Physical Therapy - Exercises

March 4, 2014 | |

Hi everyone,

I’m about a week from my 4 month post-op anniversary, but in the interim, thought I’d share my progression in physical therapy and exercises for your info and for comparisons between treatments.

First, good news: I visited my OS for a check up last week, and he was pleasantly surprised by my progress!  Both he and my PT noted that my ROM is better than an average non-ATR person, and strength and agility are coming back. We’re all agreed that I’ll start jogging weeks ahead of schedule, perhaps as early as this week or next.  AND, I can do single-leg heel raises!!  Of course, I can only get about two inches off the ground at this point, but hey, it’s something!

Second, I also want to publicly praise my PT Brian Kelly at Professional Sports Care & Rehab in Downtown Washington, DC. I’ve been very impressed by his professionalism, demeanor, and care. Thanks Brian!

Now, onto the sweat-fest:

1. Warm up with 6 mins on the bike at level 10 (this has gotten really easy; I can bike 30 mins at level 15 on my own now, and am riding up to about 5-7 miles around town every second or third day … when it’s not snowing).

2. Stretch: 3×30 seconds gastroc, soleus, and pro stretch

3. Active warm up: 2 laps each of buttkickers, side-steps, and kareoke

4. Heel raises: 3 x 1 minute on the trampoline; 3 x 15 staggered two-leg heel raises with 20 lb. weights; 1 x 10 single-leg heel raise

5. Strength: 2 laps walking lunges with 20 lb weights; 3 x 15 squats on fitter board; 3 x 10 single leg pistol squats (mini, I can’t get all the way down yet); theraband drills - 2 laps each of side step, monster walks, and squatting side step (two blue bands, one above the knees, one above the ankles).

6. Stability: 2 x 1 minute single-leg balance on fitter board (both ways); 2 x 30 reps throwing ball against raised trampoline while balancing on a really squishy ball that’s really hard to balance on even with the good leg!

7. Agility: ladder drills — 3 laps each of step-in-step-outs, football plant-and-cuts, 4-steps-per-square, and jump-out-on-both-land-on-the-bad-ones (I haven’t a clue what these are actually called); shuttle runs 10 laps.

8. AT massage and 10 mins of ice.

We can cram a lot into an hour! We don’t always do all of these, but this is what 2 sessions per week looks like now.  I gotta say, I’m really enjoying it.  Lots of cool rehabbers and PTs alike in that place, and it’s a real workout (at least for a post-op out-of-shape guy like me, haha).

I hope your own recoveries are going well! It’s inspiring to read your stories, and truly helps keep me motivated to keep going and keep working toward the goal!





6 Comments so far

  1. sittinginthestands on March 7, 2014 4:47 PM

    C2C - Congrats on phenomenal progress! keep up the hard work. I just celebrated 14 weeks and am trying to get rid of the very last bit of a small limp caused by tightness when I push off toes with each stride. Cheers to continued progress!

  2. janis on March 8, 2014 8:27 AM

    Sounds like a good program!

    Sittinginthestands, I’m about a week ahead of you and I’m still dealing with the tightening up limp too. It’s hard to explain to people I’m limping, yes, but in no pain - especially compared to before!

  3. terencemc on March 10, 2014 8:59 AM

    I start PT this week. Anything you can share about how it started for you? What kinds of things will they start me off with?

  4. Coast2Coast on March 21, 2014 10:16 AM

    @sits — thanks! congrats on getting past the limp stage!

    @janis — I’ve been very impressed by my PT’s combo of cardio, agility, strength, and stability exercises and pushing me but not too hard. don’t worry, the limp will go away, and you will LOVE that day!

    @terencemc — congrats on starting PT! the best advice i can give, especially if you’re an athlete, is to be patient with yourself and expect to be slow and weak for the first several sessions. my first session went like this: stretch for a few minutes (felt super weird, even though i’m a stretching machine in normal life), do a few balancing exercises (and feel super unstable and weak), then some measurements and some weighted leg lifts to help my other (non-calf) muscles remember what they’re supposed to do. then gradually progress to walking, lunging, fitter board balancing, etc. good luck and let me know how it goes!!

  5. JB3 on March 21, 2014 10:25 AM

    Just sharing my story.

    I had surgery 12/11/13 so I am almost 3.5 months. I ran a mile (FWB) on the treadmill this week at 10:00 min pace (was at 7min pace before injury) so I have a long way to go but am very pleased.

    I was in a cast for 2 weeks, then a boot until 7/8 weeks. Started 2 shoes and FWB around 8/9 weeks. I can do one leg heel raises but don’t get too high. I can definitely feel my strength coming back because I am using my toes/balls of feet to go up stairs now instead of a full flat foot.

    The progression from 4-8 weeks was very quick as far noticeable improvements. I felt like weeks 8 and 9 were slow. But 10-13 weeks has been very noticeable improvement in strength and stability.

    I still have moderate swelling every day but no real pain unless I push too hard and then I will dial it back for a day.

    Hope this progression gives people an idea of what to expect.

  6. coast2coast on March 21, 2014 11:09 AM

    @jb3 - Thanks for sharing your story. You had surgery exactly one month after me. Congrats on your mile! Feels great, doesn’t it! I would train at an 8 min mile (7.5 mph) and my 5k mile was about 6:30 before ATR, but that first 10-min mile post-op felt like a PR. I guess it kind of is, in a manner of speaking. Looking forward to reading more from you!

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