months

Thursday 10th January 2013
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mikeyr said:
I feel your pain.. Well, to be honest, I didn't really have any pain, it was when the cast came off and started having to try walking it started to hurt!

Were you operated on too? I would have been able to drive once the cast came off as was left foot so as long as had an auotmatic it was ok. But for driving with right foot, I would have wanted to give it a month after cast came off and progressed to the boot because still took some flexibility to come back. When did you do it?
No, I wasn't operated on. I'm receiving non surgical conservative treatment. Its my right foot and I did it on the 17th of December. I've pretty much in the dark with the options NHS are going to offer me. At least my appointment is just a few days away on Tuesday. It's just being stuck in the house and with my circumstances I really need to be able to drive..

Du1point8

21,490 posts

176 months

Friday 11th January 2013
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If its anything like my injury...

Its not the pain of the rupture, etc that hurts... its learning to move the ankle again and regaining all movement lost.

Im now using an aircast after tb/fib fracture and dislocation of ankle... when I relax the foot now out of the aircast it stays at 90 degrees. I can feel the tightness and the pain that moving it slightly causes.

First visit to the physioterrorist is on 21st so I will know more then.

Also I will say that you must be very slow with the regain of movement and strength, OH's cousin re-ruptured her achilles after 4 weeks of being impatient and then really fked it up.

KENZ

1,229 posts

177 months

Friday 11th January 2013
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If I don't get a boot from the NHS. It seems a Vacoped boot is about 250quid, with very few suppliers in the uk. That's bloody expensive. Where did you get yours from and how much was it?

Du1point8

21,490 posts

176 months

Friday 11th January 2013
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KENZ said:
If I don't get a boot from the NHS. It seems a Vacoped boot is about 250quid, with very few suppliers in the uk. That's bloody expensive. Where did you get yours from and how much was it?
Many places to get one.

I got one of these on the NHS

http://www.healthandcare.co.uk/walkers/aircast-xp-...

Im not 100% on which one you will get or should get, however the above has a review off someone that got an aircast for their tendon rupture.

If you dont want to pay £100-150 for an air cast, then they do appear on ebay like the below:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Aircast-Boot-Large-pump-...

most are just scuffed and if you don want to wash the inner padding, this can be bought in spares section of most websites.

KENZ

1,229 posts

177 months

Thursday 17th January 2013
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Update. I've received my appointment with not much options on the table from Aberdeen NHS other than to recast foot in flat position. They don't use the boot treatment. However I think this is the right approach. Doc was happy. Tendon looks to have reattached but ankle was still swollen with a small amount of bruising which surprised me. When getting the foot in the flat position. I had a tingley sensation round the ankle. I cannot believe how much movement I've lost. So its the next two weeks in flat then another two in upward position then physio. I'm hoping when cast comes off I get some sort of movement which will allow me to drive and get back to work..

Edited by KENZ on Thursday 17th January 18:38

Du1point8

21,490 posts

176 months

Thursday 17th January 2013
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KENZ said:
Update. I've received my appointment with not much options on the table from Aberdeen NHS other than to recast foot in flat position. They don't use the boot treatment. However I think this is the right approach. Doc was happy. Tendon looks to have reattached but foot was still swollen with a small amount of bruising which surprised me. When getting the foot in the flat position. I had a tingley sensation round the ankle. I cannot believe how much movement I've lost. So its the next two weeks in flat then another two in upward position then physio. I'm hoping when cast comes off I get some sort of movement which will allow me to drive and get back to work..
not to get you hops up but if its cast, your movement is screwed... Im in an aircast (31st Dec) and now sleeping without it on and Im getting a little movement back but physio is on monday to tell me what I can and cant do...

Im fed up of the foot going purple when I walk around due to stty circulation and that hurts more than the tenderness near the scars.

Neil2506

2 posts

62 months

Tuesday 10th October 2017
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I have just come out of a vacoped boot. 12 weeks since the achillies rupture and 10weeks in the boot. I had a temporary cast for 1st two weeks. It is my left foot and have found it a very difficult 3 months. There is no pain now and I have a raised heel fitted inside my shoes. I have limited movement in my foot. Does anyone know how long before I can drive?

Peanut Gallery

2,099 posts

94 months

Tuesday 10th October 2017
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I have torn my calf muscle twice, fortunately both times it was higher up in the muscle, not down in the tendon. I only allowed myself back behind the wheel when I could jump on the the brake hard if I needed to, fortunately this was not that long, the muscle healed fairly quickly!

No, I do not drive around planning on standing on the pedal, I have been a witness where a pedestrian tried to walk between traffic and stepped out between stationary cars. The car in the turning lane was not stationary. Despite locking up all 4 good condition tyres, the pedestrian will still have a severe limp today.

Take your time, far better to have a grudge about not being able to drive for 2 weeks than having the thought of what someone did by stepping in-front of your car when you were unable to stand on the brakes.