6 weeks after surgery

After being allowed to go home from the hospital 18 days after having surgery, I mostly just rested at home with my leg elevated for another couple of weeks. My husband did a good job of looking after me and when he was away on a couple of trips I managed ok by myself.

I used a computer chair on wheels to move food from the kitchen to the dining table. This also gave me somewhere to sit and rest while I was in the kitchen. And a chair covered in a large trash bag for sitting and taking a shower with another bag to cover my cast.

My apartment has some tricky stairs to negotiate to get in and out of it and it is at the top of a small hill. I don’t have a car so all of these have contributed to me not getting out and about much during the first 5 weeks after surgery. Now I am more confident on the stairs, although still wary, and I can walk down the hill to the main road and catch a taxi so I am able to go out other than to visit the hospital. This definitely helps with a feeling of getting back to normal.

On 6th May, not quite 4 weeks after the surgery my cast was removed. The doctor looked at the Achilles and said it was healing well and I could go into the boot. I don’t know the kind of boot, but it has a metal rods attached to a wheel on each ankle which allows adjustment of how much the boot can flex, and lots of velcro straps.

It hurt putting the boot on for the first time, as with the cast my foot was pointing downwards but t he boot is set in a near normal foot position. The pain was just from some stretching and it didn’t last long. I was told to be PWB but I was rather tentative at first.

I did have terrible knee pain for a few days. My knee had severely stiffened up from being in the cast and it took about 1 week of doing knee exercises to get the full range of movement back in my knee.

I started physiotherapy the Monday after getting the boot. This consists of heat, interferential electrotherapy at the same time as infrared therapy. All these are supposed to improve circulation. After the heat therapy sometimes the physiotherapist massages my leg. There is one spot on my calf which is very painful during the massage, although it does seem to be improving slightly. I was also told to do ROM exercises (just move my foot gently up and down) at home. I am having this physiotherapy 3 times a week.

I have also been doing leg lifts (without being told) ever since the surgery. Lifts lying on my back and on my side wearing the boot and the cast before that. I am still PWB, but am trying to increase the amount of slow walking I do. I can manage about 500m before being too tired. It has just got really hot here which doesn’t help. I have just ordered an exercise bike and plan to start using that daily from this week.

Last week I went back to work which was rather scary. I teach at elementary school and I was very worried about the students running into me. But they have been very respectful of the crutches. Apart from being exhausted at the end of each day, it has gone very well.

So now I am 6 weeks post surgery. I am still PWB in the boot and have been told I will ditch the crutches within 2 weeks. I am trying to increase the amount of weight I put on my foot but I haven’t been brave enough to try FWB yet.

I have pretty much a full range of motion back in my foot, after it is warmed up. I have a little swelling around the Achilles which increases to a lot if I have my foot down for too long, but goes down quite quickly on elevation. I am still sleeping in the boot as it doesn’t bother me and I move around a lot during the night.

2 Responses to “6 weeks after surgery”

  1. hi Kiwi

    where they they hook up the Interfererntial nodes? near the achilles or near the upper calf?

    I have a handheld machine that has that mode along with microcurrent that I use for back pain and curious if I should use on the calf.

    thx!

  2. Hi Vball,

    I have had the nodes in several places. The first couple of times they were near the Achilles on either side.

    The next couple of times were higher up on the upper calf. The last couple of times were on either side of my foot, in front and directly on the Achilles.

    I have been told that it is to help with improving circulation so I guess they want to move them around a bit to try and improve the circulation all through the area.

    I can feel the buzz from the electricity during the treatment which lasts 15 minutes but it is not uncomfortable or painful.

    I hope that information helps.

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