20 weeks - having a bit of a struggle

Noone ever said this would be easy. But, does it have to be so, so, slow? Sometimes I think that maybe I’m just not trying hard enough or maybe my ‘mature’ status makes the healing slower. I had a bit of a set back in that my ‘periformis’ muscle (other major butt muscle) became strained so I couldn’t do the exercises for my achilles because of the pain in the hip area. Had an acupuncture treatment and have been faithfully doing the assigned exercises. After a week and a half, the pain is definitely better but is still there as a constant reminder.

My main concern, ( I know the periformis is getting stronger) is my inability to walk without a limp unless I am going very, very slowly. Was in the big city for a few days and was so discouraged as I just could not keep up with the general flow of foot traffic. I certainly have developed an empathy for the elderly and the disabled though. Having people streaming by and being left in the wake is very isolating. Actually, if people could have read my thought bubbles they probably would have been amused. My mental mantra was "Squeeze the glutes, even steps, damn glutes not engaged…. " as I  limped along…….

So, I’m wondering -  is anyone else still having difficulty at week 20? Shouldn’t I be able walk at a normal speed without a limp?  Any ideas, suggestions?

9 Responses to “20 weeks - having a bit of a struggle”

  1. Ugh, I’m sorry, Loumar. What do you think the main source of your limp is? I felt like it was my foot–the inability to push off normally because my foot was so weak. It shortened my stride. Is that the same for you? If so, really focus on the eccentric movement of the heel raise. It seems to have helped me.

    FWIW, there are still days where the lump of healing gets inflamed and I notice myself shortening my stride because it hurts. I still limp when I’m barefoot–so even if I’m walking normally in trainers, I’m not walking normally all of the time. I don’t think your limp is because you are not trying hard enough or anything else–I think we all heal at different rates. I was watching Trin’s YouTube video and marveling at her heel raises and tip toe walk at 4 months–she left me in the dust!

    I know it is totally frustrating and discouraging at times but think how far you have come so far. It’s a long slog and we will all get to the finish line in our own time. Hang in there!

  2. As I’ve said elsewhere today, was walking barefoot without the boot today for the first (official) time. I also felt like I was limping and flatfooted. For me it is weakness in the muscle and probably in the attachments of the tendon to the muscle. I’m on the mature side as well (49) and have been told to expect it to take time - and not to rush things. FWIW, don’t adjust your expectations, keep doing the exercises - have you got the one where you use a scarf to pull your foot towards you with your leg extended in front of you? - and it’ll come. All the best!

  3. Thanks for the positive remarks and suggestions Kellygirl and Grimfoot. It was just the little prod I needed to keep plugging along. We

  4. Keep moving, do your best, and Good Healing!

  5. Im also at 20 weeks, I have also experienced some collateral damage to other muscles in my legs. I have upped my Vitamin C and Amino Acids to help th ehealing process. The important part I have found is to at a minimum is MOVE. You have to get your mechanics back, bad mechanics is what causes the breakdowns in other areas.

  6. I very much understand you Loumar, because I am also very far away from what I planned or imagined to be at 6th months postop. I couldn’t figüre out how your perifomis muscle have been strained? I might have missed to read how it happened in your blog. I am also dealing with an upper heel pain which also made me limp in 20th week post op. I probably forced when doing heel rises exercises, so at 13th week. I almost had no limp but at 20th week I had a real limp. Now I am on NSAIs, no pain at all. But I am pretty sure that when I stop taking those pills, pain will come back (hope not). There is no other choice than to wait and take it easy. I didn’t expect to play tennis anytime earlier than a year but now It is really very hard for me to stop walking, running,or any sports dealing putting even a little pressure on my achilles.
    I will inform you when I stop NSAID ( I will be taking them for at least one month). if the pain goes away, maybe it will work for you too.
    All the best till that time…

  7. Thanks for all the comments and encouragement. It definitely helps to know that others are having similar struggles. This blog is definitely a life saver! We’re in this together! Aysrose - hope you’ll have no pain when you stop NSAID. My periformis was strained because my glutes were so weak that the periformis was doing all the work.

  8. Keep on keeping on…you’ll do it….slow and steady…. Something about a tortoise and a hare. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  9. I am 5 1/2 months since bone spurs surgery on achilles. I walk with a severe limp, and it hurts all the time. It still swells with 10 minutes of walking and is swollen most of the time. I too am very discouraged and posts like yours actually give me hope it’s not just me. I couldn’t dream of doing a heel lift.

    I had a blood clot in right calf, and then tore cartlidge in my left knee and had to have operation (rough 6 months!!). But, my shining hope is my 2nd surgeon. He point blank said it simply will take a year to be mostly normal, and maybe two to be as far as you can be. It’s just a slow, long long process. Basicially be patient.

    If there’s hope I can be more patient. Maybe good advice for you too, just takes more time.

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