Greetings from Georgia

I communicated quite a bit about 4 weeks ago, then the site went down a few days after I finally signed up.  It’s now been 10.5 weeks since a high tear playing tennis.  After much help from Norm and others, I elected to choose the non surgical route.  In a hard cast for three weeks until I finally convinced my good friend the ortho surg (who was more worried about me having an excuse if he finally beats me on the golf course) to set me free.  Again, at Norms’ advice, I acquired a Vaco cast, which when it arrived in the doc’s office, created quite a buzz.  It was a godsend both from a lifestyle standpoint and enabling therapy.

I have been following the rehab protocol produced by the Ontario study and it seems to be working well.  Phys. therapy once a week including pulsating ultrasound and my once regimen at least thrice daily.  This week I ventured into the pool for thirty minutes of walking and progressive swimming beginning with a third mile.  What a great feeling.

The boot has been at neutral now for two weeks.  In the house I can get around without at times.  Hopefully, I’ll say goodbye to my dear boot in the next two weeks. 

The ATR seems to be “firing” on almost all cylinders as my PT describes.  Still not fully as strong as the good AT when I push against his hand on the ball of my foot and working on that. 

BTW, I ran into an old friend in the therapy room this Monday and was describing the no surgery decision.  He asked how my recovery compares to a surgical repair.  Not sure, I asked the PT.  He graded my progess as better due to the tremendous flexibility I have which would take much longer to acquire after surgery ( although he has no experience putting someone in a boot right off the bat!)

In any event, onward and upward.  I have become somewhat of an evangelist for the non surgical approach, and especially for researching what’s happening in other parts of the world where there is less emphasis on surgery and lawsuit avoidance.

7 Responses to “Greetings from Georgia”

  1. That is a delightfully positive story for anybody to hear, Gunner, and it’s especially music to MY ears, having had a part in your scary-important decision! (My wife’s been worrying that I’ve been practicing medicine without a license!)

    The Western Ontario protocol prescribes “Wean off boot” starting at 8 weeks, although they were dealing with a fixed (non-hinged) boot that couldn’t do what your VacoCast can do. In my case, I started splitting my time between hinged boot and 2-shoes at around 9 weeks, and by about “your time”, I think I had largely kissed the boot goodbye. YMMV, of course, but if you’re comfy padding around the house (or other safe environments) in Crocs or other soft shoes or barefoot, there are probably net benefits for balance and proprioception and ankle stability and the strength of all the other little muscles and tendons that are now inside your boot.

    Don’t stop being very careful about where you put your feet, of course, because you’re not out of the woods yet! But the vast majority of re-ruptures seem to happen within the first 12 weeks of treatment (post-op or post-NON-op), so that’s a reasonable landmark for at least being near the edge of the woods!

    Good luck, good healing, and keep posting!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  2. Norm: Thanks for the reply. Are you saying you were completely “boot free” at 9 weeks?

    The biggest concern I have is waking up at night to go to the bathroom, with no boot, forgetting the circumstances and dropping the big dorsiflexion before I can handle it.

    Went to the pool again this morning. It’s amazing - I can actually “jog” in the water.

  3. Not completely. You can check my blogs from then, because I’m sure I shared ALL the details! I went into a hinged boot at 7 weeks, then at 8 I started “two-timing”, wearing Crocs at home and the boot (hinged) when I went out, and definitely when I bicycled.

    I think it was probably 10-ish weeks before I stopped wearing the boot completely, but my blogs would remember for sure! The scarier the situation, the later I wore the boot, and the safer the situation, the sooner I wore shoes (all Crocs at first).

  4. Gunner, I started sleeping sans boot whenever my physio said he thought it would be OK. My blog remembers when, maybe 8 weeks. I kept the Crocs beside the bed, and it worked OK. Your mileage may vary, take care.

    My biggest regret by far in the whole rehab is that I didn’t get into a swimming pool one single time. I’m sure it would have been helpful physically, and a hoot for the psyche, too!

  5. I made my first trip outside the house today with just crocs(to the pool btw). My balance and stability are good, just a little bit of soreness after too many steps. It seems that if the heel is planted first (to avoid any dorsiflex) and then a short step taken with the good leg, there’s not much risk of doing any damage. If I’m wrong and gambling, somebody let me know.

  6. Most of us did a bit of gambling during our recovery. There’s no sure thing, the trick is to make relatively safe bets!

    But you’ve also invented the same “silly walk” (doug53’s name) that most of us used before we were ready to support our weight in a dorsiflexed position. As your ankle gradually feels stronger, more stable, fore flexible, and safer, you can step farther past the “bad” foot with the “good” one.

  7. Appreciate it for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting info .

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