6 Week Post Op Visit to Dr.

I am going to see my Dr. on Friday morning for my 6 week visit. This will be the fourth time I have seen him including the preliminary visit, the surgery, the 2 week post op visit and tomorrow. To date I have been surprised at how little information he has given me or advice on what I should be doing or not doing.

I have a long list of questions for him based on where I am at and where I want to be in the near future. Also this website has given me many ideas and concerns that I want to address as well.

Most importantly - can I begin weight bearing on my right leg?
Will I am be able to start physical therapy now? How often do I go and do I need to go three times a week if I can do the work at home?
What can I do at home? I have begun weightlifting and simple exercises but nothing on my right leg. Can I begin other physical activity such as exercise bike work, walking, kayaking, golf?
Should I be afraid of reinjury? I am not really a worrier but I also don’t want to be foolish. What is the biggest risk and what should I avoid?
My foot is often swollen at the end of the day and have been feeling pain. My wife says I must be doing too much. I don’t know what I am doing that I shouldn’t be doing. Is this normal? Should I put ice on it each night?
I recently ordered an ankel ice brace pack whihc seems like a good idea.
Can I sleep without the boot on?
Should I still be taking anti inflamatory medication? That really seems to help.
When will I realistically walk without crutches?
When will I be able to live somewhat more normally?

4 Responses to “6 Week Post Op Visit to Dr.”

  1. I’m only 1 1/2 weeks Post Op. I’ll be in a hard cast for 3 more weeks then I go to a boot and begin range of motion immediately after that.

    Are you still in a hard cast?

  2. Great questions. I hope that you get them answered and share with us :)

  3. Treating your swelling is a very important part of your recovery. I would suggest Ice and elevation as much as you can and especially at the end of the day.
    Also, just ask your doc about what protocol he follows. His office might even have a printout , or phamlet that may explain this. I would also suggest reading up on it on your own. Here is a compilation of “good info” from this site listed on my page.

    achillesblog.com/kkirk/rehab-overview/

  4. Many surgeons who don’t volunteer a lot of info aren’t keen to answer a long list of Qs, either, so good luck. Me, I’d consult (and value) the schedule from a large study that produced excellent results — like, say, bit.ly/UWOProtocol ! :-)

    If you were following that schedule — even WITHOUT the head start of sutures (i.e., non-op), you’d be PWB starting 2 weeks in, and FWB “as tolerated” starting 4 weeks in, i.e., almost 2 weeks ago. I’d add a Q to your Doc: Has he compiled HIS results, and are they as good as the results from that UWO study? Follow-up Q: If not (to either), why shouldn’t you start moving toward the faster and more convenient schedule that produced those results?

    The UWO patients (and those from several other modern successful studies) also started gentle exercise and PT at 2 weeks in (post-op or post-non-op). I did PT 1x/wk, but others have enjoyed going more often. I doubt that 3x/wk is much better than 2x/wk, diminishing returns.

    I’d print out the protocol I just linked, and seriously consider sliding towards it. Don’t just start doing week 6 exercises “cold turkey”, because you haven’t done weeks 2-5 yet, but you should be able to rush through the weeks you skipped to catch up, while still being gradual and incremental.

    Yes, you should DEFINITELY be worried about reinjury — about re-rupturing your injured AT, and about lesser “setbacks” that will delay your rehab, often painfully. That’s why you have to be gradual and incremental, especially within the normal rerupture-risk “window” (<12-14 wks) but also long afterwards.

    Many of us gradually swelled up during the day, unless we could find lots of opportunities to rest and elevate and maybe ice, too. Several people here have really benefited from compression socks or (open-footed) “sleeves”. Many experts say that NSAIDs (anti-inflammatories) are bad for healing tendons, though I haven’t seen the evidence to back it up.

    “When will I realistically walk without crutches?” On a fast protocol, you could have been doing that for the past week or so. Starting now, if you start PWB gently — initially just resting your boot on the floor as you crutch-walk-swing past it, then gradually adding more weight to it — you’ll probably naturally progress to FWB (and start forgetting where you put the crutches) in a week or two or three. Getting to FWB and being able to walk crutch-less and with stuff in your hands is a HUGE step toward “living normally”.

    Sleeping bootless at 6 weeks isn’t very scary, but doing it before you’re even PWB might be. I might wait ’til you’re able to put some (~50%?) weight on that leg.

    With luck, your Dr’s answers will be similar.

    One of our newest posters here — “lance” — has posted YouTube videos of his amazing progress with a fast protocol he seems to have prescribed for himself, without even SEEING a Doctor!! Instead of going to a Doc or a hospital, he went to Amazon and bought a boot!

    His second video, posted less than 24 hours ago, shows him running pretty fast on a treadmill in running shoes at **42 days** after he ruptured his AT! (He seems to have done his around the same day you did yours.) A few other athletes — including Brady Browne and “TheProactiveAthlete” — have gone almost as fast, also without any surgery, with apparently wonderful results. In theory, getting surgical repair should permit a faster rehab, though many patients suffer through a much slower one.

    So if your Doctor seems nervous or threatened by your questions, he deserves to feel that way! See if he will “permit” you to get moving, and good luck!

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