My November 23 appointment was really uneventful! They removed the cast (my leg could breath for a precious few minutes!!!) and stretched and flexed my foot a very small degree. Then another cast was applied. :-( Same instructions - NWB, keep foot propped up & apply ice as needed. I mentioned the nerve tingling/stinging/burning sensations that become worse at night and the nurse practitioner assured me again that was part of the healing process. I just haven’t read on any blog that anyone was still having those sensations still at week 4. Maybe I am because he had to do so much reconstructive repair. Who knows!!! I go back to the doc on December 8 for hopefully the last cast. Nurse prac told me that doc would probably talk to me at that appointment about therapy, the boot, etc. We’ll see! December 8 won’t get here quick enough!!!!
December 2 - had to go in to see the Doc (unscheduled appointment) as I thought my leg was rotting off beneath the cast!! As various times it felt as though it was wet under the cast and I just knew the incision was infected. He had me come in and have it checked. Turned out that there was no infection nor drainage. He said I was having nerve sensations which was normal but wanted to check to make sure. Another cast was applied and I was told to come back in 2 weeks. He said at that appt we would discuss “the future”! When I went back in 2 weeks - December 16 - the cast was removed and he told me to begin putting as much weight on the foot as possible and get started with therapy asap! I asked was I not going into a boot and he said no - my cast had acted as a boot and I need to get on with therapy–which suited me just fine!!! What an early Christmas present!!! I was elated–but scared at the same time!!
My foot was still pointed down because of the repair work he had to do and there was no way to put any weight on it! My leg and foot looked awful and I couldn’t wait to get home and begin scrubbing away the dead skin and shave my leg (I haven’t had this much hair on my leg since the 5th grade when I finally was allowed to shave my legs!!!!) Aniticipating that I might get to start therapy - I had already scheduled an appt for the following day - December 17.
I went to the first therapy appointment on my knee scooter and was greeted by the therapist who politely asked if I had any crutches or a walker to which I replied “yes”. She said to bring one of them to the next appointment as I had to “LOSE” the knee scooter! I couldn’t imagine getting around on crutches or a walker - however exactly 1 week later - I was able to walk on the crutches with both feet on the ground and attend the Christmas Eve service at church. What a Christmas blessing and miracle!
I am doing ROM exercises 3 times a day (followed by icing & elevation) and attending therapy 3 times a week. I have been to 3 therapy sessions thus far due the to the short holiday week. In addition to the ROM exercises at therapy at the 3rd appointment, they begin trying to stretch the achilles using resistance and also massaged the calf (which is tight as a banjo string) followed with ice, elevation and electrodes. And the grandest news of all–they said I may be able to begin driving again on December 30!! Wow–independence again!!! During this journey I have come to appreciate the small things that I normally take for granted such as driving!! Since my spouse works and it is difficult for him to take off without alot of hassle, my Mom has been my driver since the second week after surgery and has been a trooper! Don’t know what I would have done if Mom hadn’t been available to run me to appointments, the store and run the vacuum cleaner!! She had to drive 30 miles to pick me up and drive 40 miles back in the same direction that she started from to get me to the doc and therapy! Additionally, loading & unloading the knee scooter at every stop!! I owe her royally!!!
Mid-November I never thought I would have progressed to this point at the end of December! As many of you have encouraged me along this journey, you were completely right in telling me that once therapy begins - progress begins moving along pretty quick. I am still taking it easy and keeping the foot up as much as possible to prevent alot of swelling. After being on it with crutches Christmas Eve & then again Christmas Day–it had swelled to about 2 times the size of what it had been. But with icing/elevation each night, the swelling went gone down during the night.
Will update as progress continues.
Happy New Year To All!!!!