Missed updating for a couple of days as I’ve been busy at the hospital, but the good news is I’ve now had the operation.
On Thursday I went back to the fracture clinic, and later on that day had the ultrasound scan which confirmed a 90% tear of just over an inch, which confirmed the need for an operation as the tendons wouldn’t be able to reattach themselves that far apart. I rang the fracture clinic and they confirmed that I was on the list for an operation for the next day. The staff from Ambulatory Care, which is where you go pre and post operation, called me later on in the evening to let me know what I needed to do.
On Friday 13th (!) I went in at 7.30am and was told I was on the rolling list, which meant it could be anytime that day that I have my operation, or it could get delayed, cancelled or moved if an emergency came in. Luckily, at 8.20am they were ready for me so I got changed and went down to the anaesthetic room. I won’t go into too much detail for those that are squeamish, but they knocked me out with general anaesthetic, and also put a nerve blocker on my leg (similar to an epidural) that meant I wouldn’t feel so much pain when I woke up. As I type the nerve blocker still hasn’t worn off, so later today I expect to be in a lot more pain than I currently am! I’d never been under general anaesthetic before so I was nervous, but it was only a few minutes before I was out.
The operation took around 2 hours, and I came out of the anaesthetic as I was being wheeled back to the recovery room. The consultant who performed the operation came and told me that the operation went very well, and the nurse gave me a quick pain relief tablet. He said that I’ll only have 3 small scars and that they’ll hardly be seen. The staff at UHB throughout the whole day were excellent, from the nurses on the ward, to the doctor, consultant and theatre staff – with the possible exception of the anaesthetist who was a bit of a butcher and hurt my hand a bit!
I was back on the ward for 11am, and was told I should be able to go home by 2pm. It was a bit later than that by the time the physio had been and checked I could use my crutches properly, but in and out within 8/9 hours seemed a good deal after being told there might be a chance I’d have to stay overnight originally.
I’ve been told I’ve now got to go back and have the plaster changed next week to reenforce the back slab that’s currently on it (it’s a very thick one to protect the stitches etc), and then go back the following week to have the plaster changed again and wounds checked. The risks after the operation are blood clots and the potential development of DVT, so it’s important to keep your leg elevated as much as possible. I’ll be in a cast and not be able to bear any weight on the leg for 6 weeks, followed by 6 weeks in a plastic boot at differing angles to start to strengthen the Achilles. After that there will be quite a bit of physio to build up strength in the Achilles and in the leg muscles, which will have pretty much wasted away in 12 weeks time! After the op I feel like I’m starting the road to recovery, which feels much better after the horrible couple of days thinking I was going to have to wait weeks just for a scan.