Health Update – Foot Surgery 06-03-2020

Hi. On Tuesday, 06-03-2020, I had surgery on my left foot to fix a long-standing problem with my heel bone and Achilles Tendon.

The condition is called “Haglund’s Deformity”. Here is a link that describes this condition: https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/haglund%E2%80%99s-deformity#:~:text=Haglund’s%20deformity%20is%20a%20bony,between%20the%20tendon%20and%20bone).

Basically, the bone on the back of the heel is normally somewhat round, allowing the Achilles Tendon to slide over it before attaching to the heel below. In the case of Haglund’s, something causes that heel bone to become much larger than normal, a sort of large bone spur. This causes pieces of bone to get into the Achilles Tendon causing scar tissue, swelling, stiffness, and pain.

I could have tried therapy, but it would not have fixed the root cause: the bony enlargement on the heel. The solution was to have the surgery which removed the enlargement, making the bone to be a normal size, and cleaned up the Achilles Tendon, removing the bone pieces and scar tissue.

I will be in a non-weight bearing mode on my left leg for two weeks, with a large, bandaged brace supporting the tendon and heel bone. To get around, I use a knee scooter vs. crutches (for which I am VERY thankful). Here are some pictures …

Before Surgery
After Surgery
The foot in a brace

The schedule for recovery is:

June 3 – 9: In brace and scooter

June 9: Meet with doctor for checkup

June 18: Meet with doctor for checkup and (hopefully) removal of brace and begin using a boot (allowing me to start walking).

June 18: Begin 4-6 weeks in boot, walking, and having therapy

After Boot and Therapy: Begin using normal shoe and start slow walking recovery program. Hiking recovery will follow

October: Return to hiking (Lord willing)

I consider this a short-term problem (discomfort and inactivity) for a long-term solution (hiking without stiffness and pain). My body probably needs the rest since I’ve never taken two or more weeks off from exercise in many years.

Another benefit of this is knowing more how to better take care of my Achilles Tendon – very important body part for walking and hiking. Examples include how to properly stretch the calf and Achilles Tendon, using short steps when hiking up a mountain, etc.

I have hiked 1,025 miles of the Appalachian Trail (AT) and Lord willing, hope to on day finish (1,065 miles further). Regardless, however far I get, I will be able to enjoy photographing and sharing the beauty of our Lord’s wonderful Creation.

God Bless!

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