Cast off, boot on. What to expect from physio?

December 20, 2009

My cast was taken off last Tuesday, seven weeks and six days after my ATR.  I’ve now got an Aircast boot with one wedge in it.

Just after the cast came off the consultant did the Thompson test and my toes moved, which was quite a relief.  He asked me to push my foot down on his hand, and I was able to put some pressure on.  Likewise lifting it was fine too.  So that was all excellent news, and seemed to show things are going to plan.

My calf muscle is much smaller but there’s still quite a bit of mass there, even if I can’t tense it fully at the moment.

So, I was given an Aircast boot, and told everything looked fine and I was discharged.  I had my physio assessment booked for the next day.

It all felt like great progress, but I left the first physio session feeling confused.  The chap I saw was fine in that he checked the tendon again and was reasonably upbeat about how things were going.  But he wouldn’t give me a good idea on how things might develop from here.

He said the Aircast boot was not totally necessary as I could be doing my PWB in shoes.  This was surprising, but he said I should keep using it until my next appointment, which is on 6th January.    I have a maximum of six sessions on the NHS, but I might only need 2 or 3.

Does that sound right?  I have a sheet with some exercises I can do at home, but I get the feeling from other blogs that some physio is very hands on and more frequent.

Anyway, I am taking it as an indication that things are going well.  But, I’d really like to spend a decent session with a physio who’ll take me through the exercises, and give me strong indication of how much I can push the tendon.  Hopefully that will happen in the new year.

I don’t want to sound like I’m moaning, but some more answers from consultants and physios who are treating me would be very, very welcome.  Thank goodness for this website!  Happy Christmas!


I think I’m a PWB!

December 2, 2009

A ‘partial weight bearer’ that is.  Though I’m sure there are more inventive and certainly more offensive possibilities for ‘PWB’.

It’s now six weeks since I suffered my ATR playing football.  After going to A&E immediately I was diagnosed and given the options.  I chose the conservative path.  Yesterday I went in to my fourth cast.

The three previous casts have taken my foot from equinus gradually towards a 90 degree position (I don’t know the fancy name for that) where I can lay my foot flat on the floor.

I’m about 5% off that now.  I was given a kind of shoe, a bit like a flip-flop that an elephant might wear, with straps to keep it attached to the bottom of my dashing blue cast (again Kevin!  I just like blue.).

Anyway, I didn’t see the consultant, but Colin, who put it in plaster, said that I would now be able to put some weight on it.  Initially when standing still, but then I might be able to hobble around unaided!  That was exceptionally good and unexpected news.

Does it make me a PWB?

I think it should!  I’d like to mark the occasion by updating my profile, as I’ve been getting pretty sick of the crutches, and although I’ll still be using them for a while, it would be nice to mark a step towards the day I can throw them out of the window for good.

So, I’ve got the current cast for another two weeks, then I’m into a space boot for a month.  I think this will be the one with the wedges under my heel that are gradually reduced to bring my heel down.

Yesterday my calf muscle was quite a bit smaller than at the previous recasting.  I know this is normal but it was a bit of a shock.  I’ve always been secretly proud of my calf muscles.  I’ve never had much to boast of muscle-wise up top, but thanks to lots of cycling I had developed chiseled calf muscles.  Now I have one that’s got the droopy, squidgy feel of a beer belly.

If I’m good and do what the physiotherapist tells me, how long till I’ve got a nice chunky calf muscle again?

Otherwise, I’ve been bumbling on with work, trying to get out as much as possible, and having dreams where I’m walking only to realise mid-dream that I can’t do that at the moment.   It’s a bit like dreaming of flying.

My girlfriend has been very supportive.  However, I secretly suspect she finds the whole situation agreeable in some respects.  As I said to her the other day: “Every girl wants a temporarily disabled boyfriend don’t they?  So you know where they are all the time, and they aren’t able to go out late and eat kebabs while walking home from the pub.”

Don’t you worry Sarah, I’ll be coming back late with bits of kebab down my shirt before you can say: “Extra chilli sauce please”.