I am pretty sure that I should start my own rehab. What and when did people start Rehab? I am especially interested in when surgery people started with scar massage and what that looks like and when started on exercise bike? Other most helpful Rehab tips? What time did you start that exercise/rehab and are you surg or non-surg?

My background for this query:

At week 4 when i was essentially FWB I was told to get to 0 degrees at week 5, stay in boot that way and come back at week 11. I asked about physio and was told nothing till after 11-12 weeks. That means no scar tissue massage, no biking recommended, no AROM!! Essentially had a student doc look and say "looks good". I tried asking questions but he seemed quite disinterested. Waste of time attending appt.

7 Responses to “Sharing Most Helpful Rehab Tips”

  1. loumar747 Says:

    Hi Bionic,

    I know exactly how you feel. I was in the same boat as my surgeon (and I didn’t have surgery) seemed totally disinterested in any physio so, after reading about others having physio quite early, I went on my own at 8 weeks and I’m really glad I did. It has made an incredible difference. For me the massaging of the scar tissue, while very painful, has helped as have the exercises given. The physio did say how important it was to work on it before it was too late. Balance on the bad leg has also improved dramatically. Hopefully, Norm will read your blog and give his advice. He seems to be our ‘go to man’! Anyway, I would recommend going to a sports physio if you can.

    Good luck!

  2. superjewgrl Says:

    Hiya Bionic! First my follow up doc visit to the weekend nightmare is tomorrow. Thanks for all ur feedback. Based on my last discussion with the doctor he doesn’t think I will need PT. :(.

    As u know I’m in an aircast boot. The doc says whatever I can do I can do but my aircast must be on. I tried the bike yesterday and that is a definite no. I have short legs and I have a major strain. Me no likey. The elliptical was good and I sampled the treadmill at 2 mph. I may try a walk around the block.

    Good luck!

  3. mblair Says:

    Hey bionic, this has been my timeline so far. I’m just finishing week 9.

    Weeks 4-7: band and ROM exercises, lots of walking in the boot, gym for light weight lifting of quad, hip, core (nothing achilles related)

    Weeks 8-9: started PT, which is great–love the massage/ultrasound/scraper stuff to get the blood flowing down there. Also like the one-footed balancing (eyes closed is tough) and the ankle ROM using the rocker boards. But by far the best is the bootless walking/indoor biking–gets the heart rate up and gets the ankle loose.

    We have a family friend who’s an ortho and fixed lots of achilles. He really recommended biking–I guess one reason the achilles takes so long to heal is the lack of blood flow in the region, which the biking helps address.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Stuart Says:

    Bionic - I was a surgical boy and I start PT at 4 weeks. She would massage the tendon and scar every appointment from then and told me to do the same at home. Active ROM is like I have told Anne. With your leg supported you right the ABC’s with your foot, pivoting at the ankle. My doc had me doing that from week 3. I was discouraged from getting to 90 degrees that early but started a transition to 2 shoes from week 6 and full time outside by week 7 with some wedges in my shoe. There are a number of protocols you can read on this site. Norm has a link to a good one. I have a link to the Vaco on my page (Xplora) and there are a few others I am sure. I would also suggest you find yourself a good physio and explain that you have been left to your own devices. Make sure the PT is one that understands early weight bearing and movement and is happy to work with you without the doc. It seems many docs are telling people they do not need physio to rehab for this injury. Personally I say that is a lot of rot. I could not have done it so well without PT. She stopped me from pushing too hard which is my natural instinct and showed me the right way to do things.

  5. lodinpdx Says:

    Hi Bionic!

    I was told at my two week appointment when my stitches were removed I could lightly massage vitamin E oil into my incision. I did not until the little strips came off because I wanted to keep them on as long as possible - it seemed so wide open! I started really gently but now push on it as I rub.

    My cousin told me he was on the bike 9 days post OP - he was young and crazy but he gave me the courage to try at oh 2.5 weeks. It was SLOW at first! By the time I was about where you are I could ride the bike - IN THE BOOT for an hour and could get my cadence up enough to sweat - drip even. I started easing into 2 shoes and PT at 6 weeks. I still rode in the boot for a little while and really only in the last week I have been able to ride long enough without it. I still feel like I can not have too much resistance but every day feel like I can ride a little harder. The bike is great - I always feel better when I get off!

    I sort of understand why a doctor might say to wait until later for PT but I would try to get in much sooner. We are on “vacation” (I say it like that cuz while my family vacays I spend my time in the Athletic Club and the PT office - I might officially be a “Gym rat”) I saw a new guy yesterday - well new to me, he has seen many of our kind. He DUG in there - all in there. He also addressed the tightness in my ankle and my calf (teeny tiny calf that it is!) AAHHH!! He also really worked my foot around and I walked much better on the way out then on the way in. He just might be my new favorite person….SO worth it! I think Stuart summed it up by saying waiting is a lot of rot! :) I LOVE PT and would go every day if I could!

  6. normofthenorth Says:

    And here I am — though I don’t think I’ve much to add. Most people who have PT find it helpful. It also occasionally does harm (through over-doing), but some patients do similar harm on their own. Almost all of the studies with the best results — including UWO, which starts at 2 weeks in, with and without surgery.

    Recent studies have determined that backache patients are happier with their chiropractors than their doctors, and that heart patients who see a naturopath as well as a cardiologist actually have better outcomes. Many doctors believe that the main reason is that patients get a lot more time with those alternative practitioners than they get with their “real” doctors.

    If nothing else actually helps, seeing a health practitioner relatively frequently during ATR rehab is likely to help, both physically and psychologically. And especially so if your doctors are inaccessible or disintereste (as seems to be the case).

    The massage and high-tech gizmos may well help, too, though I don’t think I’ve ever seen solid evidence. Having somebody prescribe specific exercises is nice, though several good successful modern protocols — including bit.ly/UWOProtocol — include a good schedule of exercises for ATR rehab.

    Your ATR Timeline doesn’t mention WHERE you are. Did you intentionally leave that out? UK? NHS?

  7. bionic Says:

    Thank you everyone. Based on my suspicions and your feedback re rehab I pushed and prodded politely with cold call to hospital PT sec, Ortho sec, Ortho nurse and finally the Ortho in that order all in the same half hour or so call.

    Ortho was a real gentleman over the phone. One who I had an appointment with (and one caring for me) but could not make appt. and I have not yet met. He provided the referral on the spot over the phone. I now have my first PT appt. Friday at week 5 instead of week 12. Success!

    This makes a difference as my entitlement and access to PT for the rest of the year is far greater with a referral. I am a fan of good PTs and rehab, even if rehabbing offsite under their direction.

    Norm I mentioned a while back that I left location out to give benefit of doubt and out of respect to surgical team in my city, despite my challenges with lack of communication. I am west coast Canada YVR.

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