6 wk + 2 days post injury

My cast came off yesterday (6 wk+1 day post injury, conservative treatment) and my doc sent me home. He did not give me a boot and told me to follow PT and do things that I am comfortable with. It was a great relief to get the cast off my leg. Felt light and airy - such a nice feeling.

So, yesterday, I experimented with a few things:

  1. Remove weight from crutches but keep them for balance. This worked out well and after a few steps I was able to put almost no load on crutches. 
  2. Eliminate one crutch and keep the one on the bad side. Same as above, it took only a few steps to feel ok with this.
  3. Feeling motivated, I got rid of both crutches and walked around with a cane. This was easy too. Soooo, I took the next step…
  4. No cane, just my two feet. I now can walk, after about 24 hours post cast removal.

During these exercises, first I felt some soreness on the bottom of my feet and around the heel (bad side) but nothing unbearable. The soreness is mostly gone after about 5-6 hrs. Also, the bad side ankle is very stiff. I can move my foot downward maybe around 10-15 degrees but hardly up. I was a bit worried about waking up even more stiff after a full night of inactivity but that was not the case this morning.

The “walk” is very limpy, mainly due to ankle stiffness. I also have a sore spot on the top of my foot. PT says it is “collateral” damage, healthy tissue stiffening up due to immobility. She said it is ok to push that area harder than the AT. She also told me that at the 6-wk mark, the AT is about 80% healed and I should be careful about my activities for another 6 weeks or so.

I had my first PT session this morning, which was mainly an assessment session. Main issues are, as expected, flexibility and calf muscle loss. She gave me a few exercises:

  • Toe push against elastic band
  • Heel raises while sitting down (no load)
  • Achilles stretch (against wall, leg stretched back, aka runner’s stretch)
  • Stationary bicycle - she said this was a very helpful exercise. Keep resistance low and maintain around 80-90 RPM.

I asked her about walking exercises in a pool. She said it would be helpful but she was not too enthused about it. I think I have enough of a homework with the above four exercises, pool can wait a bit.

At this point, I am feeling very optimistic but the fear of rerupture is there too. It will be a few more days, I think, to gradually increase the exercise level to find out the optimum point. For now, I am happy to have come to this point.

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