15 weeks

This last week has been a good one in terms of milestones.

- I completed a 4km coastal walk which includes a lot of stairs and slopes.
- I have cycled outside a few times on my mtb but only for commute and with pedals not cleats.
- Cycling outside requires me to carry my bike up and down flights of stairs and I manage! I thought I’d be resorting to the boot for this but it worked out ok - apparently all the upper body exercises have helped! Heh :)
- My knee-to-wall measure is +5cm now. I seem to be improving at roughly 2cm per week. To match my good leg I have another 11-13cm to go, so if I can keep up the pace I’ll get there in 6 weeks or so.
- I’ve removed the heel lifts from my trainers
- I don’t limp when I walk unless I’m stiff or tired
- I get through my sets of single leg eccentric lowers using a wall for balance but not a table for body weight support. These sets are really tough and I sweat like crazy trying to do them. I also break them down so instead of doing 15 in a row on one leg I do 3 sets of 5 alternating between legs. I can’t do all 4 sets twice a day yet though, I still use table support at night because my leg gets too tired.

I’ve been struggling walking downhill and down stairs. I’ve read a few blogs where people start walking down stairs by putting their heel on the stair and then letting their toe roll over the edge as they bring the good foot down. When I read these blogs I thought ‘no way I’ll do that, it’s far too risky!’ Well, I’m eating my thoughts! I tried this technique out yesterday because I’m sick of going down sideways and it works like a charm and is not nearly as scary as I imagined. I still hold on to the rail though, just in case.

My exercises are still the same. I saw my Physio for the first time in 2 weeks and we went through how my foot is moving when I balance, squat and roll onto my toes. Apparently it’s normal for the first two, but on the toe roll I’m moving my ankle outward and putting pressure on my middle toe joints instead of the big toe. So now I have to sit in front of a mirror between each eccentric set and do 20 heel lifts making sure I keep the ankle straight and get the weight onto the big toe ball of the foot. Rehab exercise time just increased by 10min. Oh well, moving properly is the key! And I am actually walking downhill better since I started doing this, so kudos to the Physio yet again!

All in all things are pretty good. I have no plyometrics. I can’t run or jump. I can’t dash up the stairs or across the road. I can’t participate in the sports I used to. That will all take time and I can’t wait to get there and will keep working hard to hit those milestones. But in the meantime - it’s summer, it’s the festive season, and I can now cycle to and then walk and swim at the beach! Happy days!!

12 Responses to “15 weeks”

  1. I think you are right on track for an excellent recovery. Let me warn you though of a plateau that some experience and it will be around this time if it happens. It is common but if you notice it then do not be concerned. I think your ROM is on track and maybe a light jog in a couple of weeks will be possible. You could put the wedges back in for a jog at that point if needed but only while jogging.

  2. great progress beanie, makes me motivated to keep moving along, I can’t wait to swim and all, best wishes

  3. Stuart, thank you once again for your encouragement and advice, I really appreciate it. I saw on your blog that you used a mini tramp when transitioning to more plyometric type exercises and this sounds like an excellent idea. I am going to ask the physio next week, hopefully it will be approved and I can start practising gently bouncing, hopping, balancing and jogging on a mini tramp! Thanks again!

  4. Congrats on the ongoing progress! I’m at a similar stage (17 weeks) and have been experiencing that plateau that Stuart mentioned. I think it’s partially due to the progress not being as easily measurable.

    Early on in the process, there are clear milestones: you can weight bear, you can walk, you can remove the boot, you can remove heel lifts, etc. Now the improvements are a bit more qualitative: you’re a bit stronger than before, you have a bit more mobility that before, it hurts a bit less than before.

    I expect it will help that you’re doing a good job of measuring your progress w/ actual data, which will remind you that you really are still progressing.

  5. Alright beanie, great progress!! Keep it up!

  6. Beanie - I have to say I was a bit of sceptic when it came to the mini tramp but I changed my mind. A simple jog 3 steps then hold one knee up and balance then repeat meant you did it on both feet. The effect was fantastic. Also jumping and then holding on your toes with bent knees when you land.

  7. Hey there was hoping you might help. I’m almost 5 weeks post surgery . I’m in cast .. Hoping to get into no weight bearing boot by 6 weeks .. I am in massive pain from cast ( I probably have a low tolerance) the pain isn’t the incision area but the heel and outer side of foot .. Irritation and throbbing .. My OS said I didn’t have much sweeling at all .. Can’t sleep AT ALL.. So much pain especially at night .. I have been taking a small amount of tramadol … Is this normal .. What do porous do about this … I am so down because of the pain !!!

  8. Hi Arib, I’m sorry to hear that you are still struggling so much with pain from the cast. I’m afraid I don’t have any more ideas as to how you can relieve the pain. Perhaps you should call your OS and request moving to the boot a week early. I’m sure the OS will sympathize with you when you explain the problems your having.

  9. figure I would update you and this way anyone who has the same issue might be able to find this useful . Went back to my OS and it looks like the Sural Nerve. It will take time and it is slow to repair… so I will be put on some meds for the nerve and hopefully this will calm the pain. otherwise getting into a non weight bearing boot in a week. !

  10. Arib thanks for the update. I’m sorry to hear that your sural nerve has been damaged but I’m glad that you finally have some answers for why you’ve been having so much pain. I hope the nerve meds work and things improve for you! Good luck and keep updating your blog so that we can follow your progress.

  11. Arib, sorry to hear about the nerve but at least you know what it is and can treat it. Good luck!

  12. Hi Beanie
    Just thought I’d say hi, it’s been awhile and our injury has become just a memory. Happy to say outside of the incision scar there is nothing else that would indicate I ever had the injury, oh and of course the slightly thicker repaired tendon. I expect the same for you and look forward to hearing about your full return to your marathons
    Hope the past year has been fabulous, look forward to the update
    Kind regards
    Robyn (Bobbie)

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