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.

4 Comments so far

  1. materialism1 on April 5th, 2009

    I came out of my boot last Monday and am wearing a brace off and on. I hurt on the side of my heel when I saw the doctor on Friday so he injected me with corizone. I still hurt but maybe not as much, but my ankle feels weak. I tried riding my bike just around the neighborhood today, but I don’t think that I’m ready quite yet. I did clip in, though. I am so sick of a stationary bike that I thought why not bike outside on flat land. It’s not quite the same. Yes, I am still swelling.

    Irene

  2. Doug on April 5th, 2009

    There are three primary reasons for that limp that seems to take forever to go away.

    If your ankle’s range of motion is limited, you can’t bring your knee over your “bad” foot’s toes while bringing your “good” foot forward. When that bad ankle is flexible enough, your left and right steps will be of equal length. In other words, the stride when the good foot goes forward won’t be shorter than the stride when your bad foot goes forward. To check if your steps are even, watch your step lengths when walking across something with evenly spaced lines, like a tile floor or a sidewalk. Of course, the “cure” here is to get that ankle more flexible by stretching the tendon.

    More common, and taking longer to “cure,” is the weakened calf muscle. Normally, as one leg strides through, your weight shifts off the heel and onto the ball of your other foot, and that calf muscle, just for a moment, is holding up your entire body weight. This happens with every step of ordinary walking, without our thinking about it. If you can’t yet hold your body weight up with your calf, however, your “bad” heel has to stay on the ground until the other heel hits the ground up front. Once that front foot takes some weight, that back heel can finally come off the ground and come forward. Here, the issue is strengthening that calf.

    The last thing can be “in your head.” After doing that weak-calf walk for weeks, it is easy to slip back into that limping gait. Concentrate on rolling your weight from the heel to the toes of your bad foot while the other foot moves forward. I found that, for me anyway, a very slow run, no faster than walking, helped me get back that feeling of rolling the weight from heel to toe as the other foot comes forward.

  3. Bob on April 6th, 2009

    Thanks for that detailed response Doug. I think what you said about getting the bad heel off the ground is definitely part of my problem. I like the suggestion about the slow run. I broke into a bit of a jog during one of my walks last week and after the third attempt it started to feel a bit more fluid. I will be continuing that. My PT thinks that from walking incorrectly for so long my Gluteus Medius shut down so we are working on getting it to start firing again as well as getting the foot to stop splaying out.
    My bad calf is about 3/4″ smaller than the normal side but it is still quite weak. I must say that when I’m on the bike it almost feels normal so it is getting better.

    Irene- I’m not riding outside yet but I have upped the intensity on the spin bike. Please be careful with the cortisone. It has been known to actually weaken tendons.

  4. iowajim on April 6th, 2009

    I got released from the boot 6 days ago and have noticed swelling around the entire ankle at the end of the day. I am up and down and on my feet alot during the day so I wasn’t super surprised. I have been putting ice pack on it at night. I am getting an elasto-gel hot/cold ankle boot to use. I’ll let everyone know how I like it. It should be better than having to move the ice packs around. I think the swelling is getting a little less every day as walking etc. has helped to strengthen the ankle. The part I hate is the swelling stretches the skin and makes it itch like crazy and is extra sensative. I’d be interested to hear what others have to say.

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