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Archive for July, 2010

7 weeks post-op and finally FWB

Last week, at just under six weeks post-op, I got my second cast off and was fitted for an air walker with two centimeters of heal lifts. I was PWB for about 5 days but have been FWB now for a couple of days. I was so glad to be rid of the crutches and able to walk! Thankfully, heal pain has been minimal. Mainly discomfort. I sleep with the boot off.

I removed one of the heal lifts today so I have one centimeter of lift. Even removing one lift has made it easier to walk. In one more week, I’ll remove the last heal lift.

I’ve been doing ROM exercises at home as well as seated heal raises. I begin physical therapy next week and am looking forward to it. If there are other exercises I should be doing right now before I start PT, please let me know. I’m following the UWO protocol posted by Norm. My doctor said I could take the boot off and walk in shoes at home as long as the heal lift is in but I’m not ready for that yet.

That’s it for now.

Keep Healing.

PWB and ahead of schedule!

It’s been six weeks since I had surgery on my ruptured left AT. This Monday, I went to the surgeon to have my second cast removed and am now in a boot and PWB. What a great feeling!

The surgeon was impressed with my ROM as well as lack of severe calf atrophy. Yes, it’s atrophied but not a toothpick. My plantar flexion and dorsiflexion are almost identical to my other ankle and I have no pain or stiffness. The surgeon told me that I am ahead of where most of his patients are at this point and he was very encouraging. He did, however, tell not to use this information as an excuse to go do something stupid that could cause a set back.

I think I was able to maintain flexibility because I constantly moved my foot and ankle while I was in both casts. I wiggled my toes all lot and rotated my leg and ankle left and right as much as possible. I think the most important thing was the fact that for the past four weeks, I have been doing isometric exercises inside the cast by pushing down with my toes and pushing up with my toes. It seemed to help not only the calf but also all of the muscles in my ankle and foot. I didn’t push super hard but I did each exercise at least 50 times every day.

I showed the surgeon Norm’s rehab protocol (thanks Norm) and he said it looks excellent and he had no problem with me following it. He also told me that I could wear running shoes in the house with heel lifts if I wanted and felt up to it but always wear the boot outside for now. I’m reluctant to try shoes now because I’m concerned about re-injury. It’s still good news and I’ll re-evaluate when I’m feeling more confident. I want to be aggressive in my rehab but I also need to use my head.

All in all, a great week.

Keep Healing!

New to the “club”

I’ve been reading the blogs and information on this website for about 5 weeks. It has been extremely helpful in terms of information but also in terms of support. It’s great to see the interaction of the many people on the site. I finally decided to start my own blog so that I could participate and not just view the site.

I ruptured my left AT on May 16, 2010 sprinting to first base while playing softball. I didn’t know it at the time and decided to use RICE and see if would be better in a week or so. After hobbling around for over three weeks, I finally saw a doctor who looked at my leg, did a Thomson test and told me I had an ATR.

I made an appointment with the surgeon who had fixed a full rupture of the supraspinatus in my rotator cuff a couple of years earlier. He looked at my leg and asked me when I had injured my AT. I told him the date (it was now more than 3 weeks) and he said he would not be able to do the surgery as I had waited way too long. He put me in a cast and then recommended that I go to a different surgeon who was much more specialized in sports injuries for a second opinion.

I went to the new surgeon the next day. He looked at my MRI and told me that he could do the repair despite the delay. It turned out that I did not have a complete rupture. It was near complete but there was a small bit of the tendon that was still attached. I was scheduled for surgery the next day.

The surgery was performed on June 11th. The surgeon told me that it was a very clean tear and that made the repair much easier. I was put in a cast and sent home. At three weeks, I went back for my first post-op appointment. The stitches were removed and I was put it a second cast with my foot at almost neutral.

I was very pleased that the surgeon took the time to talk to me and answer all of my questions during the follow up visit. He suggested that I learn to take it a little slower out of the batter’s box and also recommended not wearing cleats when playing next year (if I decide to play.) Apparently, when it comes to your Achilles tendon, the loss of traction from wearing sneakers is preferable to the solid grip of cleats during acceleration.

I will get my cam walker in less than two weeks and am really looking forward to getting rid of the crutches!

I have been very fortunate in that I have had very little swelling and have had no pain since the surgery. I took a couple of Motrin the first day after surgery to reduce inflammation but nothing since except for low dose aspirin to reduce the chance of blood clots.

I do leg exercises everyday that I found on this site as well as isometric exercises inside the cast pointing my toe down and also raising the toe. I’m hoping this will help lessen the inevitable muscle atrophy.

By far, the hardest part of this injury is the length of the recovery looming over me as well as a summer of softball, mountain biking, fly fishing, hiking and kayaking down the drain.

Being on crutches is also a real drag but that will be over when I get the cam walker. On the other hand, I have come to appreciate that this is temporary and I will be up and walking and running, etc. over time. There are many others in the world who have had injuries or maladies for whom that will never be true. So despite the disappointment of losing a few months of activities, it’s only a few months.

I know this is a long-winded first post but I’ve been reading the site for a while and am writing several weeks of info in a single post. This site is a source of inspiration for me and I’m looking forward to participating.

I’ve been skiing since I was five and continue to be an avid skier. I WILL be skiing this coming winter!