July 22, 2015 - 9 weeks post-op update - Flying and Driving!

July 22, 2015

Today marks 9 weeks to the day since my ATR surgery. In my last post I wrote about my outing to the ball game in shoes (boots) over the weekend. The following day I had a great PT session, working on standing calf raises and gait normalization, then yesterday my wife and I flew from Washington DC to LA. I wore my Aircast boot and had no problem at the airport, went right through “TSA Pre” without any extra scrutiny, and had no problem boarding. We sat in first class so I had enough leg room, and I took my Aircast off and replaced it with a comfortable street shoe with a heel lift as soon as I was seated. It worked out fine, I used two shoes to walk from my seat to the lavatory. A couple of hours in to the 5+ hour flight I put my vaso-pumps on my calves and let them run ¬†for about 90 minutes, a hedge against blood clots. When we landed I put the Aircast back on.

At LAX we picked up our bags and took the shuttle to the car rental place. I am an LA native and learned to drive here, my wife is a little nervous about jumping on to the LA freeways, so I took off my Aircast, put on my tactical boots (see previous post) fired up the rental car and jumped on to the San Diego Freeway at rush hour. I had not driven in about 2.5 months, but I had absolutely no problem. No pain, no issues whatsoever. My heel just rests on the floor of the car and I plantarflex to operate the throttle and brake. Piece of cake! I am so happy to be driving again!

When we got to our destination in LA my ankle felt fine but it was swollen from the flying and driving, and I iced it down. I had not had any swelling in weeks but all those hours with the leg down on the ground took their toll. The swelling went away after icing and I didn’t even need to take a Motrin or Tylenol.

Today, celebrating my 9 week anniversary, I got up early and went to the gym. I went in two shoes - I picked up a pair of Hoka One trail running high-tops to give me support in the gym and they worked great. I rode the exercise bike for 45 minutes, then I did most of my PT exercises including one leg balancing, step ups, basic proprioception, and 2-legged calf raises. I recommend these great shoes for transition workout shoes. I put a 1cm heel lift in the heel of the right shoe.

That’s where I am at week 9. I feel like I am making great progress now and getting my old life back!


Sore from working out - at last!

July 4, 2015

So I am at 6.5 weeks post-surgery on an aggressive protocol. I recently added new exercises at PT prefatory to getting back in to two shoes, which should be in about a week and a half. Since yesterday was a holiday Friday and my wife had yoga class at our gym, I hitched a ride with her and did a workout based on my PT, here is what I did (all with boot on):

Exercise bike: 40 minutes level 3 80 RPM
Leg lifts - 20 with each leg in all four planes of motion (boot on)
standing balance with 8# ball - 30 seconds on each leg
Leg presses - 2 sets of 10 with the bar and 2 10 pound weights
Squats “sit to stand” - 2 sets of 10
Step ups - 10 with each leg.

In the evening I took the Metro train into Washington DC for dinner with my boys so I walked about 4 blocks FWB with no crutch or cane.

Well, this morning I am sore, but “good sore” - both glutes and hips really feel the work I put in yesterday, which is great. I am looking forward to continuing with PT and with these workouts on my own! Can’t wait for the boot to come off so I can do even more. OS said strengthening with my legs and feet pushing away from my body is what I need to concentrate on.

Oh - also last week at PT, with the consent of my therapist, I had my wife come in while they were doing “scar tissue mobilization” massage and she learned how to do it, so now I am taking the boot off once a day for her to give me a massage and rub vitamin E on my scar. I also still take the boot off once or twice a day to use the vaso pumps (still a chance of blood clots until I am out of the boot) and I also take it off to shower, and to walk between the bathroom and my bedroom (very carefully!) after I shower and before I dress.