Healing well

January 23rd, 2013

Eight weeks post third surgery and all the scabs have finally fallen off. I have one crooked scar. I still can’t do a lot of physio on the achilles — too delicate. But I feel past the post in terms of infection. I can easily move my foot to 90 degrees, so that is a step in the right direction. I am focusing on strengthening my back after using crutches now for nearly 7 months. Happy to hear any tips about relieving pain from using crutches.

3 Responses to “Healing well”

  1. ryanb on January 24, 2013 11:30 am

    For a low impact, low (near zero) Achilles stress, all body activity - I’m going to, again, recommend: swimming. It has lots of benefits, but getting the whole body working, improving flexibility, and “recovering” from extended crutch use; it’s hard for me to think of something better.

  2. lizzie on January 24, 2013 12:20 pm

    Thank-you for your comment Ryan. I adore swimming and to me it makes sense to be able to move my whole body as part of my recovery. I was about 7 weeks post-op from surgery number 2 when I asked my surgeon about swimming. He said not to because my achilles was too fragile and I couldn’t wear anything in the water to support it. Do you know of anything that could stabilize my achilles for swimming? I am almost 9 weeks post op of my third surgery.

  3. ryanb on January 24, 2013 12:34 pm

    My experience swimming was that I didn’t need any support. Kicking “down”, your foot is pushed back into plantar flexion- stressing the muscles on the front of your shin, the Achilles is relaxed. Kicking up, it was easy for me to just relax my calf, let the water push my foot to neutral (not the most efficient swimming stroke), again there was no real stress put on the Achilles. I got in the pool at about 4.5 weeks post-op, and was able to swim with 100% effort almost immediately. As my strength improved, I was gradually able to start working on pointing my toes during the “up” kick- but even then, I found the water just didn’t have the leverage to hurt me.

    The time to be most careful is getting in and out of the pool. And I took it really easy on the turns- no flip turns for quite a while ;-)

    The water will impart random forces onto the ankle. It took me a while to get comfortable with these, and realize they weren’t going to hurt me. I found that they actually helped rehab the little stabilizer muscles- getting out of the pool I always felt much better walking.

    I honestly think the Achilles could have tolerated swimming even earlier. The gate for me was the surgical incision: my doc correctly pointed out that infection is a real risk, and he didn’t want me in the pool until the incision was fully closed. That was ~4.5 weeks for me-

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    ATR Timeline
    • Name: lizzie
      Location: Toronto
      Injured during: skipping rope
      Which Leg: L
      Status: 2-Shoes

      520 wks  2 days Post-ATR
      513 wks  3 days
         Since start of treatment