Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:So I was at Burning Man for my 8th year and there was this massive structure called "Darwin's Wedge."

It's basically a ~20'x100' slab of wood set at a 30 angle with the middle ~15' covered with astro turf and the yard or so one each side left bare with railings to hold on as you climb up. At the top, you sit on a nylon sheet and slide down into massive foam blocks.

I ran straight up it three times. On the 4th, my achilles tendon went. It's partially ruptured. An ED doc on-site diagnosed it, got me crutches, a splint, and a ride back to my camp.

So in 2 seconds I went from healthy athlete to temporary cripple. But I'm also a stubborn bastard, so I did the event I went to do, made friends with the organizers of Burning Man, helped secure the future of the event, and packed out and made it home.

I'll need surgery this week. Anyone had this injury before?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Felex
Felex

Destroyer of worlds and ooo shiny.
Location: In my own head
Member Since: 1st Jun 2009
Total posts: 268
Posted:Major problems when I tore at tendon in my wrist and a broken Jaw bit there really not connected.
One was from playing with swords the other was from a Friday night.

Surgery for things like this are not fun. My best to you my friend.

EDITED_BY: Felex (1252450765)


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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:silly doc!

how does one rupture a tendon? wouldnt it be a partial tear? my friend cut through his accidentally with a diving knife (they are REALLY heavy) and couldnt do much anything for ages.

at least you still got to do what you went to burning man for!

i assume you're also now going to miss some work because of it?


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well, the verdict is in on my Achilles Tendon. It is not a partial
rupture but a complete rupture. I did not do any further damage to it
by staying at BM or by applying weight to it. The damage was done in
the first seconds and there is nothing I could have really done to
prevent it other than not having run up that slide. I don't regret my
decision one bit.

I will have surgery on Thursday under General Anesthesia. I've gone
32 years without needing any operations other than LASIK, which is
better than a lot of people. After that, I will be in a lot of pain
for a few days. But I'm good at handling pain, so I'm not worried
about that. Besides, I'll have good drugs.

I'll have metallic sutures holding the tendon together while it heals
and the metallic bits will be there for the rest of my life. I'll
have a "Yes" box to check off every time I go to the MRI scanner. Yet
another point in my medical history, which is already complicated for
someone my age. But it will heal completely.

I will be in a splint for a week and then in an ortho-boot and non-
weight bearing (i.e. crutches even in the bathroom) for SIX WEEKS.
And this is going to be difficult part for me. My new job is delayed
six weeks. No swimming (this is the worst news of all) I have a
keynote address to give during this period of time, which I will
give. I am going to be sitting at home with the limb elevated a lot.
And I have ADHD!!! *Yaaaargh!* This is going to SUCK!!!

There are three pieces of good news:
1) My LEFT leg is injured; I can drive. (that's a HUGE piece of good
news).
2) I will not have my knee immobilized.
3) Les. :-)

I'm going to need your support. I'm going to need people to come by
and visit me (we're going to arrange a rolling chair so that I can
cook), give me random phone calls, or become World of Warcraft addicts
with me (Watch out, UCOF, I'm coming, motherlover!).

And then I will recover, start swimming again, get back in shape and
learn to walk again, and I will be at Burning Man next year.

Love and Light,

-Doc "Comeback Kid" Lightning-

EDITED_BY: Doc Lightning (1252519043)


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Felex
Felex

Destroyer of worlds and ooo shiny.
Location: In my own head
Member Since: 1st Jun 2009
Total posts: 268
Posted:It could have been far worse my friend.. It will heal. When I did my wrist I tried to keep. going I still have problems that was over ten years ago. My jaw complete with Titanium alloy plates locks with very bad pain. Six weeks is nothing you can still do the things you love just not as intensively. Then when you give your self a chance to heal you will be able to go full tilt again.

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well, surgery's over. Just got home from the hospital. Apparently I fought through the sedation and had to be put under general anesthesia (I'm *SO* not surprised).

Les and I are home. He's getting me food so that I can start taking my narcotics. Leg doesn't hurt too badly... yet. They warn me that it will.

So... now I get to start to heal. bounce2


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Felex
Felex

Destroyer of worlds and ooo shiny.
Location: In my own head
Member Since: 1st Jun 2009
Total posts: 268
Posted:Home and healing. clap

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Mother_Natures_Son
Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!
Member Since: 1st Aug 2007
Total posts: 2418
Posted:I wish you a swift and mostly painless recovery, Doc.

hug

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animatEd
animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 31st Aug 2004
Total posts: 3540
Posted:damn, that can't feel good. I bet the narcotics help though wink

I had pain in my achilles for five years. I jumped down some steps, and landed badly. for five years, doctors were trying cortisone injections, orthotics, anything at all really. I was still unable to walk.

I went to an osteopath, who felt my ankle, told me I had fractured it years ago, twisted it a bit, a little massage, and hey presto, after five years of being in excruciating pain when I walked, it had all gone.

What had happened, the fracture had set at a funny angle because it wasn't picked up by radiographers or 'experts' on feet. my body was trying to reduce the level of stress by changing the position subconsciously, and it stuck. by massaging my foot into the correct position, the extra stress was gone and I could walk again.

I say this because if it gives you hassle in the future after it's healed, a single trip to an osteopath may well save you a lot of time and hassle in recovery. smile


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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willworkforfoodjnr
willworkforfoodjnr

Hunting robot foxes
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Member Since: 8th Aug 2007
Total posts: 1046
Posted:*hugs* doc, and don't worry, a bit of a sit down never hurt anybody

Working hard to be a wandering hippie layabout. Ten years down, five to go!

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Mr_Joe
Mr_Joe

Part-time genius

Member Since: 27th Aug 2008
Total posts: 59
Posted:Originally Posted By: willworkforfoodjnr*hugs* doc, and don't worry, a bit of a sit down never hurt anybody

Unless you sit on somebody, then it might hurt!

Good luck with that, I sprained my achilles once and that was bad enough. Anything that needs surgery sounds pretty nasty! hug


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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well, general anesthesia was definitely quite a trip.

They started by giving me some midazolam and bit of fentanyl, which made me light-headed, but I didn't feel much. Then they gave me some propofol and had me breathe some oxygen. I remember commenting that my face felt hot. The next thing I remember is a feeling like I was comfortably sleeping followed immediately by, "MICHAEL, WAKE UP! Surgery's over!"

I believe the first words out of my mouth were "Wow! That was easy!" I felt like crud for the first few minutes while I tried to clear my head out (sort of like how you feel when someone wakes you up out of blissful slumber). Then the uncontrollable shaking kicked in, which was annoying, but that stopped in a few minutes.

As I started to check in with various parts of my body, I realized that my left leg simply wasn't there. They had done a nerve block, so it was completely dead. I've never had any part of my body paralyzed and numbed so thoroughly, so that was also a fascinating sensation (or lack of sensation!).

The other thing I noticed is that I had been very hungry before going in. But I had no appetite at all on waking up. That came back within a couple of hours.

Right now, I'm in bed. I've been diligently taking pain meds every 4 hours, so I'm a bit loopy, but I understand pharmacology enough to appreciate that if I don't take them, the blood levels of narcotics will fall and then I will be in pain. I have a bit of pain right now in the back of my ankle, but it's more of a dull ache. I'm hoping the meds will keep it from becoming much more painful. The nerve block is still partially effective, but wearing off.

I have a feeling that today is going to go down as "not exactly the best day of my life."


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:i like runing commentary of patient experice of illness when the patient is a docotr smile maybe you should injure yourself more and start your own blog tongue2

hope the pain doesnt get any worse.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well, I spent all day under the influence of powerful narcotics.

1) I don't get what dope junkies are on about. There's nothing euphoric about this at all. I felt loopy as a roller coaster, but they didn't make me happy. The whole day was spent at some level of consciousness that floated between sleep and wakefulness, but I was never fully asleep nor fully awake. I'd close my eyes as if to sleep, but wouldn't sleep. In fact, time seemed to slow down to a crawl, but I would lie there comfortably for over an hour. Yet, I wouldn't get bored lying there semi-awake. It was strange.

Les took me to a dinner party tonight. The food and drink (non-alcoholic) pepped me up, but in the middle of the party, it was time for me to take my pain meds and an hour later, I told Les that it was time for me to go home.

2) I'm on powerful drugs, but the pain isn't so bad, so this is fortunate; it takes away the pain without being enjoyable. No temptation to ever abuse my powers as a physician.

3) I'm going to try to start tapering off the dose tomorrow morning to see if I can tolerate less drugs now.

4) I *GENTLY* tested all the muscles in my calf today. They all seem to work correctly.

And now I'm falling asleep again, so I bid you all buenas noches.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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LkL
LkL

journeyman

Member Since: 17th Aug 2009
Total posts: 79
Posted:my sister was a gymnast, with a future behind it working on a scholarship and hopefully olympic bound, but she was tumbling one day at practice and she landed and EXPLODED her achilles tendon. She went to the doctors, and they had multiple doctors look at it and say it was the worst they had seen. they were trying to get a video camera to the hospital to make a documentary about her achilles before the surgery began but it never made it through. She was in a giant boot for about 3 months. She was heavily enduced with codeine for probably a month and half after the surgery.
She still can tumble and do gymnastics but not like she use to, she now coaches gymnastics to pay her way thru schooling.
Hope yours isnt as serious as hers, but theres still hope to be athletic afterwards =)


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_khan_
_khan_

old hand
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Member Since: 17th Nov 2004
Total posts: 768
Posted:Wishing you a speedy recovery, Doc. Kind of a weird coincidence as I also just injured my achilles tendon but my injury happened after the burn, on a poorly designed spiral staircase in the condo at Tahoe where a bunch of us went to decompress. Not as bad as yours though -- I tore the membrane covering the tendon, but the tendon itself remained intact. So no surgery for me, and 800mg ibuprofen is doing the trick as far as painkillers are concerned.

I hope you feel better soon.


taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

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aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted::hugs:

All the best for a quick recovery.


'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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the_mods_stole_my_name
the_mods_stole_my_name

travelling without moving
Location: Maghull, Liverpool
Member Since: 9th May 2006
Total posts: 1286
Posted:Have you ever had one of those moments where your toes curl and you get a shudder and you just think to yourself OUCH!! I got that when i read the title of this thread! Hope you're back at your peak soon Doc!

Heilige Scheie, Batman kommt!

Reality is just a state of mind which occurs through a lack of lsd

XxX owned by devilsarmy XxX

O.B.E.S.E.

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well, today is post-operative day 14, so I guess an update is in order.

1) I started physical therapy on Day 11, so I've now been at it for 3 days, not including today. On the first day of physical therapy, I could barely move the ankle or toes and it was grossly edematous (the muscles in your limb help to squeeze blood out of the veins and return fluid to the heart. If your limb is immobilized for a long period of time, it will swell with the excess fluid, and this is called edema). At this point, I can now make out the veins and tendons in my foot. It is starting to look a lot more like the other foot. I can flex it to within 15 of neutral and point it almost as far as the healthy foot. I can pick up marbles with the toes on that side, although the two little toes are still re-gaining their strength.

2) The incision is healing nicely. I'm allowed to immerse it in water today.

3) I decided that I cannot get fat/deconditioned due to this injury, so I hired a personal trainer and joined a gym. The problem is that on Tuesday, he worked me too hard on my biceps. Yesterday morning, I woke up sore. I worked with the trainer again, thinking the soreness wouldn't get too bad. However, by afternoon, I couldn't really straighten my arms because of the soreness in my biceps. I was useless last night, with three out of my four limbs essentially inoperable. Today, I can use my arms again, although they are still difficult to extend. I feel kind of dumb having overexerted myself to the point of more loss of function, but at least this will get better in another day.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Originally Posted By: Jimtucketmy sister was a gymnast, with a future behind it working on a scholarship and hopefully olympic bound, but she was tumbling one day at practice and she landed and EXPLODED her achilles tendon.

The surgeon told me that all Achilles ruptures look like a bomb went off. If you think about the forces and energies required to make a tendon like that fail...

That tendon is stronger, mass per mass, than steel cable. You do the math.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:Sounds like it is going well though. smile

'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Went back to the gym today. Did my hip abductors a number or two...

I swear, one of the first things I am going to do when I am up is swing some poi.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:The update. I'm up. I have a significant limp. The muscles on my left calf are wasted away, leaving a rather comical asymmetry between the two calves.

I'm finally out of the blessed boot (I've been walking around in it for the last 3 weeks). I'm in normal shoes now. I still have trouble going down stairs since the ankle doesn't want to bend enough to allow me to alternate feet. So I have to go down them one at a time.

The calf is getting larger and stronger. The big problem is that the immobilization caused my ankle joint to get very tight, so when I try to dorsiflex the foot, it won't move up, and it's not because the tendon is short. My physical therapist has been gently mobilizing the joint to open it up and I've now managed to get two very satisfactory pops out of the joint, which I can only describe as "anklegasms." laugh3

Goodness I'm glad the worst is over. I still have a lot of limp to lose and a lot of muscle and conditioning to gain (I got fat frown ) but I'm working on it. Pants are fitting looser (although still very tight) and limp is better day by day. I can't wait to ditch the boot forever.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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JayKitty
JayKitty

Mission: Ignition
Location: Central New Jersey
Member Since: 7th Nov 2004
Total posts: 534
Posted:Looks like someone has a lot of squats and lunges in their future laugh3 Glad to hear your feeling better.

Don't mind me, just passing through.

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aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:Yay! Mobile Doc is a good thing. smile

'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:So I'm now working on limp reduction. I have to walk very slowly and with small steps everywhere I go, working on putting my hips over the injured leg and putting weight on the ball of my foot. The tendon itself pangs a bit with this exercise, but today I am moving about twice as fast as I was yesterday.

The big complication I'm having is with my wound. The would is totally healed over and looks great, just a thin line. Except for one spot right over the repair that is still red. The therapist brought up yesterday that it might be one of the absorbable sutures that didn't absorb and is instead being rejected by my body. Looking more closely at it, it seems as if that might be the case and it seems as if there might even be a bit of suture sticking out. So now I am going to try to get an appointment with my surgeon to have a look at it, because it's getting really annoying.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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happyinmotion
newbie

Member Since: 7th May 2007
Total posts: 42
Posted:My sympathies, my boss broke the same tendon running on the beach and he's been in the boot for seven weeks so far.

Still, I remember the size of my calf after I'd had a spiral fracture of the tibia. Was in plaster for thirteen weeks with that one, but it's impressive how fast you can get recover the muscle tone, I found it much easier to recover to a normal state than to train up to a high performance state.


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animatEd
animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 31st Aug 2004
Total posts: 3540
Posted:surely you can pull out your own suture... you're a doctor after all?

Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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Gnor
Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth
Member Since: 31st Mar 2003
Total posts: 5814
Posted:MIke!! Wow...first hugests hugs
second those drug are no fun ..mums been on various ones with knee surgery and was hallucinating badly
third..amunthull my pretty..../who nor
fourth what server and name are you
fifth come to mine we have a pool and its waaarrrmmmm yum

Gluck wiht recovery babe and give Anub hell!


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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