9 weeks post-op - Progress (slowly)

Been two weeks since I posted last, didn’t really get to it in the pre-holidays hassle. But things have continued to be generally good with no significant issues. Progress is noticeable, but painfully slow, I’ve come to appreciate the term “frustrating plateau” :)

I’m now 9 weeks post-op, and three weeks into two-shoes. Walking has gotten gradually better, almost at a normal stride now. I naturally have a fairly long stride and I’m a fast walker, so not quite up to that level yet, but walking with a more conservative stride happens without a really noticeable limp now (depending a bit on the time of day and what I’ve been doing). I’ve been somewhat religious about the rehabbing and trying to really build strength in the leg. Basically my standard routine is the one I included in my previous post, but I’ve added some time on a stationary bike as well (more for cardio than necessarily building strength). I can comfortably now do about 45 minutes on the bike without issues, noting that the longer runs especially I do with low resistance and a higher rpm (EDIT: I’ve now today also added the elliptical to my repertoire, 30min no problems, but a pretty “flat-footed” approach). Also a lot of heel raises and squatting as well, two-footed heel raises are no problem with weight evenly distributed, I do 3×15 twice a day at the moment, and the same with seated heel raises leaning on my knees for weight. Generally it feels very good to be back to doing cardio that really makes you sweat, mentally that has been important. ROM also continues to get closer to the healthy foot, no tightness in foot when e.g. squatting below parallel, getting back to the usual point where my hip flexors are the main issue in really squatting ATG :)

Otherwise it’s a bit of a strange period, I feel that (apart from exercise) I feel close to being fully functional in terms of everyday life, but the jump from here to being really fully functional is a long one. Sometimes I think that there is no progress, but then I think a week back and realise that there is progress, even if it isn’t the “big steps” of moving to FWB, two-shoes etc. At the same time, I’m painfully aware that I’m just hitting the peak period for re-ruptures, so I don’t want to push too much until I hit the ~12 week mark…

Decided to also transfer my rehab to a warmer climate for a couple of weeks, and took off to Thailand. Actually this was originally meant to be a golfing trip, but now I can focus on my rehabbing instead. Two days in, it has been great, no freezing snow to worry about, walking around bare foot, and just combining easy lounging with long gym sessions without a rush to be anywhere :)

Finally, I’ve been reading a number of the new stories on this site, and really come to appreciate my OS, his approach to rehab and recovery. When there is no evidence of a longer casted period or longer NWB/PWB period having any benefit (mostly the opposite, within limits), I think I would’ve gone mental spending a long time on crutches especially (the boot was manageable FWB). Also now that I have a better appreciation for what that muscle atrophy actually means in terms of strength (not just visually), I have become a believer in minimising that with early FWB and physio. I commend the people for enduring 10 weeks in a cast / PWB, but at the same time I know that knowing what I know now about the studies and protocols, it would’ve been difficult to take. Even if the results (for surgical) even out in the long run, the difference in quality of life is huge for that time period… (/end rant)

I wish everyone a great holiday period, stay safe and recover!

3 Comments so far

  1. gravity on December 24th, 2014

    Just to be clear, my little rant above wasn’t meant as a criticism of anyone following a “slow” protocol, everyone does what they feel is best for them, and it’s certainly difficult to go against you OS if they have another view. It was more being thankful that my OS seems to follow a protocol that is quick without really increasing risks, and from a quality of life perspective much more palatable…

  2. normofthenorth on December 24th, 2014

    It sounds like you’ve figured it out. Stay with the program and Watch Your Step!

  3. gravity on December 26th, 2014

    Just a quick addition here, had a somewhat of a strange moment today. Was walking around and started feeling a bit of a strain in my calf, I was puzzled for a moment until I realised that I was walking completely without a limp and with a proper push-off, which was putting more strain on the calf muscle. Somehow I got there without consciesly trying for it, but happy to be there, this should also help the calf recovery further, I hope.

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