Filed Under (Rehab and PT) by delaneybill on 09-04-2009

Here is the play by play as I saw it:
My physical therapist is stern, serious. But I know him well from several years ago and I believe I earned his respect then due to my fast recovery from hip surgery. Still, today he is looking at me in a different way. Kind of suspiciously, as I get up, walk over to grab my crutches, and then follow him in to his table. (I did talk to him before surgery and he told me flat out, ‘don’t expect this recovery to be as fast as your hip.’)

First thing he says is ‘So, Dr. X told you it was okay to be weight bearing on the affected foot.’ I grin and say, ‘well, not really.’ And he says, ‘How long have you been putting weight on that foot?’ and I reply, ‘Oh, the day he took the stitches out last week.’ Then he notices I’ve taken the Bledsoe boot and already changed the angle (designed to protect the tendon repair) from the post-op setting of 20 degrees to 0, or neutral. Now he looks worried. I’m still grinning.

He begins to do some hands on stuff and comments right away how good things look. In fact he has never seen anyone just 2 weeks postop that looks this good (see my foot pics from this morning). He has me push in different directions, checks my range of motion. He asks me what I’m doing and I tell him almost everything, including my little walk with my son yesterday afternoon. Then he says he wants to call Dr. X and talk to him about my care plan. Actually, he runs upstairs to the clinic and talks to him in person. (Now I’m worried, thinking he will come back and tell me they will put me in a cast just to slow me down. :-O )

When he returns he is still very serious. He pulls out the recovery document they gave me after surgery and says, ‘did you read this.’ I say ‘yes, but only day after surgery and then I promptly forgot it.’ He says, ‘you know, according to criteria here, you are already doing things we don’t expect you to be doing until the 8 week mark.’ Then we have a nice discussion about me knowing my body well and being conscientous enough to not cause additional damage. Bottom line, I am okay to keep doing what I’m doing, but don’t try to move any faster. I can keep the boot at the neutral position but I am not to be weight bearing without it. And he tells me that while Dr. X is very confident in the repair (sutured spot), he also observed that the overall look of the tendon is not that healthy. So, please be careful.

Finally, he leads me over to the treadmill-like leg pressure, footstrike measuring machine. I get on it, remove crutches and he instructs me to adjust my weight bearing until it feels like I would if I were standing casually in the kitchen. I do and then flips on the display. Oops! I have a little more than 50% of my weight on the bad foot. So, I modify until the display shows only 30% on my bad foot and he tells me this is the feeling I should strive for. No more.

We make appts for once a week over next 6 weeks. Talk a little bit about returning to work. I ask about massage and the shoes I’ve prepared as my best bet for when I get to ‘two shoes’ phase. He approves on both counts. All is well. He tells me I stole his thunder because I’m already doing everything he would advise me to and then some. But at least now he is smiling.


doug53 on 9 April, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

Bad patient!
Bad, bad patient!
How dare you, to be doing way better than you are supposed to be doing?
Great story, Bill. It would have been fun to be a fly on the wall.

delaneybill on 10 April, 2009 at 6:49 am #

Thanks Doug, I am trying to be a good patient by finding the entertainment value in all of this. I really wish he would have brought the surgeon down too. I should summarize the schedule they gave me and put it in my blog.
I will keep on working at my pace, and stay attuned to my body. And of course put my progress notes up here to share.

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