8 weeks post-op: two shoes, heel, toe, push

I had visit #2 with my PT yesterday. My dorsiflexion stretch had gone from zero to 2/3 of the stretch of the good leg in one week, apparently this has happened too fast and I am not to stretch for the next little while. I am to start strengthening my calf muscle instead. This runs contrary to my instructions last week, but I’ll just go with the flow, I think PT is more of an art than a science. I also had a good 15 minutes with the placebo machine, the thing they hook you up to that zaps your leg with electricity so the PT can handle multiple patients in parallel, a marvel of modern capitalism.

The PT told me I had to start pushing off with my toe on my injured foot when I walk, and I have been doing that the last two days with some success.   I have to consciously think ‘heel, toe, push’ to myself as I retrain my brain to use my injured foot properly. The strength of my calf is very poor, which makes the ‘push’ part a bit of a challenge, but will hopefully improve quickly with walking based on the many blogs I have read on this website.  When I add the two weeks between my injury and surgery to the 8 weeks post-op I realize I haven’t used my calf at all for 10 weeks, so I probably shouldn’t be surprised at its minimal strength.

My leg was still a bit too swollen for my PT’s liking so she sent me off to the store to purchase a compression sock, just the minimal 8-15 pounds rating. It felt really good when I first slipped it on, I was a bit skeptical but am now a convert. The PT told me to wear it all day, and remove it overnight. The sock has really helped reduce swelling.  My wife insists that as long as I am wearing only one compression sock when my shorts are on I don’t look like a total goofball.

I’ve only put on the boot a couple of times in the last few days, once to finally get the winter tires off of my vehicle and once to fertilize the grass, otherwise I’d say I’m officially ‘two shoes’ at 8 weeks.
I had a short 15 minute session on a stationary bike yesterday after PT with low resistance, I’m not much of a cyclist but I’m determined to get this into a routine, it is time to switch the arm cycle to a spin bike. Other acceptable options at this stage of my rehab for cardio are deep water running, swimming, and the elliptical.  I have yet to see anyone sweat on an elliptical machine, can anyone out there dispute my observation?  I sink like a stone in the swimming pool and as a rule don’t like to get wet unless I’m in the shower.  I think the bike and lots of walking is the way to go in my case, until that coveted day when I get the clearance to go for my first jog.  :-)

3 Responses to “8 weeks post-op: two shoes, heel, toe, push”

  1. Sounds like you’re making great progress. Congrats, and be safe.

  2. I like your description of the placebo machine! That plus a heat pack is all I get when I go to PT!

    I find I am getting a reasonable cardio workout on the bike now, although I am still using it with the boot.

    It sounds like you are doing well being in 2 shoes at 8 weeks.

  3. I totally relate with trying to get into some sort of exercise routine. The deep water running would be a great option for me, however, my incision is not fully closed so the doc won’t clear me for that yet. I have been riding a recumbent bike at PT, but not long enough or with any resistance so I don’t break a sweat at all. My PT said no elliptical yet (I am at 13 weeks tomorrow). I am not fond of the elliptical anyway but since we have one it would have been a great option, if allowed. To answer your question regarding breaking a sweat on the elliptical, my hubby uses it daily and although I have no clue what setting he uses, he gets extremely sweaty and loves the cardio workout he gets from it. My cardio routine prior to this most wonderful injury was Zumba 5-6 days/week and Body Pump 3x/week for strength training. My OS informed me I won’t be able to return to Zumba for at least a year post-op, which absolutely crushed me when I heard this. It is my “drug of choice”, lol. I am hoping to be able to prove him wrong but until then I guess I am with you, walking, exercise bike and hopefully swimming once my stubborn incision heals. Good luck as you continue on this long journey.

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