Sep 01 2010

Getting there…but still a niggle

Published by daviduk at 3:54 pm under Uncategorized

Long time no post…so here goes…

August was a month of holidays - a week in the English countryside and 10 days on Huntington Beach in sunny SoCal. Lots and lots of walking, very different terrains (rocky / hilly tracks and beach!) so some good range of exercise for my ankle. Still very stiff in the mornings and after car journeys etc, and a lot of swelling during / after an 11 hour flight. I feel i am making progress - although i have not yet had a chance to see my doc with regard to the stitches which are still clearly there. Still not sure to what extent the swelling is ‘normal’ and to what extent caused by the stitches (one of which is still trying it’s hardest to push it’s way through my skin!)

Yesterday was my first day back in the gym. An hour on the exercise bike and 30 mins fast walking. I have now started interspersing long periods of walking with short jogs - walking at 6-6.5 km/h and then breaking into a jog at the same pace for 30 secs to a minute. I am getting no adverse effects, although my physio is intending to hold me to mid-October (six months post-op) before running. I think i will be well head of that schedule - i can feel my calf getting tired but no ‘pain’ as such. I take tiredness to be a good thing, the calf is working and so it can be (slowly!) strengthened.

I am also doing single leg heel raises - whoopee! Obviously not geting very high off the ground, but a good 2-3 inches. To be honest i am not stressing over this particular test / exercise - if i can work on the running / cycling i reason that the calf strength will come in it’s own good time.

So - good luck to all, maybe i’ll update when i actualy see my doc about the stitches.


6 Responses to “Getting there…but still a niggle”

  1. normofthenorthon 01 Sep 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Except for the stitch trying to emerge, the rest sounds very good. Inflammation can linger for a surprisingly long time, with or without surgery. I entitled one of my pages something like “This swelling and elevating is getting OLD!” I think I was around 20 weeks in then, as you are now.

    I think you and GerryR have already had an exchange about the errant stitches. ATR surgery can become an addiction! And Gerry only cured his addiction with his last (4th) operation. . .

  2. davidukon 02 Sep 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Norm - yep, GerryR gave me some very helpful guidance on the errant stitches and i will get it sorted. Always the reluctance to mess with things when it seems to be going well, but i fully take on board the advice to get it sorted sooner rather than later. Still no infection, and i thought it had finally broken the skin after my gym session yesterday, but false alarm! I have an appointment with my doc next week to get things moving.


  3. normofthenorthon 02 Sep 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I was urging Gerry to get his 4th surgery, and predicting joy after he did — and so far, so good! This is obviously your decision alone, but I think I’d do whatever I could to get this behind me ASAP. Since it doesn’t look as if the stitch(es) thing is going away on its own, I think that means getting it taken out.

    Do you know if it’s one continuous stitch or a bunch of separate ones? That would probably affect the surgical removal. I guess best case they grab one end right near the surface and when they pull everything slides out. Or that might be better than the best case, I have no idea.

  4. GerryRon 03 Sep 2010 at 4:04 am

    What is usually done is that one long piece of the suture material is used and then tied off with a knot. The knot is usually the source of problems because there are multiple knots stacked one on top of the other, thus creating a pretty good size lump and a breeding ground for all sorts of stuff. Just be glad you apparently don’t any infection or an abscess. What happens when something pushes on that spot is the sort of like being jabbed with a nail from the inside. If this stuff was absorbed over several months this wouldn’t be a problem because the issue would resolve itself. But this stuff stays there forever so that knot will always be there digging at your flesh from the inside. I had an abscess around the knot so the last surgeon removed just the knot and that did the trick. I don’t know if he somehow tied the remaining material off or not but whatever he did worked just fine. My PT massaged that spot vigorously with a plastic massage tool and I have massaged it myself with a rolling pin and have had no problems. I put it off way too long but am really glad that I got it done.

  5. 2ndtimeron 17 Sep 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks for explaining Gerryr… I do feel this funny stabbing needle sensation from time to time - I suspected it was the stitching - so it is the knot! It does not bother me too much, but it is not pleasant for sure. I feel it more often recently, maybe as I move more.

  6. davidukon 17 Sep 2010 at 3:13 pm

    gerryr/ 2ndtimer

    I took my lump / stabbing needle sensation to my family doctor. His advice - leave well alone! This on the basis that they use non-dissoving sutures and a little discomfort from the knot is better than further surgery to remove it (he also seemed to suggest that the whole repair could unravel if the knot was removed - a little ‘whacky’ as we say in the UK).

    Given that its not a big issue at the moment, i am going to live with it. I will watch eagle-eyed for any sign of infection.


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