11 weeks post-op

In terms of where I am now, I am walking around outside in two shoes. People tell me my gait looks normal. The speed at which I am walking is still slow. I probably walk a little faster this week than last week, but, not a drastic improvement.

Yesterday I had a lot of pain while walking and I attribute this to doing Barbell Deadlifts and Barbell Rows at the gym. I went light and used 155lbs. No pain while doing the exercises but the next day when I was walking to PT, the pain was there and was more than I typically feel. My PT told me that I should only do the bar (45lbs) because 155lbs is still too much weight on the tendon.

The thing about this injury is that you can feel very good and decide to push a little harder with weight and exercise selection and not feel anything but then pain occurs as a result of pushing too much. I am finding out that there is a fine line in this rehab process between rehabbing the right way (working hard without causing unnecessary pain) and pushing too much.

Tomorrow I plan to start water therapy at an indoor swimming pool. I’m excited about this and I’ll keep you guys posted on how this will aid in my progression.

Most of the exercises at PT remain the same as I listed on my 10.5 weeks post. My legs are getting stronger (quads, hamstrings, and calf) since every time I go to PT I can do more weight and reps.

Going upstairs is getting better. Downstairs is still a challenge but last night I felt a slight improvement in terms of mobility going down the flight of stairs.

I can’t wait to reach the point when I can walk without pain and at a normal walking speed as I had before

6 Responses to “11 weeks post-op”

  1. You said:

    “The thing about this injury is that you can feel very good and decide to push a little harder with weight and exercise selection and not feel anything but then pain occurs as a result of pushing too much. I am finding out that there is a fine line in this rehab process between rehabbing the right way (working hard without causing unnecessary pain) and pushing too much.”

    This is why we do INCREMENTAL training…my PT had to hit me over the head with this concept several times as I am a consummate overachiever but I did finally get it down and saved myself a lot of pain! As you said it doesn’t hurt when we do it, so we think it’s fine, only to hurt hours or a day later. So it’s best to add new exercises, and or add reps/sets in small amounts…wait a few days then add more…wait…add etc. I found out the hard way when between 10 - 11 weeks I had to take almost 3 weeks off from overdoing it. I learned the hard way.

    I too couldn’t wait to walk without pain at a normal rate and it didn’t come all at once but slowly over time and at 10 months I’m still not 100% but oh so much better! I wish I could tell you when you can expect 100% but it just kind of comes slowly as I said. At 10 months I’m still not walking at my usual pace but it’s improved month by month, also the distance I can walk is increasing….it’s only 11 weeks for you so give yourself a break and don’t fret too much over it…if you can learn patients and you’ll save yourself much suffering with this injury.

    Do you know the going down stairs trick? It helps prevent that excessive dorsiflexion that occurs going down. If not I got it from this site.

    GOING DOWN: lead with your injured leg and put half the foot OFF of the step to avoid that dorsifelxion you are NOT ready for & then bring good leg down to the injured one on the same step, repeat.

    As you improve you’ll still need to hang the injured foot off the step but will be able to bring the good leg down to the next step below it.

    Finally you’ll walk down stairs normally. YAY!

  2. Did the rack pulls not fulfill your need to work your posterior chain, HB? I actually use the row machine instead of free weights to avoid what you experienced, too.

    What are you doing for cardio on land? I’ve been riding the recumbent bike, but at week 17, it’s probably time to progress to something more more challenging, like the elliptical or stairmaster.

  3. @donna, thanks for the kinds and insight words of encouragement. I’m pleased and happy to report that as of yesterday I am going downstairs much better (alternating between which foot I use on each step - in other words I take a step down with my right, then left, then right, then left, etc.). I also don’t have to hold onto the hand rails at all.

    My PT always tells me to do incremental increases in reps and weight, too. I become so excited when I start to feel stronger and I jump a lot in weight, which, should be down gradually over time, as you suggested. Thanks again for your help. I am really looking forward to your future responses on my blog.

    I’m happy to hear that you are nearly 100% recovered!

  4. @oscillot, I didn’t try rack pulls because I go to the gym with a buddy of mines and he wanted to do Deadlifts instead of rack pulls. He even told me to go light but I felt strong enough to do 155lbs for 5 sets of 10 reps. Obviously, my tendon did not agree with this the next day.

    I’m thrilled to report that I am going downstairs a lot smoother now. I don’t have to hold onto the hand rails and I can go down while alternating my steps from left to right, left to right, etc. Obviously I am still very cautious and go very slow but the improvement is significant considering that I couldn’t do this at all earlier this week

    For cardio I am using the elliptical. My PT had me start on the elliptical last week at 10 weeks. I feel like it is good for my lower body coordination, too. At week 17 in your case, I would think you are more than ready and able to use the elliptical.

  5. I’m at 8 weeks post op
    Had hagmunds deformity surgery feb 24 then Achilles fhl transfer and debridement July 6th
    I’m having a lot of trouble with stairs especially going down
    Hard to bend my foot and flex it that much. Did you have the tendon transfer?

  6. @mariejones98, I did not have that procedure. I simply had an Achilles tendon repair. At 8 weeks, I didn’t even try to go up or down stairs. I started at week 10. My physical therapist had me use an aerobic stepper to practice going up and down. The length of the aerobic stepper was shorter than the distance between stairs, but, this helped me. When I was going downstairs at home, I would lead with my repaired leg and hold onto the hand rail. I was and still am very careful. I would simply give it time. You shouldn’t worry too much about it just yet. Continue healing and present your concerns to your physical therapist. Wishing you all the best.

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