20 Week Progress

I am making good progress at 20 weeks and am telling myself to be patient.

I have been working hard in PT and getting more flexibility and strength. I can do double leg heel raises and body weight squats. As my calf gets stronger and able to push, I am starting to get past the stage where I feel like my heel is “stuck” on the ground as I walk. The only mild setback I have had is aggravating an old lower back injury because of all the overcompensating.

I have accepted that I won’t be one of the people who is running and back to athletic activity at 6 months. I think it is the way I have healed and my long immobilization. However, I am content and thankful that I have put the crutches and other hardware away and have moments when I am not thinking about my injury. I am keeping my goal of running the same 5K with my son that I ran in September a week before the injury.

Here is my milestone update
• Injured: 9/13/14
• Surgery: 9/26/14
• Week 1 - 2: NWB (splint - foot at 25% angle
• Week 2 - 8: NWB (fiberglass cast - foot at 5% angle)
• Week 8 - 10: PWB (fiberglass cast - foot neutral). Added about 30 pounds of pressure every 4 days
• Week 10 - 14: FWB (fiberglass cast - foot neutral)
• Week 14 - 16: FWB (boot - one heel wedge)
• Week 15: Started PT
• Week 16: Started wearing 2 shoes indoors in safe environments
• Week 18: Reasonably comfortable with 2 shoes outside; can do a decent seated heel raise
• Week 20: Getting stronger. Able to perform double leg heel raises well; flexibility coming back - can do squats (body weight)

7 Responses to “20 Week Progress”

  1. YAY you! I’m at 14 weeks now, 15 on Thursday. Isn’t it funny how we now mark time by how many weeks post op we are? HA HA.

    I can also do double leg heel raises and full body squats and you are not that much father along than me so we can start to see how things even out…though you had a long NWB phase you are catching up to those of us with faster protocols…in the end, at one year I bet there is little to no difference. At least that’s what the studies say as well as what other bloggers report.

    You didn’t mention walking but I’ll share my new walking tip as walking long distances pain free is one of my current goals:

    I walk 5 mins BACKWARDS on the treadmill at a low speed and then turn around and walk 5 mins FORWARDS. I alternate in 5 min intervals for 30 minutes…at that point due to the still weak calf muscle the tendons start to do too much work and I get a little sore so I stop. I hope to be able to walk longer distances in the future as it is my biggest enjoyment for physical activity.

    Walking backwards helps because you go big toe, heel, big toe, heel. Our injury causes us to push off with our outer foot instead of the big toe, (remember that sideways lurch so many of us talk about when first walking where we put our heel out to the side to push off?) so going backwards helps retrain it. When I go forward I remember the feeling of big toe roll and am losing the habit of outer foot push off. I also got a PDF here from a blog on “foot drills” and I’ve been following them and WOW…what a difference! They are so easy to help walk pain free!

  2. Donna - thank you for the exercise tip and positive comments. I need you around everyday to help keep my spirits up! Yes, it is interesting how things do seem to even out in terms of recovery after different protocols in the first 12 weeks.

  3. One thing I’ve been battling is that “return to normal” feeling. Like, in shoes and driving is really back to normal but also making sure I stay grounded a bit b/c I’m really not normal just yet :)

  4. LOL Eric…no at 9 weeks and just into two shoes you are still not normal. It seems to me from these blogs if you use time as a measurement for normal a year is normal. I guess it’s the measurement rod we use. Mine is definitely not going to be one leg heel raises…I see so much focus on them I am now immune to caring if I can or can’t do one…ha ha. I still don’t feel normal at almost 15 weeks, however, I can do more “normal” things like drive. Today I noticed that when putting pants on I can just stand up on the repaired leg and pull the pants upon the unimpaired side without hopping around, needing to hold onto something, or sitting down to put pants on…YAY for normal pants putting on!

  5. I will add “putting pants on properly” to my milestone chart :)

  6. Hi there, I can’t wait to get to a level of normalcy? I’m on 9 days post op, finally feeling a little better and in not so much pain. I would think one of the hardest times of recovery are these to first weeks after surgery? I’m now looking forward next week to get my cast out and on the boot. When did you all start driving again? I’m starting to work on a milestone chart as well. Thank you all for your support.

  7. Yeah that time frame was the hardest for me as well b/c it’s new and there’s a lot of emotion going on. I found that as time went on the emotional roller coaster leveled out a lot.

    I started driving just this past week, about 9-10 weeks, some do it earlier but as right foot achilles ruptures you and I have to wait a bit longer than a left footer.

    They do sell left foot driving products that you can install in your vehicle though, if you need to drive earlier. I’m driving with two feet occasionally..I’m still hesitant to slam on the brakes with my right foot, and being up here in New England it’s not the best driving conditions.

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