7 Weeks Post-Op: Thankful for Good PT!

This week marked 7 weeks since my surgery and the difference between today and a week ago is astounding to me! Last weekend, I was in the boot, on two crutches, PWB, no driving, no walking. In the past 7 days, I’ve ditched the crutches completely, gotten clearance to drive again (yippee!), taken several steps on my own two feet (without the boot or crutches!), and gone FWB full-time. I feel so much more independent and functional. When I am out and about my surgeon wants me to keep the boot for a bit longer, but he gave me medical clearance to drive so that was huge. (I just remove the boot while driving.) A week ago I was also still crawling up the stairs on my hands and knees (I am lame - never mastered going up the stairs on crutches!), but now I am walking up the stairs on my own power.

I started physical therapy three weeks ago (going twice a week) and that has made such a huge difference. Each session is about 90 minutes, starting with massage, manipulation of the tendon to increase ROM, ultrasound of the incision, stationary bike (without boot), stretching and weight bearing exercises, and then icing. Each session I am able to do more - my ROM increases, I am able to put more weight on the leg, my RPM on the bike increases, etc.

I was fortunate that my daughter and my husband had already undergone physical therapy for other injuries so we were familiar with this PT practice and I knew that was where I wanted to rehab. In fact, I called them the day of the injury and my therapist has been advising me from the beginning. He is very focused on getting me back to my previous activity level (running competitively, doing high intensity classes at my gym, hiking, etc.), which is obviously exactly what I want.

My therapist did advise me to ice my leg several times a day for the next few days. The increase in weight bearing and the walking have definitely increased the swelling and the soreness. Icing makes a huge difference. The first 15 minutes in the morning are also a challenge - so stiff. I try to take it very slowing, though, and things eventually loosen up.

My next big hurdle is a trip I have planned for ten days from now - flying with my two kids from California to the midwest and then driving 3 hours to two separate family reunions. I feel confident I can handle the traveling and the trip itself - the only thing I am worried about is the driving. At this point, I’m not sure I will be to handle that much driving. Yesterday I realized that driving with the injured foot is basically like doing constant stretching exercises - fine for 15 minutes but tiring after a while. There is no way I could drive for 3 hours right now. We’ll see how it feels in another week. Whether to make the trip or not will definitely be a game day decision.

11 Responses to “7 Weeks Post-Op: Thankful for Good PT!”

  1. Yay! Congrats on your healing. So I took your suggestion about the rolling chair. I got my cast yesterday and hate it already, but not more than I hate crutches. The only rolling chair I have is a ball chair. The wheels on that chair are weak at best, and I went rolling off. But I do rest my foot on the ball which feels like a strength work out.

    My doctor doesn’t think I’ll need PT, so I’m rather jealous. Your description of the tendon massage perked my ears up.

    Keep up the great work. Happy Healing! xx

  2. I can not wait to be 7 weeks post op and driving! The rest of my family might leave me for 36 hours and I told them they have to leave me plenty of food as I can NOT get out! And oh how I want massage and PT!!! I hate not being able to do much to get this recovery on the road - passive rest sucks! Happy healing!

  3. Superjewgirl - So glad the office chair is helping a little! I honestly think I will have to replace mine - those wheels are definitely not made for the kind of mileage I have put on them in the past few weeks!

    I will tell you the best part about PT is the CALF massage - I had a cast for 3 weeks and then when I got the boot my calf muscles were killing me. Kind of a half cramp/half straight-up pain… It was probably the worst part of my recovery. So my first couple PT sessions were focused on massaging that calf muscle and getting it to wake up and fire normally again. That was priceless, in my opinion. Made a huge difference! It was super painful but yet good too. Hopefully going non-surgical you will not experience that whole calf muscle situation.

    Enjoy your chair! And happy healing to you too.

  4. Lodinpdx - it is a weird feeling to be a prisoner in your own home, isn’t it??? Hang in there. I felt like the day I could drive again would never come… And yes - massage and PT is phenomenal. No matter how frustrated I feel at the beginning of the day, I always feel better when I leave PT - like I am finally making progress and actively working toward recovery. It will come!

  5. Ooohhhh Thanks. I was wondering what the worst part of this would be, so thanks for the heads up. I’m beginning to think it gets worse before it gets better. I am pretty active, but you are way more active than me, so I’m wondering why my doc doesn’t think I’ll need PT. A painful massage makes my mouth water. I will follow up with my doc.

    I also am 3 weeks in a cast. I have regular crutches and forearm crutches and they both suck. If eating means using my crutches, then I will go hungry.

    lodinpdx - your comment made me giggle about having something to eat.

    I didn’t ask even how long i won’t be driving, Sigh.

    Keep up the good work. Good luck traveling in the midwest. Keep us posted. xx

  6. IA chair on wheel would have been great. I had a scooter but it kind of hurt my foot dangling off the end. and all. I would make sure everyone got me everything I could need before they left the house but one mooring I had to get my own breakfast. It was exhausting! Now I am FWB and oh how nice it is to be able to easily get my own water. Its the little things!

  7. Good recovery calimama

  8. Iodinpdx - that made me laugh. I got confidence from somewhere I don’t know and went to get my mail. By the time I got back, I was dripping with sweat. Sigh. You are exactly right, it’s the little things. Happy healing.

  9. I was feeling like I was walking pretty well so I went to the grocery. I went ALL the way to the back of the store for chicken. Had to take a little nap when I got home!

  10. Great exchange, folks! :-) nice progress, mama! I always found shopping THE most exhausting. I kept thinking the cart would help, but I ALWAYS needed a nap!

  11. I know I thought the cart would act like some sort of walker but not so much!! AND everyone gives you that look as you slowly hobble past!

    Yesterday we went to dinner (yes I made it to dinner!). I kind of had to go to the bathroom but it was way to far away. Then we went to Sports Authority to find a bit tall tube sock (as my boot is killing me! ) It was right next door but I still made my son drive me - I would say we parked about 12 spots away! Once in the store I sat down and waited while my husband found me socks- that store is HUGE!

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