Today marks 13 weeks from my injury, and it’s time to start talking in months instead of weeks…figure that’s a milestone in itself!
I can honestly say “Where’s my boot?” now, and not have a solid answer…I’ve got some leads, but wouldn’t bet on any of them being right! I can remember this feeling with my crutches about 5 weeks ago too….although they are both strategically placed in the house in different locations so that I can see them every day as a reminder of where I have come in the past few months…which is a long way! They also remind me to continue to go slow in my rehab, because I don’t want to be back on those things anytime soon.
So been in two shoes all day for the past three days…I may put the boot on to mow the lawn this coming week, but other than that, I think I’m done with it. Walking is getting better by the day, still a noticeable limp, but no real pain. I just have to limp with my leg gets to the point when I feel the tendon get tight and I can not get up on to the ball of my foot. Going upstairs is fine, coming down is still a bit awkward, but I’m getting the hang of rolling my toes off the front of the tread so as to not put excess strain on the AT. I messed around with some different shoes, and my hiking boots offer the most support and therefore the least limp, but they are heavy and I tire quickly. Running shoes seem to be the best all-around bet, I limp a little more, but they are light and I think the extra flexing that I do during walking is helping to stretch the AT.
For PT - I’m continuing with Theraband work with dorsiflex active stretching, inversion/eversion, and plantar flex. The strength in these areas has come back very quick. New to the regime is some active stretching…leaning foward with feet flat on the ground until the tendon feels tight and holding for 5 seconds and then rocking back up to neutral. This is done on a slant board at the PT office, and I’m considering building one as it looks pretty easy (piece of plywood, 2 x 4, and some grip tape). I’m also working the calf muscle eccentrically. This is done by holding on to a rail/support, getting up onto toes on both feet, transferring as much weight the bad leg as possible and slowly returning the heel to the ground over the course of 5 seconds, trying to isolate the calf as much as possible. This was a bit of a strain on the tendon at first which was uncomfortable, but after some practice, I have learned how to isolate the calf muscle and avoid the tendon pain. Here is a pic showing the difference in calf size…not to bad:
I’m riding the stationary bike and just put some slicks on my mountain bike so that I can start getting around town a little easier. I also ditched the clip-in pedals and lowered the seat so that my heel can touch the ground in case of a quick stop. I’ve taken my daughter to day care via bike trailer and rode to work every day for the past few years, so having to drive for the past few months has been a big change, and I’m looking forward to getting back to the bike commute.
At the PT office, I’m continuing with Ultrasound, Cold-Laser, and Ice/E-stim as well. I massage the AT religiously a few times a day…starting to work much deeper now around the back of the AT. Still get some small “cracklies” which are minor adhesions, but nothing serious. The AT is sliding nicely in the sheath. Here’s a closer shot of the AT…starting to see some better shape in the heel.
All in all, I’m super excited about where I am at…definitely on a slower than average track…but as I’ve mentioned before, I think one of the most important things that I learned in this process is to embrace your recovery protocol (whatever that may be) and it makes the healing seem to be more effective.
One other thing to note is that my injured leg is still consistently more red than my good leg. I’m chalking that up to continued increased blood supply to the injured side as my body tries to heal itself more…but any other feedback would be appreciated.
Keep up the good work everyone…lot’s of positive energy on this site. Thanks!