Monday, April 30, 2007

NFL Stars with Achilles Ruptures

  • LaVar Arrington, LB, Giants, 10/23/06
  • Ronald Curry, WR, Raiders, 10/19/05
  • Brandon Stokley, WR, Colts, 12/10/06
  • Rien Long, DT, Titans, 7/30/06
  • Todd Pinkston, WR, Eagles, 8/5/05
  • Greg Ellis, LB, Cowboys, 11/14/06
  • Trace Armstrong, DE, Raiders, 10/1/01
  • Takeo Spikes, LB, Bills, 10/05
  • Reggie Hayward, DL, Jaguars, 9/06
  • Dan Marino, QB, Dolphins, 1993
  • Vinny Testaverde, QB, Jets, 1999

Day 3, Post Op - Achilles Surgery

Today was a better day... didn't have to resort to the meds since the pain was way less intense than yesterday. The Motrin kept things in check.

I'm also getting more efficient with the crutches - moving around about the house with more ease. Going up and downstairs, though, is quite the work out and trying to balance on one leg while going to the bathroom ...

Tomorrow I return to the office. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Night of and Day After Achilles Tendon Surgery

I must say that I'll take a tendon rupture over an ACL tear any day. (am I speaking too soon?)

I was actually able to catch some decent z's the night post op. This, however, only happened after I so aptly regurgitated my Red Mill burger and fries heading up the stairs (fyi, Red Mill was voted one of best burgers in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal). Between the anesthesia stupor, greasy burg & fries, and vomit, I was able to make peace with some rest.

So the following morning was nice - very little discomfort in the leg. This was too good to be true.

With my laptop and remote control in hand, I sat on the couch surfing to my heart's content while watching in horror as Brady Quinn dropped past the ninth pick in the NFL draft. Had to feel sorry for a guy who was supposed to be a #3-5 pick and gets dissed by a Miami team who was destined to make him the next Dan Marino. Oh, I digress.

That afternoon, Heather and I head out about town to Fremont with my new best friends, Crutches. After hobbling around town for an hour or two, some discomfort.

Was it the drugs wearing off?

Whatever it was, a burning, throbbing sensation began to settle in.

So much for a smooth and painless recovery.

I guess that's to be expected when somebody slices your leg open and sews back the largest and strongest tendon in your body. :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Day of Achilles Surgery & Decision Factors

A few more hours till my surgery at 1:30 pm PST. I'm going to be super hungry and thirsty post surgery since I was allowed no food or drink since yesterday at midnight.

Some updates from my appointment with my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Waqqar Khan-Farooqi. Due to complete rupture of my achilles, surgery was pretty much the only option if I wanted to walk normally and return to sports.

Two options for surgery: open surgery and percutaneous surgery. Open is making a 3-4 inch incision on the medial side which allows the surgeon to have full access to the tendon and surrounding "tissues." Percutaneous is making a few tiny incisions instead of one big one.

The difference as described to me was that a percutaneous stitching is not as clean or precise of a procedure - less visibility and inability to clean up any loose ends, strands. Also, rerupture rates tend to be 3-4 percentage points higher (1-2% for open and 4-5% for percutaneous).

One downside to the open surgery is that it tends to have more complications around the wound healing (i.e. infections). However, if you are young, healthy person, you should have no problems.

So ..... open surgery was the clear cut choice.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Achilles Tendon Rupture: The Last Injury from Flag Football

Well, well. It's been quite a year ...

One full of injuries that no man or woman (or animal) should ever have to endure in a lifetime let alone in twelve months. Last year, I broke my left clavicle and then six weeks later, I tore my left ACL in my first flag football game back. It's not like I've been fighting in the UFC, we're talking about flag football. Read: non-contact pass and catch. If I were a Wildebeest, I'd already be a fancy meal for some lions.

It's slightly frustrating .....given that I'm just 9 months out of ACL surgery and had just returned to my former self through a combination of metabolic based lifting, yoga and agility classes. So much for discipline and conditioning. I could have just as well sat on my couch, drink PBRs all day, and pop Ho Ho's into my mouth.

The upside? At least I made it through 4 and quarter games ... before I ruptured my achilles tendon. Woo hoo.

The way it happened is quite ridiculous. Playing QB, I received the ball upon "hut," dropped back three steps, set up, planted and then "clack!" It felt like Bruce Lee had kicked the back of my heel. Luckily, I kept my balance and released the ball on my good left foot and was able to get the pass off. Despite the catch by Johnny, I knew I was done. Done for the year, done with flag football.

I made the call to the boss of the house and we headed to Swedish Medical Center's ER. I was happy to see that they had remodeled the waiting area. I spent the next two hours getting confirmation of my fate and was sent home in a plaster splint.

Next stop ... my visit with Dr. Waqqar Khan-Farooqi, a Foot & Ankle surgeon at the Orthopedic Physicians Associates.