Week 6 - PostOp

I’ve been to four PT sessions so far and I’m starting to go to the gym as well.  I’m still holding back because I know the tendon isn’t fully healed and that is the hardest part.  I have a “no pain - no gain” personality and that type of mentality at this point in my recovery isn’t good.  I want to take it to the limit, but it’s hard to determine what that limit is.  The Dr. and the PTs are cautious which I get, but I’d like to be doing more.  I’m walking primarily without the boot on except for when I go outside of the house.  I have NO power to push off from my toes.  I’m doing the exercises at home but I can tell it’s going to be a long slow process.  I’m very happy to be able to walk without any help and that I can get onto a bike and do some therapy in a pool.  I get in the pool and can walk normally in 4 ft of water.  I can actually push off on my toes with the majority of my body immersed in water.  I also get into the deeper end and can do some water running.  Normal swimming/kicking isn’t working for me yet.  I’m biking about 8-10 miles in 25-30 mins.  I also do a 20-30 min core routine (pushups/situps/planks/leg raises/etc)

So far, so good.  So, in summary, at 6 1/2 weeks after my surgery, I can walk without a boot, manage stairs (up but not so good going down), I’m on a stationary bike and in a pool (water running, and walking in 4ft of water).  Much better than I was three weeks ago!  - Just a very slow process.

2 Responses to “Week 6 - PostOp”

  1. Great news, Kevin! And I understand your wish to push the envelope, but I will share with you what my orthopedic surgeon told me. I am non-operative, so there are no stiches or staples holding my tendon together… only weak/stiff scar tissue. That weak scar tissue will stretch or break if I try to use it beyond where it is, and if it stretches to a certain point, the regrowth of tendon tissue will result in a stretched tendon that can’t depress the toes as far as it should. He said that this would mean less strength and limping, and is why he still has me in heels: to keep the calf/tendon compressed as much as possible during the regeneration of tendon tissue phase.
    In my mind, this reminds me of old rubber bands, that stretch out, and then simply snap. The surgery reduces this problem, but I don’t know how much.
    So, my orthopedist told me that as long as I’m In heels, to go on with life and my activities. I’ll see him tomorrow and find out if I can try jogging and such, but since I’m overweight I know I have to be more careful than an athlete like you. :-)
    as for impatience, meditation and mantras are an alternative (no, I don’t contemplate my navel, since the belly is still too big!) LOL
    Good luck and good healing!

  2. It sounds like you’re generally where you should be at that point, if not ahead of the curve. I was very weak at the 6 week mark, so much so that my physician didn’t want me doing PT until the 12 week mark. So I was given a theraband and asked to do exercises with that and heel raises until then.

    I am now at the 9 week mark and have gotten immensely better since week 6. Biking stationary for 35 minutes with resistance, walking in the pool on my toes up to about 4 feet deep. Able to do heel raises in 4 feet but no shallower. Every day I go a little shallower and my leg seems to tolerate it.

    Just keep it gradual as you’ve been doing. Long road. Honestly the pool has been a great tool to help with swelling, ROM, and tightness. I am still limping a bit walking on hard ground, but that seems to get better daily as well.

    Good luck.

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