3 Weeks Post-OP Update

Hi everyone, today is exactly 21 days post-op for me and things are going as expected. For obvious reasons, I haven’t spent this much time at home in my entire life. But I remember working 60 hours a week and wanting little more than a full day spent at home so I’m taking it in stride. Always good (hard) to keep perspective.

First two weeks, I elevated 23 out of 24 hours a day. The other hour was spent using the restroom, showering and scooting around for food. Reading through a lot of the experiences on here, I realized I am lucky to live on a first floor apartment with no stairs, and hardwood throughout so I can ’scooter’ around easily.

This past week (week 3) I began ROM exercises with the boot off about 5 times a day, as well as working on the rest of my body to stay somewhat activated and loose - stretching, multi-directional leg lifts, isometrics, etc. Still elevating and icing about 18-20 hours a day.

I think at this point I will begin reducing my elevating hours and increasing my mobility. This week I plan on crutching around my complex everyday for the sake of a workout. I will also hit the gym every so often to work on upper body and core strength and flexibility. Whatever I can do either on the floor or the stationary machines.

At the week 4 mark, I will be able to start swimming. My wound is healing very well so far and I can swim in the vacoped boot (have an extra liner to change and wash). In no circumstance am I going to remove the boot, especially around the pool. The dangers seem obvious. I am lucky in tate I have multiple swimming pools in my complex and one indoor that isn’t warm, but surely not as cold as the outdoor pools. I will be taking advantage of this for sure.

Also have a gym in my complex with a seated recumbent bike and multiple spin bikes. When did you all begin biking and how so? I have read a lot of people using the spin bikes quite early? Leaving my doc an email to ask but usually takes 2-3 days to hear back.

I begin PT on January 23rd, which would be 4.5 weeks after my surgery. I am happy about that as my surgeon said he usually doesn’t send patients for PT until week 7 or 8, but he’d refer me sooner since I wanted that. I know early manual therapy, scar tissue mobilization, and other therapy techniques will be very beneficial to me. PT is still a concern for me because I have Kaiser insurance. From my understanding, I won’t be getting a dedicated therapist to guide me through the whole process and manage my progress, but rather I will go in and work with whoever is there that day. Seems like a terrible plan to me, how are we supposed to come up with a game plan, get to know the patient, monitor progress, etc?

So, I am going to have to pony up out of pocket for a good sports PT. I know a group in town that works with professionally athletes from all sports, I am going to book a consultation this coming week. I know PT is critical, and I don’t want to be treated like any random patient when my goal is to get back as close to my pre-injury levels as possible, whatever that may be. Will keep you all posted on this.

In my younger days up until about 22 years old I had chipped bone on the medial malleolus multiple times and srained the ankle multiple times. After an incredible therapist fixed my imbalances I stopped injury the ankle and had not hurt it again in 8 years, including playing full seasons professionally overseas. Well, now that my ankle is immobile in this boot most of the day, I am feeling my ankle joint aching quite a bit. Classic “arthritis” feel. i expected this, no concerned, but a bit painful. Had a couple days where I had the boot off for an hour 3 or 4 times those days because the ache was just too much..

Only other concern I have is my sore calf. the entire calf from the back of my knee down through the Achilles is pretty sore. It is not terrible, but I can squeeze lightly an portion of the atrophied calf and it is sore. The Thompson test wouldn’t make me scream, but I would say ouch. The soreness has been there since about 3 days after surgery. I am going to begin PWB today so we’ll see how it reacts. Anyone have experience with this kind of soreness?

As tough and slow as this has been, I remember waiting for surgery and researching the time frames for recovery, and to think I am already into the fourth week is promising. Time doesn’t wait for anything, so it too will pass, that much I have learned.

Hope to hear from you guys about the calf soreness and any feedback you have. Talk soon.


One Response to “3 Weeks Post-OP Update”

  1. Good luck on the recovery Paul! I’m also with Kaiser and I have the same PT person for every visit. I’m in San Diego. I even used the same PT person for both feet - 1.5 years apart. If you want to go to the same PT person ask them if you can. You have to advocate for yourself at Kaiser (well actually you have to do that with any medical group) but if you’re pushy enough you can generally get what you want. I started using the rowing machine (1 footed) at the 4 week mark which was when I could stop elevating 90% of the time. I don’t recall any calf soreness but I had bone spur surgery.

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