Monday, April 8th, 2013...10:52 pm

ATR Part Two: I <3 physiotherapists!

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I’ve finally entered a new chapter in the ATR recovery process.  Last week, I received ‘official consent’ from the OS to go ahead and weight-bear until I can loose the crutches.  Yes to getting on the bike at the gym, in the pool, etc. too. I’ve actually been PWB for awhile already (and have been in the pool too shhh!) trying to follow some of the recommended faster protocols cited in this blog community, but it is nice psychologically to have someone ‘in the know’ say, “Yep the thing has grown back, it’s attached, and you can start stressing it and your legs can get some exercise.” Yay!  I know there’s still a ton of work ahead and I’ll probably still hit some frustrating obstacles, but I am so glad to be at a more active recovery stage.

Interesting sidenote: Was also told not to bother with physio for another couple weeks since “I’ll only be doing a few ankle circles and minor stretches back and forth, up and down for now.”  I could not disagree more!!! (already been doing the ROM exercises for weeks) and I’ll use this little post to encourage anyone out there with decent medical coverage (or the extra cash) to go find a great physio and get at it.  For me, this has made a huge difference in increasing my ROM and decreasing the inflammation and stiffness in my foot and ankle.  Except for the thickened tendon area, whenever I massage the foot and ankle and do my exercises, my foot goes back to looking normal again and feels so much less stiff and awkward.  The lump of scar tissue where the tendon has healed is also slowly going down with each and every ultrasound/massage treatment.  For me, the physio has been a huge support physically and mentally.  (Below: My ankle workout spot. A bit shadowy but my ankles are pretty much the same now and you can just see the theraband and wiggleboard my husband made- plywood with an old squash-sized ball screwed on underneath - bottom left of pic).

photo 1_2

Even more interesting sidenote: One of the practitioners I saw was so enthusiastic about the new research I showed her, she got together with some other physios in the area and they signed up for some webinar sessions together to learn about new protocols (in general, not just ATRs) and exchange info/experiences.  She said it was easy to get bogged down with life and continue practicing the way she always had without looking at some of the new information out there.  Our conversations were just the motivation she needed to check out something new.  I wanted to share this with you all to offer kudos for the rigour and dedication many (Norm especially!) have shown in examining the literature and regularly sharing it with us all here.  You likely make more of a difference than you might realize.  Thank you!!


  • Hi JDRG! Good for you - sounds like you are well on the way to getting well! Although I’ve become quite attached to it ( well, it’s actually been quite attached to me) my cast comes off in 24 hours and after a month, I’m anxious to see my foot and the incision site. Although my Dr. told me to stay NWB when the cast went on I’ve gradually been placing weight on the foot and am feeling no discomfort at all. I’m ready for the boot and the next phases of my recovery - after a nice LONG HOT SOAK IN THE TUB!
    Keep on keepin’ ON!

  • Jdrg, I LOVE that last sidenote!! :-) Good for you, good for your PT, good for all the other PTs. and good for all their patients!! YAY!!

    Now if we could just get the average ATR patient to realize that their OS is probably ALSO just an overworked human being who doesn’t bother keeping up with new evidence when the way they’ve always done it works well enough…

  • Thanks Jack. Yes, I’m pleased. I’m thinking your cast is now off? Yay!!! Congrats. My leg was sooo itchy at first when I got the cast off (maybe in my head cause I couldn’t do anything about it for so long :) ) Enjoy that soak in the tub.

  • Thanks Norm. Completely agree. The OS I saw is highly regarded for his foot/ankle work and is “run off his feet” as a result :). I’m sure if I did need surgery, he’d be the one I would want holding that knife. However… I’m just thankful once again for this blog and the info and inspiration it offers to go out and be proactive. Without it, I shudder to think how long I’d have been in a thigh-high cast and/or not bothering with physio and continuing to deal with swelling, stiff joints, sore knees, atrophy… So if I can help contribute to the ATR community out there via this blog in any way, I’ll keep sharing my experience. It’s also helping me to stay motivated and work hard at recovery. I’d love to say that I’m self-disciplined enough to do this all on my own, but I think a little ‘virtual’ accountability and regular PT appointments are helping to keep me on track right now too.

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