Friday, 3 April 2009

Monday, 9th of March changed my life.

  • A sudden and severe pain may be felt at the back of the ankle or calf—often described as "being hit by a rock or shot."- My sensation was that someone hit me with a bar
  • no pain, but there will be a loud popping sound
  • Initial pain, swelling, and stiffness may be followed by bruising and weakness.
  • A 'flat footed' type of walk. You can walk and bear weight, but can not push of the ground properly on the side where the tendon is ruptured.

These symptoms mean something for a person who knows what to look for. I suppose my case was quite straight forward, except for me. I was sure that the girl next to me stepped on my ankle. I was convinced that one of us moved in the wrong direction and this caused the accident. Poor girl, she looked confused, now I understand why.

The next day early in the morning I visited the Emergency not far from my home. I got on the bus and walked into the hospital. I was still smiling and not worried at all. After like 20 minutes there was finally a doctor who was willing to see me. Not polite at all. He didn’t even introduce himself. No kindness in his eyes and not even the slightest sympathy. But it didn’t bother me, until…

How is an Achilles tendon rupture diagnosed?

  • The doctor who examines you will ask about the symptoms and about the activity when the injury happened.
  • You may have to stand or walk on your tiptoes
  • An ultrasound scan, which uses high frequency sound waves to produce an image of the Achilles tendon to look for any damage
    an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, which uses magnets and radio waves to produce two- and three-dimensional pictures of the leg that can help your doctor see if there is damage to the Achilles tendon
  • 'Thompson's test' (also known as the 'calf squeeze test'). In this test, you will be asked to lie face down on the examination bench and to bend your knee. The doctor will gently squeeze the calf muscles at the back of your leg, and observe how the ankle moves. If the Achilles tendon is OK, the calf squeeze will make the foot point briefly away from the leg (a movement called 'plantar flexion'). This is quite an accurate test for Achilles tendon rupture.
  • With the Simmonds calf squeeze test (also known as Thompson test) the doctor can identify the gap if the tendon is completely torn

…until he spit it out: “Achilles tendon rupture, needs an operation and 6 weeks in plaster.”

As I said earlier my case was more than obvious. I wasn’t able to walk properly, my leg was swollen and the squeezing test clarified everything. First I was sitting there socked, than I explained this can’t be, because someone stepped on my leg.

To be certain, he called one of his colleagues to examine me, but this didn’t changed the fact. They sent me to the X-ray room. I assume they made sure that there are no broken bones.

I’m not a baby, but I was crying. It took me by surprise and I felt devastated. I couldn’t believe that this is happening. What’s going on now? How? When? Plenty of questions. Operation ? I never had a serious injury! I didn’t know what to expect. I was still hoping that this is a nightmare and someone will inform me about the wrong conclusion and I can go home. The whole world crashed and went down the drain, while I was sitting on the examination bench waiting for the orthopaedic surgeon.

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