Goody 2 Shoes!

Humbled by Reality, the “gradual approach” is less gradual after all.

Went to 2-shoes today, exactly on the 6 week mark.  Had been wearing the boot until today but actually less and less.  The reason was that it gave me serious back pains due to the unevenness and resulting crookedness of the back. Despite back exercises, stretching and all that I simply wasn’t able to function. So, about a week ago I started by taking the boot off at night, then a few days later I limped around the house with no boot. Big difference for the back - due to the limp still some unevenness but at least that seems curable with back exercises.  I am being really, really careful with the foot of course, not taking any (unavoidable) risks.   When walking around in the boot I had actually used the “ROM” mode with increasing freedom over the last few days and started to exercise the calf/tendon by pushing for example while driving.

For the moment of the 2-shoes I bought these:

Also, these:

And alternatively these:

Then, I got one of these:

But the PT thinks I don’t even need that, so I might wear that only in “high risk” environments - which I don’t know yet what those are. Unfortunately it might be one of those things one might find out only when it’s too late. Anyways, they don’t really support the AT specifically and actually require a lot of doing to get fitted and into a shoe. I might experiment with that a little more if I find the time and energy, of which I have very, very little lately.

I have started to exercise on one of these:

It’s more involved than I thought, I have never used these machines as I rather believed in “natural” sports like running etc. Just getting the hand/foot coordination right is not so intuitive actually.   After about 20-30 minutes on that, I feel the leg tire considerably and call it a day for now.

Having PT every weekday. Includes “scar tissue” massage which is quite painful but actually feels “satisfying” in that it does feel to me like it would prevent adhesion and greatly improves flexibility of the foot. After that, a strider session and some Theraband, the leg/foot/ankle/tendon is seriously ready for sleep. OK, also walked for about mile, that did tire the leg as well.

The upside of all this commotion is that it feels great to move again, back pain is seriously reduced and life is coming back!

9 Responses to “Goody 2 Shoes!”

  1. Did you ever work at building up your other leg so it was as high off the ground as your injured leg? A hiking boot with multiple footbeds, or a Cast Shoe or an “Even Up” strapped outside a shoe, etc., etc.? Walking with two different-length legs is bad for the back, the hips, the knees. . .

    If you walk in risky places for the next 5 or 6 weeks, you may still want to have the boot handy, as I think it’s more protective than the other gizmos. Just letting people SEE a boot might help convince one of them not to trip you!

  2. Yes, I had done exactly that. Got the hiking shoe with relatively high heel and inserted two additional footbeds especially in the heel. Still, too much of a height difference.
    A friend offered to make an extra sole for the good shoe to make up the height but I declined not realizing how bad it could get. Plus I was worried about not being able to drive with that.

    I have extended the rental on the boot until week 12 for exactly that reason. Hell, that thing even gets me noticed by the female world, at least by some who must have some kind of nurse reflex :-)
    A(nother) friend said he would get himself the same boot just for that reason.

  3. After a few days in 2 shoes, the situation is rather odd. Technically improving rapidly (I can clearly exert more force on the toes and ball), the leg suddenly tends to swell up way more than before. After a long day of driving, exercising, sitting and all that, the leg looks and feels very unhealthy - swollen, read, inflamed, not good at all. Most likely due to the swelling very stiff, too.
    Trying to add more elevation profile to my pillow stack at night. Trying to spend every free minutes with the leg up in the air.

    Brief excerpt of my communication with PT:
    Me:”What the hell?”
    PT: “Elevate!”
    Me: “Define elevate”
    PT: “Leg straight up in the air”
    Me: “Pfff!”

    Difficult to do anything useful in a position like that. Even telephone is awkward.

  4. Another topic:

    The immobility doesn’t just affect the AT related movements, dooh, the entire foot, even leg, has been immobilized and has apparently thus been put on a “useless” list by the rest of the body. If you don’t contribute, you’re out - we don’t care for the reasons. No socialism here.

    The PT actually recommended against too much “Theraband” type exercise, saying he doesn’t believe in “localized” training. More important than pure strength of the tendon/calf combination is the ability to balance which requires fast, accurate, concerted movements of the entire foot system.
    He says the risk of re-ruptures caused by clumsy, late, slow balancing attempts is higher than from simple tendon weakness. Sounds plausible to me.
    He says outside of elevating and range-of-motion exercises with leg up in the air, I should simply walk as much as possible.

  5. I am now able to operate the relatively stiff clutch of my manual transmission car and the shifter of the motorcycle with my injured foot. Life is good and I have my priorities straight!:-)

  6. PT told me to do a lot of walking. Wearing my special achilles bandages and my 3/4 boots, I walk about 1 hour every day, roughly 3 miles. A couple of days ago, there was still more limp - with the effect that my hip started to ache especially the side opposite to the injury. Limp is getting less and less, did 2 hours and 6 miles without hip ache today.
    Can now do a heal raise with both legs simultaneously, therefore can push about 100lbs with the injured leg. Other than replacing daily running and Tennis with PT, life is back to normal.

  7. How are those achilles support socks working? Did you use them and are you still using them?

    I got to 6 weeks next week and have instructions to wean to 2 shoes over the next two weeks (i.e. start with an hour a day with 2 shoes and gradually move to 100%).

    Still very nervous about the idea as my barefooted shuffles in the house while showering/getting dresses are not very encouraging.

  8. Hi Smick,

    the achilles “socks” are ok, I would not want to miss them. The smaller ones “Sporlastic” are quite aggressive and actually start being uncomfortable after a few hours of wearing. The bigger ones “Bauerfeind” are very comfortable - they have less aggressive massage pads, but distributed over a larger area.
    Massaging is actually their job as I was informed. They are not really supposed to be supporting or comforting, they work by massaging the tendon area thereby increasing blood flow. I do however, especially in conjunction with the boots find them both supporting and comforting as I feel like the entire area is well protected.

    I use those all the time when I am out and about - which is by now always, as I am back to a completely normal life - including travel. Unfortunately without the Tennis though.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  9. I found compression socks very helpful in minimizing the swelling. I had a pair of CEP athletic compression socks that I used for recovery after long runs. They’re what you see a lot of elite runners wearing - like Meb in the Boston Marathon - except they’re not just calf sleeves, but rather the full sock model. CEP makes both kinds.

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