Posted by: brendan | September 1, 2008

6 Months - 1/2 way home

Hey all…hard to believe I just wrote that title to this post.   Time flies when you’re having fun :)   I’ve been keeping up with most everyone’s posts…although I did just read about Fordtough’s bilateral experience…and wow..I think that takes the cake.   I was so fearful of rupturing my good AT hobbling around on crutches for those first 8 weeks, but in hindsight, I would have gotten through it.  

On to the status report.   The limp is pretty much gone, phew..that just seemed to not go away.   Reminded me of those mosquitoes at Boy Scout camp buzzing around outside my bug netting at night.   The ankle feels extremely solid in shoes, and better and better in bare feet.   I took my first big mis-step in recovery about a week ago.  Was not looking were I was walking and stepped up on to a curb and the heel dropped to the ground, full weight on the repaired AT.   My heart dropped…but she held solid.   I’ve been visualizing the repair site inside, and I’m pretty convinced that by now, it’s solid in there.  I’ve actually been treating the first  6 months as time to let it heal.   I’ve been doing very little strength training over the past month, just stretching and walking.   I ride my bike daily with daughter in tow on the trail-a-bike…it’s a 10 mile commute round trip.  

This morning, I put the clipless pedals back on the bike.   I took a ride for the first time on the route that I rode a few days before tearing back in February.  There are two good hills that put me to the test when I’m 100%.   I almost bonked on the first hill (more due to a few too many beers this Labor Day weekend), but managed to grind through it and was so damn proud of myself at the top…I also gave a quiet shoot out to my surgeon and my PT.   The second hill is shorter, but steeper….I started up it behind another guy.   I keep it out of the granny gear and really pushed hard with my recovering leg….I cruised past the other biker.   The AT felt good and altough winded at the top, I could do nothing but smile.   Of course I got passed easily on the downhill by the same guy..but I’m a brake rider when it comes to the downhill…always enjoyed climbing more.   Sooo..long story short, biking is good…and getting better.   I’m going to keep the slicks on and stay on the road through the fall/winter.   I’ll hit the trails again next spring.

So now it is on the strength training.   I just recently got started, lots of calf raises (eccentric) and balancing.   I never was a big runner, but hope to do a little of that as well.   I actually am teaching my 3 year old daughter to ride her bike w/out training wheels and that’s a lot of running while bending over.  The AT feels good through that.  

The only thing that bugs me is when I’m doing a heel raise and at the very top of the raise, the AT feels like it’s bunching up at the bottom, towards where it connects to the heel.  Other than that, my range of motion is close to 100%.   I’ve been doing weight bearing stretches for quite some time, and will continue on with that.   I can hit one, maybe two, single heel raises, but that’s it.   I do them with assistance now regularly, so we’ll see how that pays off this next month.  

Here’s a pic:

Just a slight improvement in size and definition of the calf from the last month.   We’ll see how this next month goes with the increased strength training.   I’m really pleased with the profile of the AT though…I assumed it was going to be super fat for the rest of my life, and although a little bigger than the good one, it’s much better than I would have expected.  

Here’s the scar:

One legged calf raise (that’s as far as I can get off the ground):

Well, until next month, keep up the good work all!   I’m excited to see how many folks are taking advantage of this community that Dennis has created.  





Glad to see you. Congrats on the recovery, you’re looking great and the grass is green in CO. Leg looks great. Looks like we’ll be fine in the long run. I’ll post my 6 month this week. your right time flies.
Enjoy and Have fun

Doc Ross

Brendan - Congrats on the 6 month mark! Sounds like everything is going well which is great news. All the patience is paying off. Keep up the good work and you’ll be more than ready to tear up the single tracks next spring.

Brendan - Congrats on the 6-month mark. Looks like you are doing very well. Your scar healed so well that you can barely tell that you even had surgery. ;)
We’ve really come a long way..

Thanks for the pictures, and looking forward to reading your update next month. Enjoy the fall weather.

Congrats on the 6 month mark. It seems that your life is getting ever closer to the pre ATR ways. Best of luck in continuing the healing process.

Brendan, Six months! (We had surgery the same day)

Scar looks great. Mine is much uglier, but I think after another six months, they will probably look the same. No pain, swelling almost gone. I have a ball of scar tissue, but that is shrinking. My gait and body mechanics are improving. I thought for a few months my limp was gone, but I was cheating by shifting my hips. Difficult to describe, but I did a little butt wiggle to the good side. My back has been paying the price for the change the last week. I have been hiking and biking, but I still don’t feel like I can run, I’m still to uneven. Last I looked, I’m the 6th pic here:

Almost have the heel lift, I need to help with about 10-20 pounds. If I’m past 90 deg though, like heel off a curb, I can heel lift up to level, and then it stops. I’ve ALMOST gone a whole day without thinking about my leg! I think the big difference is I’m not looking for change every few minutes, but rather am just thankful and surprised when it happens. More than a few ‘Folly Packs’ helped me through the process too! I don’t have a blog, but here are a few pics…sorry kinda huge.
The Scar
Hiking Great Basin National Park (what a dork)

Take care all


Hey Doc, Dennis, Tom, and Craig - thanks for the congrats…it definitely feels good to be on the path to full recovery!

Jim - thanks for the links to the pics. You’ve been busier than I have for sure. Glad you are enjoying the Folly Packs…I worked on the team that launched those…everyone is mixed and handpacked by a team of 15 folks. On the heel lifts, I just got on a curb and tried them, and I’m with you, I get to 90 degrees and it just stops. I’ll keep working that a little in the next month and see how it progresses. Cheers!

I’m waiting for the ATR Ale. It would be high alcohol content of course, bitter, strong, somewhat unbalnced, and aged at least 6 months.

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