12 Weeks - Bootless at Last!

12 Weeks and Out of the Boot!

I had my 12 week Doc visit last week and at long last was cleared to go bootless full time! It seems like yesterday that I was sleeping in the damn thing. I’ve also been told I can drive a stick again which should make my wife happy since I’ve been driving her automatic for the past month.

I started PT 3 weeks ago and while progress is being made I’m still walking with a limp. Considering I haven’t been walking correctly since last August I suppose it’s something that I should expect. Has anyone noticed how long it has taken them to get back to a normal gait in the recovery process? In any event, I’m back on the bike (indoor for now) and that’s going really well. The past few days I’ve been riding a bit more aggressively which feels good but I’ve got to keep reminding myself that a setback now would be devastating. That being said, I broke into a little jog during my walk today and while it was awkward it felt pretty good I must say. Glimmers of life.

For now my immediate goals are shaking the limp and getting the bike outside. I’m scheduled for my second PRP Treatment this Monday so hopefully that will speed up the recovery process. Hopefully this will be a more enjoyable summer than ‘08 .

Oh one other question - is swelling an issue for anyone else? Seems as I become more active swelling is more pronounced. The Therapist suggested compression socks which I’m wearing as I write this so I’ll see tonight if it makes a difference. I already ice it at least once a day.

9 1/2 weeks - back to work and the Bike

91/2 weeks Back to Work and a first trial spin on the bike. I returned to work about a week ago and it’s gone as well as can be expected. Gimping about in the boot and all. The reality is that I am fortunate that I was able to take the time off from work and focus on my recovery.
I can really feel the improvement now and that presents a new set of challenges. I have to remember to take it slow and not get ahead of myself because the last thing I need now is a setback. I’ve been walking for at least an hour a day. Last night I couldn’t take looking at my spin bike gather dust anymore so I cautiously put on my bike shoes and climbed aboard for a 15 minute ride. Light resistance and moderate cadence but it felt great to be active again. The best part was the achilles felt sturdy and twinge free, I think the P.R.P. injection really helped .Tomorrow I start PT so hopefully I’ll be in 2 shoes in short order.
It feels great to be progressing until I’m passed on the street by someone running along and it brings me back to the harsh reality that I’m still closer to the beginning of my recovery than I am to the end.

8 Weeks Post-Op FWB - Finally!

Well I got the OK to ditch the crutches as long as I stay in the boot. While this is a step in the right direction I realize I’m still closer to the beginning of this journey than I am to the end. It’s a strange mix of emotions - optimism and frustration. I don’t start PT for another 2 weeks but I have to abmit I’ve been doing some flexibility and stretching exercises that I feel have started to recruit the calf muscles and begin to awaken the long dormant fibres. I can actually see the calf working and while I may be imagining it my calf actually seems to have gotten a bit more pronounced from it’s non-existant shape post-cast. It is really starting to fire again.

I do still have some heel pain which my Doc says is to be expected but is nonetheless vexing. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this. I had a tendon transfer so I’m thinking it might be where the tendon was attached but the pain is on the bottom of the heel not the back. I did replace a heel lift in the boot with my orthotic and this seems to be helping somewhat since the boot provided zero arch support.

I had the repaired area treated with a Platelet Rich Plasma injection about 4 days ago and I must say the whole area is feeling a lot more stable when I do take off the boot. I have started standing in the shower for the first time since the operation. I had been really paranoid about rerupture but I think I’m getting past that fear.

I have also been trying to walk for at least an hour a day and yesterday my wife and I were walking for over 2 hours without incident. I must say hills and steps are a bitch but I’m out there so I’ll take it.

Next stop 2 Shoes.

6 Weeks Post Op - PWB

My issues started in August ‘08 as I was doing running drills (plyometrics) and felt a slight twinge in my L Achilles. Didn’t feel like a big deal - no pop or sensation of being wacked in the calf just a slight pull. A few days later I went out for a run and by 3 miles I knew I had a problem. I saw a podiatrist who did not seem overly concerned. Treated it with prolotherapy, no suggestion of a boot just lay off the running for now. I turned to the bike which was not an issue but I continued to limp around for weeks. I noticed a pronounced lump develop at my heel and the red flag went up. The podiatrist sent me for PT and when the therapist took a look at it he said he wouldn’t touch it until I had an MRI.

I knew at that point I need a new doctor. My research took me to a foot and ankle orthopedist at the Hospital for Special Surgery and sure enough the achilles was shot. Thank God I found this guy because the difference in treatment was like night and day. The problem was that since I had been gimping around with this for so long I required a tendon transfer to repair (reconstruct) the tendon.  FHL from the left foot. Surgery on 1/2/09 went well according to the Surgeon and I was home with a cast and crutches by 2 PM the same day. NWB with crutches was problamatic at best so I was using my wife’s walker from her knee replacement episode. In any event I ordered the knee scooter (Turning Leg Caddy) the next day. I don’t think I would have made it without it. That and the bedside bottle for those over night bathroom callsand the drycast for the shower made the situation a lot more pallitable.

2 weeks later 1st Post Op visit. Cast off into the boot and given antibiotics - my guy is hyper vigilant about the infection risk. It was great to get rid of the cast but ,as you well know, being in the boot 24/7 is no bargain. I don’t sit still well so at least with the scooter I can get out and about and feel the wind in my face. I put together an upper body routine so at least I’m as active as possible without violating my doctors guidelines. He seems to be taking a fairly conservative approach to recovery but I put myself in his hands so I’m dancing (not) to his tune. He says his job at this point is to protect me from myself. Dude knows his patient.

2nd Post Op visit - incision is healing well, past the infection risk and PWB portion of recovery begins. I find that walking with 1 crutch gives me enough support - I don’t know if that’s the way it’s supposed to be done but so far so good. I walked once around the block and I felt a real tenderness in the affected heel. I think he must have used a screw to reattach the tendon there but thats really been the first pain I’ve had since before the surgery.

I can’t quite get my mind around the length of time involved in this recovery. I’m still a month away from PT and can’t drive my car (stick) for another 3 months. I can see I will be commendering my wife’s car for the near term.

When I look back the first 6 weeks have gone by quickly but this is getting old fast.