Posted by: brendan | June 13, 2008

Final PT Appointment

I went to my final PT appt today.   I worked pretty hard for 30 minutes on the shuttle machine and was doing some two leg jumps on it.   The newest batch of exercises consists of balancing on just my injured leg and I have a bungee attached to my good ankle.  The other end of the bungee is afixed to something.   I balance on the bad leg and pull my good leg against the bungee…i rotate my body 90 degrees each time so that I am pulling the bungee in a different direction with my leg.   I have ski poles in hand at first for balance, but ideally after a few reps of this, you can balance on your own.   This is really helping build balance and ankle stability.  

During my US, massage, and ice/stim…my PT mentioned that over the past 19 years, he has seen any where from 2-10 ATR’s a year, and mine was one of the nicest looking at this point of recovery (3.5 months).   That was a super nice comment to hear heading out of there.   Now, it’s up to me to continue the strength training.   Kind of a strange feeling to be out on your own.   I do have one more ortho appt next week..but I think that may be the last too.    I did tell the PT office that I’d be back in with a case of beer once I could dunk again!   Which is even funnier, because I’ve never been able to dunk anything other than a tennis ball and that was back in high school!  (I’m 5′9″).   I am suppose to work it pretty hard and take notice of any tendonitis…if that becomes an issue, the PT said we can work some US, massage, ice/stim to help with that.  

I’ve got no swelling, the limp is close to being gone, and I’m still doing the handrail walk/jump down the stairs as putting the good foot down to the next step still puts too much strain on the tendon.   ROM is almost 100%.   Here’s to thousands of calf/heel raises in the next 3 months!  

Just as a reminder of where I was just a few months ago:

I can remember that day, it was cold/wintery out and I was worried about getting the vegetable garden in for the year…..well, as my dad said, it’s incredible what a handicapped person is capable of:

Started tomatoes inside while I was laid up after surgery.   Got the early season stuff (peas, lettuce, spinach, radishes) etc in by crutching out and laying on the ground.   Potatoes went in during first few days of FWB in the boot.   Transplanted tomotoes/peppers in a shoe.    What a spring!

Happy Heelin’


Congrats, Brendan! I’m sure the feeling of leaving is as-if you were walking away from your office on the last day on the job. A little timid, but also pretty excited.

The garden looks great. Perhaps the ATR has helped your thumb turn another shade of green.

Wow, that’s awesome! Really makes me miss my garden, have moved since. What got me to start my first garden was when I tasted a fresh, home grown tomato. I don’t really care for store bought tomatoes, and have since learned they are picked green and gassed to turn them red. This way they survive the trip to the store. A ripe red tomato does not travel well. Anyway, I reluctantly agreed to try a slice fresh from the garden, amazing. The next year I had 5 different tomato plants in pots in my small apartment. With fresh basil, wow. Looks great.

I got all excited about the tomatoes and forgot to mention I think next week will be my last one at PT. I like the bungee balance exercise and I will have to try it. The one I do is with a 5lb ball. I stand on one foot and bounce this small medicine ball off of a rebounder (a very small trampoline set up at a 45 degree angle against the wall) This makes me constantly shift my weight, both when catching and throwing. At home I stand on one foot and throw a tennis ball against the garage floor/wall. I got on the MTN bike today and CLIPPED IN. That felt really great. Nothing like the stretch you can get when you know your foot won’t slip off.

Dude, the stairs will come. I was halfway down them before I realized I was walking down them normally.

Congrats on “graduating” from physical therapy. :)
By the way great job on the garden;it looks like it’s very well kept. Eating salad at your household must be fantastic.


No slacking off….
You have come a long way so make sure you’re continuing with the exercises.
Amazing how time flies, just yesterday we were feeling pretty crappy and wondering when life would return to normal.

Now go workout.

Doc Ross

Great work brendan. Keep it up. I’m raising a Fat Tire in your honor!

brendan- i am also about 15 wks out. sounds like u are doing vey well. i am limited in my progress since i have a lot of pain in the back of heel ( tendon) when i work on the shuttle, walk and do calf raises. do u have any achilles tendon pain when u do those things? thanks.

Anne - I only have direct pain in my tendon when I try to really push hard to do a one legged heel raise. Otherwise if I work it too hard during the day (too much walking/theraband/too many heel raises), it get’s achey in the heel area, kind of where the tendon attaches to the heel. I then know it’s time for some massage, ice, and rest for a day. After a good nights sleep, it’s good to go the next day. This is a tricky injury at this stage, because we need to push it a little (which usually comes with some pain), but still need to be a little cautious with over exerting. I always listen to my body, and just seem to be in touch with the “good” pain and the “bad” pain. Hope that helps…good luck!

johnskier - i haven’t had a Fat Tire in a while, so I’m having one tonight watching the Rox get beat up by the Mets! How many heel raises you doing a day?

Brendan - my physical therapist told me to make it “burn” and to not come back until I could do single heel raises. So she had me doing exercises on the Pilates reformer in two minute intervals (3 sets - similar to heel raises). That did it!! Wasn’t there a song in the 80’s “burn baby burn”? On one hand you think you’re doing well; on the other, what’s the matter with me I am such a wussy?. Try time rather than reps and go slowly.

Got my road bike fixed so I’m ready to get my ass kicked on the bike too. Take care.

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