I started running again about two weeks ago.  It felt funny and I can tell the calf doesn’t have as much strength as my non-ATR side.  I warm up walking on the treadmill for ~5minutes  followed by a stretch then ~ 25 min of running / walking.  After that, more stretching and ~ 100 two footed calf raises (multiple sets) on an inclined platform to get a controlled amount of stretch at the bottom.  I’m at 14.25″ ATR vs. 15″ non-atr side as of today.  Anyway, just checking in.  Good luck everybody.

I hate this question!  It’s like my limping is offensive to people!  Believe me, I would stop if I could!  Anyway, enough hateration.

Everything is going well.  The ankle isn’t as stiff as it was a few weeks back.  Strength is returning to the calf.  I only have a little piece of scab left on the scar.  I feel like there is quite a bit of adhesion in there because the skin bunches up at the bottom of the incision when I pull my toes up.  Hopefully it will let loose one of these days.

On rehab, what is your toe raise exercise frequency?  My protocol says twice a day, every day, but I can’t help thinking of this as a regular muscle building routine where you give the muscle 48hrs to recover before working it again?  I’ve gone to the every other day frequency for official workouts.  I figure just walking on it at work is like a long low resistance workout.  Here’s the picture from today.  It’s getting better, but slowly.

I had to learn how to walk again this week in PT.  After doing about 5 types of stretches I was able to go heel toe instead of just heel drag.  I can’t believe how tight this thing is.  Hopefully the tendon grows longer so I don’t have to stretch out for 10minutes just to walk down the hall.  I started doing toe raises this week (against my Mom’s wishes, haha).  Hopefully I get some strength back soon.  Muscle growth seems to have plateaued.  I tried measuring calf circumference, but it is hard to pick off the peak measurement.  The tape measure wouldn’t pass a Gage R&R test (shout out to my engineers).  I got the most ridiculous exercise from my PT for doing in the office.  You sit in your chair, and then try to pull yourself forward using the balls of your feet.  My work shoes have about zero traction, so I just do burn outs

Happy Labor Day Weekend to all the USA ATRs out there!

This week has been great.  I ditched the boot Thursday at lunch and started hobbling in two shoes.  It’s been a few days now and things are progressing nicely.  A couple times today I forgot about the injury.  I’ll post my week 12 picture and a shoe modification I made to avoid rubbing on the scar.  I did my first cardio since the injury (other than crutching around) on friday.  I rode the bike for 20 minutes and burnt 150 calories!  Woo!  See ya ATR belly!

getting bigger?

relief cutout to avoid annoying rubbing

I just finished a rubber band workout and boy, is my calf muscle swole! Here is the latest picture.

Ok, so it is still tiny. It is strong enough to hit the gas and brake though! Yeah, I started driving this week. I was amazed at how natural it felt after so long. I drive a manual and thought that the gas / clutch modulation would give me problems, but it was fine. Hard braking was not an issue either.

The home workouts have been going well. I stretch all four directions, spell the alphabet, move the towel around on the floor, and finish with the rubber band workouts in all four directions. I spent a couple of days on the weakest band, but quickly moved to the most difficult.

I was getting cocky so I tried the hardest band with my good leg and it was super easy, so that brought me down a notch. I’m still getting some swelling at the end of the day, but a good night’s sleep takes care of that.

It is very stiff in the morning when I strap on the boot, but after a few minutes it warms up and I can walk pretty fast. I’m scheduled to ditch the boot for good on Friday. The few time’s I’ve cheated with two shoes have felt great. It’s nice to have aligned hips again.

I had my last boot wedge removed yesterday. The extra stretch feels great! My doctor shook my hand and said “You don’t have to come back. I signed you up for two PT appts, but just walking is going to rehab your ankle.” She also gave me three rubber bands to exercise at home with: yellow, red, and green. I told her I had been standing in the shower and she didn’t like that and ordered me to remain seated. We’ll see…

I have two more weeks in the boot and then I’m on the honor system to go to two shoes. I’m excited. Also, as soon as I feel up to it I can remove the boot to drive and then put it back on to walk. I can’t wait for that day either, but I’m not going to push it.

Below you can see scar looks nice, but the difference in calf sizes is pretty great. Lots of work left to go. Yeah, that’s a purple towel. They were on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond!

I’m in the boot now and after 4-5 days of PWB, I’m FWB!  I can get my own coffee.  Great success!

At my 5 weeks post ATR visit I came out of the cast and into the boot with wedges.   My doc gave me clearance to put “all my weight on it.”  It sounded crazy!  When she left, the nurse told me that actually what I would want to do is “let pain and swelling be your guide to how much weight is appropriate.”  I didn’t realize how weak my ankle had become in the casts.  I couldn’t move around without the crutches on day one.  Day 2, I could walk about 10 feet without them.  Day 3, I walked to the coffee machine and CARRIED back my own cup.  I had a co-worker take this picture of me.  I was so proud.

By day five, I left the crutches in the car as a safety blanket, but now, at day 7 in the boot, I don’t even know where I left them.  It’s a good feeling.

Another two weeks in the cast according to the doc. “I know it feels good, but you still can’t walk on it,” she said. While I was out of the cast I asked her if I could move it and see if it worked and she told me no. She wiggled my tendon and looked at my face for a pain reaction. I didn’t show one and she said “oh yeah, your surgery went really well, this one will be stronger than your other one.” She told me before that I have small tendons and I’ve been living with that since. Ha ha.

Business Casual

The cast guy wiped my leg down and then mildly scrubbed my stitched area (wound?). While I was on my stomach, I could feel the tendon stretching and it felt really weird. I didn’t like it but just relaxed and dealt with the stitch removal. It didn’t really hurt, just felt funny, like someone was pruning thorns off of my leg with a pair of wire cutters.

I’ll be in this cast for another two weeks and then start with the boot and wedges. Till then, I’m just crutching and asking interns to get me coffee.

I was planning on playing in my company’s flag football league. At our second practice, I ran a few routes and made some nice catches, but I was only going about 75% speed. I thought to myself, “Ok, this time, I’m going to run FAST!” That’s the last thing I thought before “WTF! Who nailed me in the back of the leg with the ball?!” I felt like fighting someone. I wasn’t in much pain at the time so I tried to walk it off and noticed that I really didn’t have the ability to push off with my toe. The rest of the guys heard the “pop” and one dude felt it in the ground. I’m wondering what the breaking force was… (I’m an engineer)

Anyway, I hoped it was just dislocated so I went to sit in the car and got on WebMd with my Iphone while the rest of the guys finished practicing. It didn’t take long to diagnose esp. after I put both of the feet on the dash and compared tendons. After that, my roommate who was also there took me to Chipotle and then to the ER. The bad part was that I got some sauce on my shirt so I kept getting whiffs of beef/bean/seasoning… blah! Anyway, you guys know the rest. I got into surgery a little less than 24 hrs after the event so I felt lucky to get on the route to recovery so soon. Tomorrow I’m going in after 2 weeks in my permanent cast to get an xray (don’t know why) and probably to get the stitches removed and a new cast. Fun