I just returned from my ten week visit (actually nine weeks 2 days but who’s counting….)
I am doing really well in general. My PT has been great. I have gone twice a week for four weeks and have seen improvement every week. First I got rid of the crutches and then very quickly moved into two shoes without too much trouble but I was walking with a terrible limp. getting rid of the limp has taken several weeks but I am walking fairly normally now. One piece of help was to elongate my stride. When you limp one step is shorter than the other because you don’t trust it. You have to focus on a similar length step to get rid of it. Elongating the stride helps. I still I elevate and ice almost every night. I don’t have any bad pain but I swell up and am sore at the end of a long day.
From that I have been working on conditioning, doing some cardio on an Arc trainer (similar to an elliptical but less vertical drop), strength with lots of rubber band work and step training on a raised board and now inverted leg lifts on a seated leg board. I fell better every trip and keep thinking I am out of the woods….
I have played golf (in the boot) and hit a tennis ball back and forth carefully and even shot some basketballs recently but no running, biking, jumping or fast lunging. I do a lot of gardening and yard work and am trying to stay active.
So my Doctor said I look great, my leg is working and I am ahead of the curve. Then he reminded me to go slow and that it will take 6 months to a year to get all the way back. I get that but I want to know what I can do now and how much I can push myself without the risk of re-injury.
So he said I can golf without the boot (good thing because I haven’t worn it in three weeks, and hope not to need it again) but to be careful and don’t push it and stay out of dangerous places.
He said I can ride a bike but don’t push your self up difficult hills where you have to get out of the seat and push hard with my legs.
He said I can start to use the elliptical but to work on that with my Physical Therapist.
He said I can hit a tennis ball back and forth but no running or lunging until I am comfortable running and that I shouldn’t start running for a while a month or two but that I can begin to fast walk and slowly build up to a little running straight and then maybe start doing turns and more difficult things.
He said I should even think about basketball, football, real tennis for a long time until I am all better like in 6 months to a year………
He said the key is to slowly and incrementally build on each steep and not be foolish and hurt myself by trying to do something I am not ready for.
So I am mostly happy with where I am at, that I can begin to do more and that I know I am getting better all the time. But the inability to do those things I love and did all the time before is difficult.
Next Dr. visit is at 6 months in Sept. so I am on my own (with PT continuing once a week for now) for several months, the whole summer really. Time to get busy…………….
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