2 weeks of PT in the books

I have really been pushing myself hard since I got my boot off last Monday.  I’ve done 4 PT sessions, walked a mile and a half twice, took spin class twice, taught spin class twice and have been to the gym for weight training pretty much every other day, not to mention mixing in band stretching while I am watching TV and using my new Wii Fit (more on that later).  My strength is coming back but to be honest, not as quickly as I’d hoped considering how aggressive I’ve been.  But all the therapists keeps telling me that it takes time.  My yardstick for my progress has been a handy little exercise one of my therapists gave me - simply walk around in bare feet on my toes as much as possible at home.  When I do this, my good ankle stays pointed as I step onto it but the injured ankle can’t quite hold pointed.  For now!

As I said in my last post, the therapists are really big on mixing targeted calf/ankle exercises with whole body strength and balance movements.  For example, I have been doing lunges, farmer walks, leg presses and upright rows from the floor with a 95 lb kettle bell.  But I have also been doing standing calf raises and seated calf raises as well as all kind of one-legged balancing exercises.  In addition to the PT sessions, I have been doing a lot of the PT exercises on my own at the gym.

Spin class has really been great.  I really feel I am building my strength and balance when we do standing positions.  Distance walking has also been great, mostly in building the soleus muscle that runs along my shin which had been unused for 9 weeks so it needs the work.

My wife and son got me Wii Fit for my birthday and this thing is amazing.  There are all kinds of great exercises for balance and strengthening.  There is a hula hoop exercise that I have been ranked 4 stars in that really helps balance and range of motion.  I have been doing about 2o minutes a day on it.

I will miss PT next week as I will be away on vacation but the therapists are confident that I will be doing exercises on my own especially since the cruise ship has a gym and a walking track.

My injured leg calf seems to be getting a little more size with all of the rehab but I will post some measurements next time.

9 Responses to “2 weeks of PT in the books”

  1. rpcjr72
    August 23rd, 2009 | 2:07 am

    Man thanks for the detailed blog. I’m at just about 5 weeks and am a bit nervous as to how long it’ll be before I can resume any type of regular activity. My job requires a lot of physical exertion and I don’t want to go back before I feel confident I won’t hurt myself again.

    A couple questions: 1) Am I correct that you were only on crutches for 2 weeks?

    2) When you are spinning now, do you stand? And if so, how much weight do you put on your on the repaired leg?

    Again, thanks for writing this, your blog has given me a little inspiration to believe I’ll be able to regain some normalcy one day.

  2. mattachille
    August 23rd, 2009 | 9:46 am

    Interesting post. Our timelines are a bit different as I began PT at roughly 5 weeks post op, but I’m about a week behind you so will be following your progress. My guess would be that your ankle is probably stronger overall given the longer period post op. I’m definitely not strong enough for spin classes or standing position on the bike yet.

  3. jberton31
    August 23rd, 2009 | 3:34 pm

    To answer your questions rpcjr72 -
    1) Yes, I was only on crutches for 2 weeks post-op because I was non-weight bearing casted with my toes pointed straight down. At my 2 week post-op follow up they took off that cast, took the staples out and stretched my foot to flat and put me in a walking cast. At that point I was allowed to go FWB and completely ditch the crutches.
    2) The first spin class I took I stayed seated the whole time. But I had my first PT session later that day and they had me balancing on one foot on a bosu ball and some other seriously aggressive exercises. The following spin class I tried standing up and have stood when it called for it from then on. I put all of my weight on both legs evenly when I stand on the bike. I can’t go nearly as fast as I did before the injury but I am sure that will take time.

    My pleasure. I’m glad I could help. Just passing on the tradition on this blog of trying to record the ATR experience to see if I can help others too. Good luck!

  4. jberton31
    August 23rd, 2009 | 3:37 pm

    Thanks mattachille. I was a little bummed reading yours and other posts at how quickly many of you all started PT. But my doc and therapist said the range of motion exercises I did on my own during the month I was in the boot really put me ahead of the game when I finally got to PT. Now in PT I am just strengthening. Good luck to you with your recovery.

  5. Tina
    August 23rd, 2009 | 9:49 pm

    I too am bummed as i am now 10 weeks post op and my surgeon said it is still another 3 weeks before PT!! And that’s after doing all the exercises he said to do. At least he said i can walk around the house in 2 shoes but i am going stir crazy not being able to get out and drive!!! Luckily (or unluckily)i don’t have a job to go to as my work “restructured” while i was off and now i am out of a job!!!! But on a brighter note, at least i spent the whole of winter tucked up inside nice and cosy!

  6. dsut4392
    August 23rd, 2009 | 11:44 pm

    I’m a couple of weeks behind and on a similar timeline. I have been using the indoor bike trainer at home since about week 3.5 in the boot, and for about a week now in 2 shoes. I went for my first ride on the road on the weekend (at just over week 7) but had to ride my MTB as I just can’t put enough force through the front of my bad foot to push the big gears. I’m still a ways off from standing, and will by necessity stay off the roadie until then. The strength does come back quickly, but unfortunately i’m on a bit of a go-slow due to a skin infection at the op site.

    I have also been driving again since the weekend, was a bit tentative at first but after a bit of testing have worked out I have plenty enough power even for hard braking. If you’ve had a specific ban you’ll want to wait for formal clearance, but in my case the driving conversation never came up with my doctors so I was never ‘restricted’ except by common sense…YMMV (pun intended)

  7. Tina
    August 24th, 2009 | 12:09 am

    That’s no good about the infection giving you the go slow, i feel my DVT has done that too. Also, i still have a lot of swelling as i was “walking” around a bit at my son’s soccer on the w/e (with the boot). Congrats on the driving, that must have felt so good and a bit scary at the same time. Will hang in there and be a good girl and do as i’m told!!

  8. sam66
    August 24th, 2009 | 4:02 am

    Hi, I still have another 2 weeks in cast but started gently using recumbent exercise bike at home plus some floorstuff. I’d been thinking about suggesting the Wii fit to my husband as a possible birthday pressie for me prior to the injury as it was getting difficult to fit in time to get to the gym for a proper session. Was now wondering if it was still feasible or too much ankle stuff. But sounds like it might be good to use a few times a day when the cast comes off and it’s still difficult for me to get to the gym.
    Enjoy your cruise and best wishes, Sam

  9. June 17th, 2020 | 9:01 pm

    very interesting blog,nice information.your work is very excellent.

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