I’m sorry to have neglected posting - but not much happens once you start walking well, etc. I was released from PT at 6 months, and while I’m far from “back to normal,” they couldn’t do much more for me. I have very limited DF on my injured (postop) leg, and just healed too tightly for some reason. The surgeon had to trim a lot of tendon because of the explosive nature of my rupture, and set the AT at a “ballerina point” for the initial few weeks. Not sure which caused the problem, but I still can’t run due to inability to flex properly.
The good news is that I can road bike better than before, I have plenty of strength in my leg, and am building calf strength and size consistently. Surprisingly, DF is continuing to improve monthly at this late stage, without tremendous focus on my part - just normal stretching, etc. I had a setback a 6 months as early calf raises bothered some small tendon on the inside of my ankle, causing excruciating pain when turning the foot inward or pressing on it. No issues at any other time, but the doc said to lay off calf raises so it’s delaying my lower leg building a bit. The AT is stiff in the morning, and I prefer slippers with a slight heel for the first 15 min. of walking and going down the stairs. After that, barefoot feels better. This could be due to age as well!
My AT is STRONG - but large - like a stack of quarters. It’s not visible from the front, so no vanity issues, but I did have to purchase an entire size bigger in shoes making many of my older ones “obsolete.” I’m hoping I’ll get in the old ones again, but it’s not looking good. A rather expensive inconvenience. My boots were ok, just anything with a grip around my formerly small heel/ankle had to go. My AT gets sore after long hours on my feet - but normal activity doesn’t faze it.
I stumble, pivot, and twist all the time now - and no issues unless I irritate that small unrelated tendon on the inside of the ankle. I think releasing from my bike clips irritates it, but I’m not giving up my biking. It doesn’t help that at 50 I try to out bike younger neighbors - putting strain on my old legs for pride’s sake. Pitiful, I know. Unfortunately, I also got my big butt back - bummer. I didn’t realize how much of it was muscle! Seriously, though, I didn’t realize just how much atrophy affected the entire lower body - I can’t fit in my post injury sports wear. Work hard on those hip/thigh exercises!
I can walk very fast with no limp, but just can’t get the DF for even a jog. My leg is somewhat like a fused ankle, and my knee can’t take the strain when I try to run. No pain, just technically impossible right now. I’m hoping that the DF continues to increase - we’ll see. If I sound nonchalant about the running thing, it’s because I didn’t do much before the injury anyway - my knees are shot from years of high mileage when young - so biking is my main pursuit now. I’m able to throw a ball and move quickly to catch with kiddos, so other than the need for dodging traffic in China, my goals are mostly met. I would probably be running now if I really cared, but I haven’t worked hard to get that back - please don’t let that discourage anyone. I expect that will come back in the next few months.
On a sad note, I lost my handicapped parking status one week short of Christmas. Parking with the peasants is not fun during the holiday season, so that’s one thing I miss post injury, haha!
My sympathy goes out to those who are rehabing and in the early weeks. It seems so much longer than it really is. Hang in there as it really goes quickly once you find things to accomplish during the down time. I learned great admiration for those for whom this is a way of life - injured soldiers with permanent disabilities, etc. Their stories were very inspirational and I recommend seeking them out when you get “down in the dumps” about it all. I’ll try and add a pic later to the post, so you can see what it looks like at this stage. Best wishes to those working to get back on your feet. Blessings, Kim