5 Weeks - Post shortening surgery

On Wednesday this week I went in for my latest visit with the surgeon.  There is really not much to report as he basically did a wound check on the incision and palpated around the tendon.  Next week (6 weeks post surgery) I will start taking out the first of 3 wedges next week and then remove 1 wedge every week after.  In addition, I can start putting more weight on the injured leg but still need crutches.

I have been reading the recovery protocol of others and I have noticed that my surgeon had me moving my ankle with inversion, eversion and plantar flexion much earlier than some protocols (2 weeks post op).  To clarify this is not with resistance just an active slow movement.  I am a bit nervous though as I still feel my pereonal tendon working when I do a full plantar flexion.  In my previous posts my pereonal tendon was compensating for my elongated achilles….so a bit scared that my problem has not been resolved.

That’s about it for now.


4 Responses to “5 Weeks - Post shortening surgery”

  1. My protocol was calling for range of motion in plantar flexion at 2 weeks as well. Just simple movements for 5 minutes every hr or so: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RM77LGBpxA
    I went non-op, but non-ops are more prone to healing long than ops. Thus far I healed well. My physio therapist has been excellent in making sure I am not doing any stretching into dorsi flexion for weeks though. We have been working on my calf/ankle/hips muscles pretty aggressively, but everything in plantar flexion I am at 18 weeks today and my PT still recommends no specific stretching into dorsi flexion. I am able to do single calf raises and running on tip toes. I feel that these early range of motion exercises helped my ankle and my walking in the shoes and let me progress well with calf pt. I understand your worry about healing long, as you did once after surgery, but from my experience the early range of motion in plantar flexion has been very beneficial. I feel that avoiding stretching for as long as possible is essential in not healing long. When are you starting your PT?

  2. Kevin - I hope this post finds you well. Have been thinking of your progress. Those early weeks can be challenging, especially the second time round I found. But can say now that glad I had the shortening surgery as I am now stronger than pre-surgery in some ways but no where near 100%.

    My protocol seconds Agnes’ comments re no aggressive dorsi stretching. My surgeon says collagen is solid after 9 months. Hope your p tendon is improving.

    Transitioning to 2-shoes. I was sooooo looking forward to ditching the boot at approx 10 wks. But I needed a cane or crutch for wks 10-12 to deal with the discomfort and AT learning how to work again. Now I walk fine with slight limp during warm up phase. I started 2-shoes with 5 mm heel fits in athletic shoes and will continue so for another month or so.

    I hope you find this helpful! Keep us posted!

  3. Thanks for replying to my post Agnesatr.

    My next ortho visit is at 9 weeks and the surgeon alluded that I would start PT at that time. I start PT at 12 weeks the first time…..but my protocol was almost entirely focused on DF ROM!! He practises at a reputable sports med clinic…but his approach seems contrary to the protocols (including yours) of several on this blog. I still wonder if that is where things went wrong. Nonetheless…..I am so focused on getting back to normal that I am not even at neutral yet. I will take out another wedge on Wednesday and then try to get a bit closer to neutral then.

    I have also been doing some hip, core and back strengthening that I learned from the first go around. I forgot how much my hip and back felt mis-aligned from walking in the boot. I do have the even-up and this helps….


  4. Hi Brad,

    I am down to 2 wedges now and will take another one out on Wednesday (7 weeks). I believe you used a vaco-cast that was set at 30 degrees..not sure what a wedge equates to.

    Last week I started with FWB and so far I feel fine. I am not sure I am at a point where I can say my achilles tendon is tighter than before….this may not be known until trying to load the tendon with resistance. I find myself trying to determine if there is any delay in plantar flexion from when I tighten my calf! I know this is likely a poor test devoid of any scientific evidence..but as you know going through this twice sucks.

    My incision is almost completely healed so I appear to have passed the higher risk periods of DVT, PE and incision healing issues. My ortho told me that the risk of wound healing is higher the second time. These are small steps on this long journey…but I will take the wins where I can.

    For now I will continue my slow journey to plantigrade. I am diligent on the inversion, eversion and plantar flexion movements. I am also trying to really contracting my calf when I do plantar flexion….the ortho told me to really focus on that contraction. I was worried about stretching the tendon but he says there is very little resistance on the tendon despite the tightness in the calf. Both feet appear similar at max flexion….I guess this is a good sign.

    Congrats on the progress! Sounds like shortening was the right decision for you. I hope it is for me too.

    Take care.

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