Your First Steps - How Did You Feel?

So I’ve been NWB for about 3 weeks post-op now.  For those of you who are a bit ahead of me in the game, what did it feel like to take those first steps?  Were you scared?  Hesitant?  Fearful of a re-rupture?  Excited?  Frustrated?  I’d love to hear your experience!

I ask because I keep having this recurring vision of myself walking normally again.  Everyday I wake up, I reach for my crutches and try to not lose my balance as I stand up on one leg.  My biggest fear is falling over on my crutches and having to brace my fall on my bad leg.  I just can’t wait for the day to wake up, yawn, stretch, rub my eyes and plant my two feet firmly on the ground to walk again.  I know it’s a long haul, but I’m not exactly the most patient person in the world. 

3 Comments so far

  1. landlockedtxn on February 21st, 2009

    It feels a little scary, but AWESOME!!!!

    I am 8 wks post op, and just got the go ahead on thursday of this week to use an achillotrain and two shoes….

    Caution and carefulness are the game plays at this stage….and if I go outside or shopping for any length of time, the boot has to go on…

  2. Smish on February 22nd, 2009

    Famin: Weak. My leg felt weak when I first stepped down on it. I chose to have my crutches with me so I could control the amount of pressure. I had been walking with the crutches for a few days(light to no pressure)just so the bottom of my foot could start to desensitize and my hip and knee could remember the motion as well. Then gradually over a few days I started adding a little pressure. My fear of re-rupture didn’t show up until I started to let my mind worry about other things besides walking. (You, know…we use to do it all of the time…walk and chew gum etc…) That is when I finally had a few miss-steps that scared me.
    I followed my doctor’s instructions to the letter. I had had enough injuries when I was younger where I practically ignored the doctor and paid for it. This injury is brutal and I didn’t want to mess with it. I had confidence that just starting to walk, if I was careful, I would not re-rupture. I was more concerned about pushing it too far (which is what I often do and that is probably why I have had 3 Achilles surgeries) and causing more pain and swelling.
    I am only just finishing week 3 post-op on my left leg. However I went through two of these on my right. One rupture and one reconstruction. (We got to my left before it ruptured and only had to reconstruct it a little) On my right , I remember getting to a point where walking in the boot or with crutches actually caused more pain and trouble than walking without. That is when I made my final switch over.
    As with a lot of ATR people, I am impatient and the transition to being able walk without pain didn’t happen as fast as I wanted. This is the time period that I shed the most tears. But it too ends and I earned more respect for people with other ailments and more compassions for others who are wrestling with their own bodies.

  3. Landyzner on March 3rd, 2009

    I had an inadequate understanding of my injury (fully ruptured achilles tendon) and a very unreal expectation for recovery:

    5 weeks post-op the thigh-high cast came off and the cam-boot went on. Inflammation of 31 centimeters made the cam-boot very uncomfortable.

    7 weeks post-op, I was cleared for PT (x 3/wk) and PWB. Apparently, my foot was ‘frozen’ at 15 degrees of plantar flexion from disuse and casting. Our goal is to achieve a neutral position.

    9 weeks post-op, physical manipulation and home exercises bring me into neutral. I cannot sustain neutral very long. Certain movements in therapy and home exercising bring flashes of pain. I am afraid to weight bear and walk through my foot. I can hear the clock ticking.

    This is the beginning of my 10th week- I certainly expected to be walking. From a seated position I can exert approximately 40 lbs of pressure on the foot. I am still afraid- of pain, of falling and of not walking. My neck and upper back are beginning to ache. When will this be over?

    Anyone else with a similar experience?

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