Daddy playing with his girls!!!
Seven months ago my hubby came home from work with some serious pain in his foot. He went to the ER after an x-ray they said that he had a bone spur. They suggested he see a foot specialist. He found a doctor and it was confirmed that he had a large bone spur that was hooking into his achilles tendon and shredding micro-tears out of it. His doctor tried several conservative methods on his foot with no success. He referred him to another doctor in his office that does a minimally invasive surgery called PRP. They basically use your own blood to heal your tendon. That doctor explained to us that there is really no risk associated with PRP because they are just injecting your own blood. The only risk is infection, since they are putting a foreign object into your body. After researching it we decided to go with the PRP. Results from using it have been good and there is little to no risk.
He had two injections, both showing decent improvement. Not as much as we had hoped but there was definitely improvement. On the 14th of February my husband had an appointment with his foot doctor that left us in a bit of a haze, the doctor sat us down and asked us if there were any other jobs at the railroad Chad could do. The underlying issue always has been Chad getting back into his work boots. He explained that even though proceeding with the third minimally invasive surgery would improve his condition, he didn't think it would restore his foot to pre-bone spur/achilles tendinitis function. We decided to go ahead with the third surgery. We knew the only other thing that could be done was a surgery that was very invasive and from what Chad's foot doctor told us, had a very poor success rate. We prayerfully decided that it would be better for Chad to try the third round of PRP's rather than have the major surgery and for it to go badly and him to loose normal foot function.
Within a couple days of him having the third PRP we had a strong feeling something was wrong. Chad couldn't flex his foot and he was in very intense pain. He had to stay heavily medicated around the clock. If the kids bumped his foot it would literally leave him in tears.We stayed in contact with the doctor's office and they told us everything was fine. The doctor told us there was just a different response because it was "at the epicenter" of the tendinitis/bone spur spot. He said it would take longer to heal and the large bump on the back of Chad's heel was just blood underneath the injection site and swelling from the injection. Chad hadn't experienced any of those issues before so we were very concerned because of the extreme pain he was in at the point of "the bump". We both asked at different points if it was possible that his tendon had ruptured as a result of the injection. The question was dismissed but we were still not so sure. I was concerned because he could let his foot dangle but not flex it up toward his shin. It seemed to me like something had happened to his achilles tendon that was causing to be unable to flex.
Thursday the 15th, four weeks after the third injection, with Chad still unable to walk, his doctor called us back into his office. The doctor said he was so sorry, he felt like he let our family down and that we didn't have the results he was hoping for. He said apparently the tendon was more torn than he originally thought. He explained that he spent several hours on the phone talking to various surgeons around the world. He said he researched everything non-surgical first but because of the haglunds on the back of the heel our only two options were to have cryosurgery to freeze the area and hopefully it would heal itself or have "the surgery". The same surgery which he had been telling us since the very first time we saw him "was not an option". One of the doctors told him that there is new technology. So he called the manufacturer of the company that makes the machine used during the surgery and had a meeting with them. They gave him some brochures he showed us and explained how the new technology will make the whole process easier on Chad. He also told us that there is a collagen wrap that is now used to speed up the healing of the tendon. He again apologized and said he was having sympathy pains for Chad. He said he hadn't charged the insurance and wouldn't charge us for the portion for the surgery that we had to pay for, which was $350. He also said he was going to do physical therapy in the office for no charge. His wife suggested that he make chad a "Chineese-y potion of alcohol and herbs to rub on the area. He made it and applied it to Chad's heel to show me how to do it. We left the appointment feeling a little baffled, the only viable option he had for us was to chose a surgeon that was good at the surgery Chad now needs. The same surgery that he had told us just a week or two before "was not an option".
Since we knew from our own research that having the surgery was most likely the only option. This past Tuesday we met with an orthopedic surgeon. He explained that Chad's tendon needs to be lengthened. He will have to go in lengthen it, peel the tendon back from the bone spur near the back of the heel, grind the bone down, reattach the tendon and wrap a metal wire around his tendon to hook it into the bone. He said he wouldn't be sure exactly how involved the surgery would be until he sees Chad's MRI. He was seeing a cloudy area where the tendon is on the x-ray.
This is basically what the surgeon outlined for us to expect as of now. After the surgery Chad will stay in the hospital for a 23 hour observation. That way they can manage the pain. He will come home with a pain pump in the nerve in his thigh, that will stay in for a week (if I remember correctly). He will be non-weight bearing for 6-8 weeks if everything is perfect on the MRI, if not 8-10. If the tendon is ruptured, it could be longer than that. After that he will transition to a walking boot for several weeks, after that he will have several weeks of physical therapy, move to a tennis shoe and then hopefully his work boot. We wont know what his MRI says until Monday and at that point we will schedule his surgery. The surgeon says he is booked 2-3 weeks out, if he's more than 4 weeks out he will try to move his schedule around and fit him in sooner.
Please keep Chad in your prayers as this is a CRAZY time for him!!!! Also keep me in your prayers. Chad pulls a lot of the weight around here, the last few weeks have really been a struggle for me. I feel like I am spinning in constant circles doing everything I can just to stay afloat. Which clearly, if you have been to my house you can see that hasn't been working out so well!!!! Lol!!!