2 shoes / 12 weeks atr post op

I have been doing exercises at PT for a week  in 2 shoes. Ride stationary bike, stretching, balance board, squat and calf raises on machine light resistance, hip strengthening with bands, as well as manual therapy on the tendon.   I also have been walking around the house and office with two shoes but wear the walking boot outside of that.  I am way too slow to go anywhere without the boot, my stride is short plus I don’t have any strength in my leg to keep correct balance and have a decent stride.  It feels ok to walk on it except in the morning it is really stiff and I can barely step with it, more or less shuffle until it warms up.

I feel the strength building in my leg but I still have a very tight tendon according to my PT. The tendon to the touch is feeling loose except right at the base of my heel where it is still tight and fat and they work on that manually.   I am  not looking at this as a negative just yet, it seems like it is better to be tight than loose feeling, meeting with the OS tomorrow for my follow up visit.   I have been able to dorsiflex 4-5 degrees actively and a few more passively.   I am pretty sure the OS didn’t want me to be upright on 2 shoes until the visit but according to my PT I was ready so we started a week early.

PT is pretty enjoyable for the most part, there is a good group of trainers and assistants who enjoy their jobs and keep up with all the happenings on the local teams so it is real easy to have conversation with them plus with my history of sports injuries there is always something to talk about.  I go at the end of the day so I can sneak in an upper body workout a few times a week since I suspended my gym membership, I dont have the time to do both although I would be up for getting back to the gym.  My PT is pretty new and has everything you can imagine but no Alter G treadmill, I asked the PT about this and they said other branches have one but it is something I assumed every new therapy place would have.  Pretty bummed about that as I have read a lot of blogs mentioning their usefulness.

I get pain in my leg only after being upright for too long say an hour plus straight but not too bad, I ice after PT and at night on and off before I go to bed as it swells by the end of the day.  Overall feel much better about this situation, I am still keeping June 14th 5k mud run on my calendar, I may walk it but I am pretty sure I wont have to sit it out.

11 Responses to “2 shoes / 12 weeks atr post op”

  1. Congratulations! Sounds like you are making progress. I just started in 2 shoes on Friday and go to my first PT appointment on Wednesday. Super excited!

    Keep up the good work.


  2. Sounds like you are progressing nicely, BM. And it is like reading my timeline. I am 13 wks post op for full ATR tomorrow, in 2 shoes for 3 weeks. Tendon and front of ankle still a bit tight but small improvements every couple of days with the PT. I am going to athletico in niles, IL (see you’re in the Chi-town area), they have an AlterG there but I’m not on it just yet, need a bit more calf strength. I ice every night for swelling as well, but again, every couple days it gets better. You may want to ditch the boot if you can, your gait should come back quicker. But of course, do what your body tells you. Good luck! I’m sure you will hear from n-o-t-n or janis shortly :)

  3. Thanks Viki congrats to you as well with your progress!
    rdola I am at Athletico in Oakbrook Terrace Id like to hear how you like the AlterG when you get to that point. Thanks for the advice thats what I really wanted to hear about my part time boot wearing! If anything the nice weather today will ensure there is no ice patches or snow to deal with I think I will carry my walking boot to the car after work!

  4. The progress comes pretty fast where you’re at, at least it did for me. I just noticed today that I’m not really having any of the pains I’d been complaining about along the sides of my heel - tightness is my main calf and achilles complaint these days. (about 16 weeks out)

  5. I had no idea what the Alter G Treadmill was so I Googled it. What a fantastic looking device! I especially like the pants you put on before you climb aboard. I doubt my PT office will have something that fancy. I will let you know if they do.


  6. Not much to add.

    As you know, all the modern protocols (op and non-op) wean off the boot well before 12 weeks. If you’ve got a hinged boot, and it’s free to hinge, I don’t think it’s holding back your progress very much.

    In 2 shoes or barefoot, you can still get a full-length stride on one side, even if you have to shorten it up on the other. That asymmetry is harmless and useful, AFAICT.

    Have you noticed any scar-tissue adhesions? I.e., do you notice your skin moving or puckering when you flex your ankle to its limits? If so, point them out to your PT and challenge him/her to break them up, because they’ll limit your ROM.

  7. My PT has pointed out the adhesions and really works on them for me during therapy, I am meeting with my OS today for the 12 week follow up and racking my brain for any questions for him, I am mainly going to ask about pushing my rehab and warning signs to look out for. I also noticed my ATR leg is quite a few shades darker (almost purpleish) than my other leg some of the time and not sure why the circulation is so poor, want to be sure its nothing serious.

    I am going to travel in the next week and am worried about the airport and walking/standing in line forever as it is always busy at OHARE, wondering if I should just use the walking boot to avoid potential issues…any experience there???

  8. Many of us experienced asymmetrical leg colors. I think mine started BEFORE my ATR, and I’m not symmetrical now either, after rupturing BOTH of them! So I choose to believe that this is a trivial, normal, and harmless thing, though based on not much other than (a) that experience and (b) the fact that any MD I’ve mentioned it to responds by saying “Next!” (I.e., next item on my list of concerns.)

    If the boot helps with your discomfort from standing or walking too long, you could certainly wear it. I don’t think my boot helped much with that, so I might take a folding camp stool in a backpack, and sit down on it in the long slow lines.

    Alternatively, airports (like hospitals) are comfortable with people in wheelchairs and people who need lifts in their various electric vehicles. I don’t know if they have loaner wheelchairs like hospitals do, but a phone call should answer that question.

    Don’t forget that long flights AND ATRs (esp. op) are BOTH risk factors for DVT, so drink water and stand and walk during the flight.

  9. My leg sounds like yours in the color department. In fact, I snapped a picture of it this morning to show my PT.

    Good luck in the airport and safe travels.

  10. Met with the OS last night and given the all clear on pretty much everything based on pain tolerance and no fear of rerupture by regular activity (no basketball!). Said the tendon feels great!
    I was surprised to hear that, as he has been on the conservative side, but it gave me the confidence and must have broken the mental block I had. I’m no longer limping without the boot and taking longer strides today so I shoveled snow in 2 snow boots this morning. I don’t think I will use it at the airport or from now on. Amazing how the mental aspect plays such a big role.
    Also said the discoloration is normal as it will still swell for another 6 months or so with use.
    My PT attended the appointment with me with the OS to give the update in person, I really thought that was pretty incredible to have them discuss the progress made and PT moving forward. Looking forward to PT tonight to try the new exercises.

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