Sep 22 2009

Week 9 post op and problems with my therapist!

Published by fitterguy73 under Uncategorized

Well today is the start of week 9 post op.  Things have moved a lot faster than I would have imagined.  I never would have thought that I would be walking without the boot and crutches this fast.  I feel I’m doing pretty well.  I have a bit of a  limp which is totally understandable.  My AT actually feels pretty good.  I don’t really have any pain, if I feel anything from that area it’s a tad bit of tightness here and there while walking.  I’ve been doing my normal exercises and also walking around my neighborhood with my shoes on.  When I first put on my shoes I could definitely tell my ankle was weak.  I barely made it half way around my block before I had to turn back.  I could tell my muscles in my leg needed more work.  Since that first day I have been able to go all day with my shoes on and now I can walk a few blocks with no problems.  I can still tell I have work to do on my leg muscles.  Everyday my leg on my injured side feels like it had an amazing work out.  The muscles are sore and a little tight feeling.  I remember that feeling all too well from the days where I use to work out pretty regularly.  I can tell my limp is probably due to over compensating for my weak calf muscle.  Obviously, that will change in time.

Here’s where my real concern is.  I’m starting to get really concerned with my therapist at PT.  Seems like she is NEVER around.  With how rapidly my status changes I’ve never had 2 visits be the same.  Today was the first session of week # 4 of PT.  I’ve been schedules 2X a week since my first visit.  Like I said, with how fast everything has changed I’ve never done the same things two visits in a row.  Without my therapist there I have no idea what to do.  I always start out my visit with some bike riding.  I’m away from the recumbant bike and now on a normal exercise bike for 15 minutes.  During the time I get on the bike to when I’m done my therapist always disappears.  Before today I would just keep riding for the extra time until she showed up.  Sometimes that was 20 + minutes.  Today I just got off and stood there.   There is another therapist that I have only worked with twice there and she came over to help me.  She’s always with her people and always helps out the other therapist’s patients when my therapist isn’t around.  Seems like my therapist is too busy in back on the phone, talking to a co worker or acting like managment.  I hate to rock the boat but I feel like my progress is getting hindered by this. 

Today was my first visit in 2 shoes so after the bike i wasn’t sure what to do.  So while standing there after my bike ride, the nice therapist came over.  I basically told her I didn’t know what to do and she led me to the parallel bars to try some new exercises.  I really want to ge the most out of my time there and would actually prefer to go 3X a week.  I do each exercises with perfect precision.  I don’t rush anything.  I go slow and as controlled as possible with each rep and when my normal therapist isn’t around I do extra sets.  Eventually, my therapist comes over and acts like nothing is going on.  As if all the other therapists that are covering for her are HER workers and that is their jobs.  I don’t want to make waves so I just ask her what I’m suppose to do next.  Eventually, between the 2 therapists I get through my visit.  If I ever had 2 visits exactly the same I would have no problem taking the lead and just doing my own routine.  That has never been the case.  I’m starting to wonder if I should just can my current therapist and go to the other woman.  I don’t want to cause hard feelings but it is my own body.  I’m scheduled for the next 2 weeks with the therapist I’m not too thrilled with.  I was wondering if I should just play it off for the next 2 weeks and then when I get rescheduled for another chunk of time in the future to ask for the other therapist.  Should I confront her and tell her that I have been less than thrilled with her performance.  Or should I talk to someone higher up and see if they can help me. 

I’m definitely not one to complain, but my focus is to get better and hopefully get back to work in the not so distant future.  I don’t have a problem with my therapist personally.  I just want what’s best for my recovery.  I’m not sure, I was just curious about if anyone else had this issue or any advice.  I hope to hear from some of you.



6 responses so far

Sep 16 2009

Crutches BE GONE!!!

Published by fitterguy73 under Uncategorized

Well, I wrote on Monday about my visit with my surgeon and how well that went.  The yesterday was my first PT appt since my visit to the surgeon.   I was hoping that I would go in and my therapist would greet me and tell me she saw my new orders  and all would be well.  Obviously that didn’t happen.  I got the usual, “Hey Ryan, get on the bike!”  LOL  So I rode for over 15 minutes.  I never know how much they want me to ride.  One visit it may be 10 minutes, the next could be 12 and then after that 9 minutes.  There never seems to be a rhyme or reason.  Oh well, I just usually go 5 minutes for a warm up then I really crank it up.  My AT never bothers me so I figure I may as well get a good work out in while I’m there.  So anyhow, I actually was riding for about 18 minutes when my therapist says, “Hey Ryan, you can stop at 15 minutes.”  Then she asked me to come over to the counter where she was.  She asked me how I was feeling and I told her that things were excellent and I felt awesome!  I then asked her if she had the new Dr’s orders from my appt the day before.  She hadn’t even looked yet.  I told her all the good news about loosing the crutches and getting “boot” free within the next week.  She said that was cool, the promptly told the receptionist to pull up my report to make sure I wasn’t lying.  Obviously, it all panned out. 

So the next part was pretty awesome.  She asked for one of my crutches and told me to walk over to the parallel bars that were about 40 feet away.  She told me to use my 1 crutch opposite side of my injury, and if I could to try to NOT use it.  So, I took off not even putting it on the ground for the first 15 feet.  She yell at me and told me to go ahead and carry it.  So I carried my crutch in my hand and walked over to the parallel bars no problem.  The look on both of my therapists faces was PRICELESS.  They both ran over and one of these women said “Holy shit, that was awesome!”  I was expecting to have to limp over and look pretty bad.  I pretty much walked over like normal.  The cam boot didn’t really hinder me at all. 

So the therapist had me do some leg lifts on the parallel bars which were no problem.  I was alittle nervous to put all my weight on my left side so the first time I went up on it I took it pretty slow.  It didn’t bother me a bit.  The rest of the set she told me to do wasn’t an issue.  So I ended up going through the rest of my appointment doing  a few new excercises and then she gave me my orders.  DO NOT use the crutches.  My orders were to walk as much as possible and make sure I don’t have a limp.  This will get me ready for next week when I loose the boot.  She also told me that if I start to feel some discomfort in my AT to go back to 1 crutch.  So far with a day and a half of walking this hasn’t happened.  Only discomfort I have had so far is a little in my hip.  Obviously, this is due to the fact that even with my shoe on the boot is higher off the ground than the sole of my shoe.  The discomfort only started setting in about bed time last night.  So far today I still feel awesome. 

So we’ll see what changes tomorrow at my appointment.  I’m anxious to see what she will say since my next PT session after that I should already be in 2 shoes.  I obviously have some questions of my own as well.  I know I have to have 1 heel pad lift in my shoe when I put it on, but what about when I’m home and don’t want my shoes on.  If I have to have my shoes on all day to walk I will, but what about at night after I’ve gone to bed.  If I have to run to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom, can I walk bare footed?  Should I use my crutches still in that situation?  Or do I actually have to put on shoes?  I have no idea.  That’s my major questions.

I hope all are healing well and if you’re not already to the stage I’m at I wish everyone a quick recovery to get here. 


4 responses so far

Sep 14 2009

Week 8 Post op!

Published by fitterguy73 under Uncategorized

I just got home from my appointment with my surgeon. Things went WAY better than I expected. I’ve been out of my cast for 2 weeks and I’m starting my 3rd week of PT. I have appointments with PT 2X a week. The doctor was amazed with my ROM. As with most people I still have a few degrees to go raising my toes towards my knee but the rest looked just as good as my non injury side. So with the good progress she said I could start working on FWB and by a week from today I could ditch the crutches and even go to 2 shoes. I was shocked. I wasn’t expecting the 2 shoes so fast. I figured I would have a couple of weeks of just using the boot with no crutches. I wasn’t expecting being able to go to 2 shoes so fast. I have to admit that I’m a little nervous. I was VERY happy to hear that she said I would probably be clear to go back to work in a little over a month. That would be excellent considering I would be hitting a window of opportunity at my job at just that time. I’m pretty excited, and obviously a little nervous as well. I can’t wait to see in what new ways my PT is going to start kicking my but starting tomorrow! There is definitely some bright light in the future!


2 responses so far

Sep 09 2009

Harley injury, long and drawn out!

Published by fitterguy73 under Uncategorized

Well, after stumbling through the registration process I finally got registered with this site.  Just like most of you, I find it extremely comforting to be able to read and respond with other’s who have unwillingly joined the ATR club.  As of today, Sept 9, 09 I am 7 weeks, 3 days post injury and 7 weeks 1 day post surgery.  Here’s my brief story.

My injury happened on Sunday July 19th, 2009.  I had bought a new Harley-Davidson Night train in May of this year and was loving every minute on it.  I had previously owned and only ridden sport bikes so this was my first Harley.  I figured since I’m not a kid anymore and would rather feel comfortable on long rides than have a hunched back and sore hands, it was time to move on to the pinnacle of bikes.  I had also been having problems with my old sport bike with leaking gas and oil.  With that I finally got my dream bike.  At the time of my injury I had the Harley a couple of months and had some really nice rides on it.  So here’s the jist of what happened when I tore my ATR.

It was a nice Sunday in July.  I live in Northern Illinois and up to that point we weren’t having the best summer.  So riding was hit and miss.  I was working a job that was an hour away with heavy interstate driving so up to that point I had only rode the Harley once to work.  When you get a new Harley, you are suppose to get a 1000 mile check to change fluids and check bolts.  If you don’t get this done you take a chance to void your warranty.  I had just got that check done earlier in the week.  I was excited that I was able to run with the wind now with no worries.  The day of the injury, my kids were at a birthday party at a friend’s house down the street.  Obviously, with 2 younger children it’s hard to find time to be able to ride with my incredible Wife so this was a perfect excuse.  We enjoyed a short ride around our close area, since we only had a little over an hour to be away.  With the next day being a Monday and no worries about adding too many miles to the Harley, I had planned to start riding to work.  Espcecially with the weather looking like it was going to give us a break in the rain.  Well, since I’ve always tried to be responsible and take care of tasks when I could, I better fill up the Harley on the way back home.   I filled up the gas tank and we went to our friends house to pick up the kids.  Like I said we only live a block away from our friends house so I figured we’d ride there.  I’d ride home and the wife and kids would walk.  Since the kids had a great time and we were just heading home, I figured my Son (who’s 8) could just jump on the back and ride home with me.  He has loved the short rides we had taken already.  While backing the Harley out of my friends driveway I noticed on the ground I was leaving a trail of gas!  I could smell it no problem and I immediatly got worried/upset.  I figured I would ride it home the one block and check it out in the driveway.  We pulled into the driveway and I noticed now there was gas coming out of the fill cap on my gas tank.  I was freaking/pissed!!  I had just retired my old motorcycle for leaking gas and oil.  Now you’re telling me my new motorcycle that’s barely 2 months old is doing the same thing.  To make matters worse my motorcycle has a special paint job so I was even more worried about the gas on the tank ruining my paint.  I remember telling my Son to get off and run inside and get a towel so I could get the gas off of the tank.  With a million things happening so fast I went to get off of the Harley.  Some how, my kick stand didn’t fully engage.  With me off to the side of the bike I could tell it was going down.  I was still holding it so I just planted as hard as I could to stop the 685 lb bike from falling!  I had never dropped or crashed a motorcycle in my life.  I wasn’t going to let my new baby be the first.  I had actually stopped the momentum of the bike when BOOOMM!  I felt that explosion that I’m sure every one of us in the club has felt.  With my left achilles just exploded now the bike was coming down again.  I eased it down as best as I could and kind of pulled myself out.  I immediately felt that dead/limp feeling in my ankle and knew I was screwed.  I made sure my Son was ok and he wasn’t even close when it happened.  Of course, my next feeling was that I was so pissed my new bike was laying down.  My wife and daughter were now running up the block since they saw the whole thing happen, along with a couple of other neighbors who had seen it as well.  The neighbors and myself got the bike back up and stood up again.  I thanked them, they left and I limped off.  I tried passing it off and eventually, my wife convinced me to go to the ER.  The ER doc was pretty sure it was ruptured but gave me the ortho doc’s number and told me to call in the morning.  I did and they got me in right away.

As far as my injury went I wasn’t having any pain, swelling or bruising.  The Ortho doc wasn’t even sure it was ruptured when I responded well to the early field tests.  Then she rolled me on my stomach and did the tell tale test, she squeezed my calf muscles.  Of course, there was no response on my left leg.  Then she started probing and was pointing out to my wife how there was no tendon there.  Her probing was the worst pain I have had with this injury and I’m 7 weeks post op as of now.  Due to the good condition of my leg and no swelling she could get me in the next day for surgery.  Due to the fact I work construction and I’m young and active, she said surgery was the only way to go and I agreed.  She also advised me that since I worked construction, on uneven ground and on ladders that the EARLIEST time to possibly get back to work was 4-6 Months.  I sort of freaked, but we’ll leave that for a different time.

The surgery the next day went without a hitch.  I think it took 2 hours and I had a spinal for anesthesia.  She confirmed that it was a total ATR and not even a strand of the tendon was intact.  Everything went well and the surgery was a success.  She scheduled me to come back to her office in 2 weeks.

Two weeks later I was back to her office to get my soft splint removed and I was put into a fiberglass cast for the next 4 weeks.  That was the worst part of the injury so far for me.  No pain and I couldn’t do anything for my own recovery.  I was just laid up with having to keep my leg up.  I suffered through it and after 4 weeks I went back.

After 6 weeks post op and 4 weeks after getting the fiberglass cast put on she removed it and put me into the Cam walker boot.  I had 3 haphad wedges on my heel and I was to start 25% PWB and call to start PT.  I called them and the next day was my first PT session.  My first PT session wasn’t very eventfull.  My PT just taught me my home exercises and pretty much sent me on my way.  They figured a 2x a week PT session would be enough.  My home exercise schedule was to do the ROM that she taught me 3X a day.  With wanting to get back to work as soon as possible I asked if I could do it more, as long as I wasn’t feeling any pain.  She said NO.  3X a day was enough and if I pushed it too much I would be giving up some strength later down the road.  Obviously, I don’t want to ruin things and go backwards in my healing so I listened. 

I’m feeling pretty good walking in my boot with the crutches and I’m sure I’m putting more than 25% PWB on it already with no pain.  I’ve had 3 PT sessions and as of now, I have been in the cam walker boot for a week and a half.  My ROM seems to be that it’s almost back to normal but I can tell it’s not quite there.  I can also tell I have a TON of work to build up my leg muscles again on my injury side.  They have since given me some leg lifts to add to my home exercises to do with the other ROM exercises.

WOW, this ended up WAY longer than I thought it would.  I will try to keep everyone updated on what’s happening with me.  My next Ortho appt is on Monday and I hope I can get to 50-75% WB at that time and hopefully ditch these crutches shortly afterwards.  I will let everyone know.  Most of all, I’m still hoping there may be a ride or two in my future on that Harley, before the cold Northern Illinois winter sets in.  If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.  I hope everyone is healing well and getting back to normal with their lives.


5 responses so far