Feb 06 2011

6 months video, far from normal but a silver lining

Published by elsurfer at 5:01 am under Uncategorized

Hi Team,

Glad to see the site back up. Since my last post back in mid December, I’ve managed to slack off my therapeutic specific exercises over the last 1.5 months and I’m paying the price. Holidays and more specifically-WORK- have kept me both physically and emotionally too drained to work on my leg. My single leg calf raises aren’t incrementally that much better than they were 1.5 months ago. I’ll post a video and you can be the judge. I *have* been consistent in my martial art workouts, fast walking at least once or twice a week, but there is still a slightly noticeable difference in calf size. The last negative I’ll mention about this 6 month anniversary is that I still get a lot of stiffness in the AT area when it’s idle (ie. sitting at a desk, getting out of bed) and it takes a few moments to stretch it and get walking again. There is no more heel pain, just stiffness.

However the last two weeks I’ve worked on changing that - hit the gym even when traveling, starting to hike on uneven terrain more often and mountain biking as hard as I did before the injury. I got to go surfing about 3 weeks ago (in cold 55 degree water with no stiffness!). Even more encouraging - This morning I did a 5 mile trail run (about 65% of that was running, the other 35% walking steeper uphill) and to my surprise, there was no calf weakness that would have caused my stride to be uneven like back in November. No favoring of the AT’d leg. This was true even at the end of the run.

My goal is to make the Camp Pendleton Mud Run in April (10k) and maybe play 1 full court game of basketball in the upcoming weeks.

The scarring has flattened out quite a bit, I’m happy about that, no weird rubbing or irritation from any of my shoes. AT is still thick, but I can live with it. There is zero swelling even after vigorous exercise.

Anyways aside from the stiffness, I’m feeling a lot more confident and comfortable and taking a few more risks.

Life is pretty much back to normal activity wise. I can confidently say you should be able to do 100% of the things you did before injury at 6 months post op. How hard you are able do them, well… YMMV. 4 weeks ago if someone asked me how I was, I would have said my calf strength was 60%. Today, I’d say about 70-75%. I really think it’ll be a 1 year gig for me.

Videos of stuff 6 to 6.5 months - you’ll get there!

5 Responses to “6 months video, far from normal but a silver lining”

  1. liverpoollasson 06 Feb 2011 at 5:54 am

    Brilliant stuff, it’s great to be able to see the videos that way you can see how someone else is doing. Keep up the healing, sounds like your well on you’re way. Once you’re this far down the road you begin to appreciate it when your told its a year to full recovery. I know when you first rupture you don’t want to believe it. But the second six months are about srength, flexibility and normality not just getting back on your feet. Keep us updated. Thanks LL

  2. normofthenorthon 06 Feb 2011 at 11:02 am

    Great videos again, EL! Those are totally “legal, Kosher” 1-leg heel raises at the end, too, with none of the leg-rolling knee bending that you and I both find much easier, and that you did in some of the earlier videos. Progress!

    Interestingly, those 1-leg heel raises seem very close to your left-leg raises (almost identical), while your walking 1-leg heel raises seem noticeably lower on the right side. Maybe your leg was more tired in the walking shot? Also, in the raises you do at the end, does your right heel roll a little bit to the right/outside at the very top? Hard to be sure from the side view, but it looks like that. (If so, that’s a new “move” on me.)

    I’m sure there are a few folks here who’ve hit 6 months without quite getting to your level of athleticism — but most of them/us probably weren’t jumping onto trucks (and back off!) “plyometrically” BEFORE our ATRs, either! ;-)

    Frankly, your “negatives” seem like pretty small potatoes, especially compared to the positives. The last little bit of calf size is often very elusive, even with lots of exercise. Some experts swear that muscle size is strictly proportional to strength (at least in one individual), and I think others say maybe not. And some of the brief early-morning stiffness may also be your “new normal”, but “big deal” I say! My RIGHT leg, with the ATR that was repaired surgically in Dec. 2001(!), still “pops” the first time I go up on my toes in the morning, 9 YEARS post-op! At this point, I’m just glad to hear it pop, because I know I’m still getting up there! :-)

    I think it’s important to remember that there are two different kinds of tests of calf-and-AT function: We’ve all basically joined the “lunatic fringe” on this one subject, so we measure everything with micrometers and calipers, and we notice if there’s a tiny deficit. But if you can go surfing, and do a 5-mile trail run, both without noticing ANY difference between your legs, then you’re 100% back to normal by the standards you had BEFORE you joined the “lunatic fringe”! That’s the “normal person test”, and you pass.

    Put another way, if you measured your two biceps, or your two wrists or elbows, as carefully as you’re measuring your two legs, I wonder if you’d find similar differences, for no “clinical” reason at all!

  3. normofthenorthon 06 Feb 2011 at 11:08 am

    Surfer, my last post on your page is “awaiting moderation”, not sure why. Please approve it.

    Dennis, do you know what triggers “awaiting moderation” besides URLs? This post is all text, plus two simple smileys, and it got stuck, and I don’t know why.

  4. brutuson 06 Feb 2011 at 11:18 am

    Surfer - I am cringing watching the video.

  5. elsurferon 06 Feb 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Norm, I approved it as soon as I got up this morning. not sure why yours was flagged. Everyone else got through. My guess is the smileys or the length of the reply triggered it ??!.

    Good observation on the heel raises, the walking legged heel raises were taken at 6 months on a slanted drive way side walk in sort of an “uncontrolled” setting. The standing 1 legged ones were two weeks later (last night as matter of fact) when I got my act together. Tere is still a bit of deficiency in the upper range.

    I think the most important thing for me on this subject is that I can get through the range unassisted. Now it’s about building strength through the range. It’s a conscious effort to do that, because in the course of a normal day, you just don’t do that upper range of motion unless you stocked high grocery shelves for a living.

    A couple months ago, I could only get through halfway through the range and was like, “how the heck can I build strength in the upper range when I can’t even get there?!”. Doug’s “heel downs” were a struggle for me. I don’t need to do them much anymore (because I can do heel ups ;) , but it’s still a very relevant exercise from 4-6 months.

    Anyone new to reading my posts, if you look at my past blog entries, I’ve tried to video log my progress in each one. Happy healing !

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