March 3rd: Surgery to remove retrocalcaneal bone spur after detaching the
Achilles Tendon to make it accessible. Removed bone spur,and
reattached tendon with screws.
Splint worn for the next three weeks.
Weekly visits for 3 weeks to the surgeon/podiatrist to check
wound site. Splint removed and replaced after each visit.
Week 3 another night splint (300.00 for a splint I could have ordered online for 56.00). The straps and could be removed for exercises and bathing.
Instructions per doctor was to do plantar flexion and extension
while foot was out of the splint WITHOUT RESISTANCE.
Splint to be worn while sleeping and not
exercising. NO HARD CAST WAS EVER WORN THAT WOULD
HAVE CAUSED THE ANKLE TO BECOME STIFF. .
At week 6 another visit to the surgeon, X Rays to check the
Achilles tendon attachment and a walking boot approved.
THIS IS NOT A CAM WALKER but a black solid plastic boot
that does NOT FLEX at the ankle, and had a continuous thick
sole. Instructions were to wear it while walking and to remove
it often to do plantar flexion and extension WITH
One day later I pitched the boot in favor of a pair of Reeboks and this is why.
If the surgeon had put me in a hard cast for weeks following surgery, and some surgeons do, the ankle would have been positioned to have the foot point downward at a slight angle to avoid pulling on the reattached Achilles tendon. After healing, a CAM BOOT (seen here) with an hinged ankle adjustment would have been required to gradually bring that ankle back to a 90 degree angle. This would have taken weeks to accomplish by setting the dial on that boot slightly up each week. A couple of heel wedges would have been placed and removed gradually.
Since the cast after surgery wasn't the course my surgeon chose, I lost no range of motion in this ankle. The boot I was instructed to wear would have been no benefit to my healing and recuperation of ankle movement. I had full ankle movement. This 500.00 boot is for patients with a fractured ankle.
99 percent of the patients seeing a doctor do not question what he says to do. They accept it and have their insurance companies pay the 500.00 for a boot that would have no benefit except to boost the surgeons income since he bought this boot for 120.00 and sold it for 500.00. It took me days of researching to assure myself that my Reeboks were not going to be detrimental to my healing process. My friends questioned my choice to refuse to wear this boot so I had to do a lot of reading to make myself comfortable with my decision and I am that now.
As I've mentioned before, I'm happy with the results of the surgery. There is no more pain at the back of the heel. Erroneously I had visions of being able to walk pain free when I was allowed to walk and initially I thought the pain could be attributed to the boot. Not so. I found that most people have to go to partial weight bearing ( I should have been informed of this in the doctors office) and gradually over weeks get to the point where they can do full weight bearing and that's where I am right now. PWB or partial weight bearing. I have to take frequent rest breaks with it because being up on it for any extended amount of time causes extreme pain in the BOTTOM of my foot. Tendons need re stretched and that is what walking a little every day will accomplish.
Money and greed. That's all I have to say about this. If I were a medicare patient, this would have been charged to medicare. These overpriced and sometimes unneeded expenditures charged to our insurance companies or to medicare distresses me. We are quick to talk about how medicare is government run and going broke. How it didn't work. Greed is why it won't ever be solvent. My neighbors mother who is on medicare has 3 of these boots at her home. Why wasn't she told to reuse instead of having medicare charged again and again? Money and greed. Shame on the medical field for this.
Let me get down off this soapbox. My knee and my foot are hurting from all this standing up here. I'm done.
Oh, one other thing before I go. This post was to record the series of steps it took and the time frame to get to the point where I was allowed to weight bear on this foot and along with all the bitchin and complaining, that's what I have done. Now, I'm DONE!
This video shows a guy that had the cast post op..and THE CAM BOOT with hinge.
and another blog site from a guy that details his surgery and recovery: