Almost 3 Weeks Post-Op and Driving!

Just last Sunday, I was feeling sorry for myself for being NWB and solely dependent on others. What a difference a week makes!

The doctor told me last Monday when he took out the staples that I could drive when I felt ready. However, I was still having quite a bit of pain and swelling, especially on the outside of my ankle where it might be sprained. I was hoping I could drive in a couple of weeks.

By Friday, I had ditched the crutches completely and was FWB. I had also changed to using compression socks, which managed the swelling and gave me some support. I also think I just got stronger throughout the week as I gradually started to weight bear. Ordering the Even-up contraption for my good foot was a game changer!

On Friday, I needed to deposit a check and the mobile app was rejecting it. So I thought I’d try to drive to the bank. Walked to the car in the boot, changed into a soft shoe in the car, and went for it!

Tendon felt tight, but no pain. Soft acceleration, but that doesn’t take much pressure. I found it easier to brake with my left foot (automatic transmission). After a few jerky full stops, I got the hang of it and it became intuitive. I just went out again today to practice.  The tendon is tired and my atrophied calf is like “WTH”? I will reach Expert level for cruise control, which gives the tendon a needed break.

Not sure if I’m ready to drive to work again. It’s a 40 minute drive and I teach all day. I am on restricted duty, so I’m allowed to sit and elevate as much as I want. Plus, I still have the knee scooter at school to use if I need a break. I just don’t want to overdo it. I’m afraid I’m pushing my luck as it is.

But I feel so much closer to getting some of my life back.

Still not able to manage the pain from swelling at night without sleeping with the cooler wrap running around my foot. I had to drop the hydrocodone at night because after a few days, my mood started to change during the day. But it seems like I overcome a  milestone every week, so maybe that swelling will be the next thing to go.

6 Responses to “Almost 3 Weeks Post-Op and Driving!”

  1. Wow, that’s awesome, although somewhat scary as well. FWB 3 weeks post-op is amazing to me. I am non-surgical, and I was more like 5 weeks post-injury, two weeks into the boot before I was FWB.
    I am still in the boot, and not driving. I’m retired so I don’t need to drive. I got in my car with the boot and I suppose I could to save someone’s life, but I don’t think it would be very pretty.
    Good luck, be careful!

  2. Very encouraging! Based on your post… I am thinking about attempting to get in the car today and give it a go. The swelling is a hassle and I have been ice/elevating every night and morning. I’ll occasionally take a pain pill to help with pain and getting to sleep but it interferes (reduces) deep slow wave sleep which I am guessing is important to healing. Glad you are doing well and look forward to hearing about your recovery.

  3. Way to go! When I had my right foot done I couldn’t drive for 6 weeks - agghh!!! But mine was surgery. Still at week 6 I got the OK and I was out there driving ASAP - LOL! I’m at week 10 on my left foot and still swelling. Nothing that an advil can’t deal with at night and as I sleep the swelling goes down. My doc had me elevating 90% of the time from weeks 1-3 and then 1/2 time from weeks 3-6 so keep elevating and icing as much as you can. I’m still icing and elevating when I’ve overdone it a bit too much.

  4. Wow! 3 weeks post-op and driving? Lucky you :)
    I’ll be 3 weeks post-op tomorrow (complete rupture), and my first post-op with my surgeon is on Monday afternoon. I’m hoping my cast comes off then, and I’ll be put into a boot, even if I’ll still be NWB status.
    I look forward to reading more about your recovery as it continues! On the group tracker, I noticed that our dates of injury and surgery are within a few days of each other.

  5. I think I really lucked out because my rupture happened at work. The Work Comp insurance company sent me to an experienced surgeon who does Work Comp cases. His goal is to get me off the state’s dime as soon as possible, but without causing more expensive damage. So I’m getting the latest and greatest of the early mobilization protocol, which has significantly improved the quality of my life. Being able to put your foot down and move around without crutches is huge.

    I’ve driven myself to work all week. It feels like PT might feel. Tendon gets tired, but it gets more tolerable each day. I don’t really like driving though. It doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t feel good either. I usually love to drive, and now I can’t wait to get to my destination. But I am so so so happy to be independent again. It gets better every week.

    Nightime swelling is still bad and uncomfortable. All part of the process, but it would nice to be able to get a good night’s sleep. Still have some numbness and pain on the outside of my foot.

    But…I think I might feel the beginnings of a calf muscle reawakening from atrophy.

  6. The pain on the outside of the foot may be the nerves that got jangled during surgery. For my right foot I had pain on the outside of the foot right under the ankle. When I asked my doc about it he said there is a nerve there that probably got annoyed by the surgery. It took a while to calm down, but did eventually. Now for my left foot most of the pain is on the inside of the foot just where the curve of the heel is. I see my doc on Monday so I’m going to ask him what causes that pain spot. And you can still ice if you’re swelling :) I’ve been on my feet too much so I’m icing again/elevating in the evening and sometimes during the day as well.

    As for numbness I still have one small spot on the back of my right heel that still doesn’t have much feeling. It is smaller in size than early on in the healing process. I’m guessing it will stay that way. That was one of the warnings in the pre-surgery discussion - possible permanent numbness.

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