Jun 04 2014


“You walk like a robot,” she said at week 10

Posted at 12:11 am under Uncategorized

I had two visits to PT people last week. I am week 11 as I write this post, and was looking forward to my first PT appointments since start of treatment for which I had to tease out of my OS’s office. I met with two gals last week at facilities convenient to either my workplace or home for initial evaluations. My plan was to try out two PT people on the same day, and then pick one of them to continue with for a few visits.

At the second PT office, I asked the woman who was evaluating me how I was walking. I was in two shoes and had brought my cane to the appointment. I have been using the cane a lot lately as my limp is still pretty severe, I still sense little to no push-off on my bad foot, and I like the idea of the cane as a warning system to types who whisk by me on non-injured feet. She had me walk down the hall and back.

After I returned from the end of the hall in an annoyed tone she states:

“You walk like a robot.” I looked at her and said: “No sh*t. That’s why I am here and you will fix it.” <– disclosure- I didn’t really cuss and say that, but I thought it. The funny thing is that even with that comment she was a little better than the first PT lady, so I am going to have at least one more appointment with her until/if I can find someone better.

While the evaluations turned out to be underwhelming I did learn things from each person. The first person taught me the valuable lesson of using the cane correctly and in the hand opposite to injury, and matching the cane stride with injured foot. She explained that the cane helps guide and balance my weight keeping my upper body (somewhat) centered as I step through with uninjured leg.

The first PT gal measured my ankle (on May 28). Here are the numbers:

Dorsiflexion:          (R) -10 degrees, (L) 10 degrees
Plantarflexion:       (R) 32 degrees, (L) 68 degrees
Inversion:              (R) 10 degrees, (L) 20 degrees
Eversion:               (R) 15 degrees, (L) 8 degrees

The “robot” lady gave me some stretching fabric and taught me toe scrunching exercises for my injured side, which I have been trying to do and finding surprisingly difficult. But then I find them difficult for my uninjured side too so perhaps I should not be surprised. She also insisted that I ice and elevate at least three times a day. Sometimes I only do it once, but I always try to get in at least some daily RICE.

On other fronts lately I have severely slacked off my personal rehab and exercise routine, much to my own dismay. Work got real busy with some crazy unrealistic deadlines, forcing me to abandon my efforts to move all things achilles forward. I had a good talk with my boss today on the technical reasons of why the work is behind, and did mention that my injury/leg continues to be an issue and bog me down to some extent in life, but somehow forgot to mention that I need time to work on rehab and PT. He did promise me a new superfast computer so that I could code at speeds unheard of since the advent of computing. That cheered me up some, but it’s not like the programming tasks are going to magically code themselves. Oh well, somehow it will work out. Maybe I can use my robot instincts to get one thing done automatically while working on the other.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to ““You walk like a robot,” she said at week 10”

  1. Roarkon 04 Jun 2014 at 11:11 am 1

    Well that sounds like progress at least. I also found it very difficult to feel any sort of proprioception during toe off when I first put a shoe on. It felt really strange, like my foot was a foreign object. Practicing toe off without shoes helped a lot because I could feel the floor under the ball of my foot a whole lot better. Also, finding a more flexible shoe helps as well. Try bending your shoe in half with your hands to get an idea of how much pressure you have to push down with through your AT to get to a proper toe off from the balls of your foot. The other thing that helped was just balancing on one foot, which is something you could do at this stage. Some of those exercises that Brady Browne does around week 10-11 help with gait too. Like lunging forward and backward off the ATR side helps retrain getting onto the ball of your foot during a stride.

  2. goldmanon 04 Jun 2014 at 12:01 pm 2

    Roark, sounds good. Definitely making progress forward, just get tired of being pointed out by everybody and their uncle(or aunt) at how I look and act funny due to injury. I guess I have to remember that 97% of all humor is at somebody else’s expense, in this case we ATR sufferers pay the tab, so to speak. Anyway, your advice is good as usual. Hey, I read a posting from you a couple/few days ago, if I remember correctly, you are a semi- or pro athlete… what sport?

  3. sportion 04 Jun 2014 at 12:12 pm 3

    Sounds good Jon. Curious why your PT thought you should be icing and elevating at least 3 times daily? Are you really swelling up?

  4. Roarkon 04 Jun 2014 at 12:45 pm 4

    Goldman, yep, I played soccer in college in the US and still play semi-pro now, so still pretty competitive.

  5. goldmanon 04 Jun 2014 at 2:04 pm 5

    @sporti: Rob, not excessive swelling - I do have some but doesn’t seem a big deal to me. The PT lady was pretty opinionated, but as I suggested in my post she’s not the best Rehab person. She helped me with a couple things that I thought were good advice. But she had some odd stances. For example she said something to the effect that she felt obligated to diligently follow the doctor’s advice. For example if a hip patient had a doctor that wanted the patient to start walking in two weeks she’d go with that, just as readily as one who had an old-school conservative doctor who wanted to wait two months or two years or whatever. I called her on that and if I’ve learned one thing from this web site is that the randomized controlled studies with large sample sizes are the items to base good decision making on, not the whim of some old-school thinking.

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