Week 17 update - 4 day golf trip

Here is an update for the golfers out there:

Exactly 120 days from surgery I made the trek down to Bandon Dunes on a guys golf vacation. There aren’t any motorized carts allowed, which I knew, but wasn’t going to miss this trip.

Things went well. We played four days of golf, a round each day carrying clubs, the par three course after one of the rounds and the “punch bowl” after one as well. LOTS of walking - my tracker had me averaging about 11 miles a day (not just golf but all day)

Didn’t really need to ice or elevate and ibuprofen helped.

I’m a little sore since I’ve gotten home, but it was well worth it. 60 degrees, sunny and minimal wind…i would have been upset to miss that!

Week 14 update

It has been awhile since I’ve posted an update for two reasons - having a newborn around the house and after week 8 or 9 the updates aren’t as “groundbreaking” anymore!

I’ll start out with the obligatory, I can’t believe I’m at week 14 already. I really can’t. It seems like yesterday that I was looking at that NY marathon map and wondering when I’d be over that first bridge.

Some of the updates since I’ve last posted:

I’ve been doing a ton of exercises. Not so much directly with the calf (although two leg calf raises and seated calf raises with weights I still do), but mainly more overall lower body strengthening. Lots of band work (monster walks, side to side walking, etc…), single leg balance and squats on foam/bosu/balance ball, squats and leg press machine. I can really tell when I skip a few days as my leg doesn’t feel as good. As for cardio, I’ve been walking on treadmill, elliptical and stationary/recumbent biking.

I’ve started golfing regularly. Through week 11 I was golfing in my boot and using a cart. Since week 12, I’ve been walking 18 holes once or twice a week and carrying my bag (pretty hilly course so it is a workout). I’d be lying if I said I felt great (although each time is better), but a little ice and ibuprofen and I’m back to normal pretty quickly. I’m playing 4+ rounds of golf over a long weekend in 3 weeks at Bandon Dunes so getting my conditioning up is critical (carts aren’t allowed so all walking!). That will be 17 weeks from surgery. I’m kind of in a holding pattern for increasing exercise until after the golf trip. We don’t want to introduce a bunch of new advanced exercises and potentially risk a setback.

I ditched the boot for good 2 weeks ago. I was wearing it for certain things still (UW husky football games), but this Saturday will be my first one without it.

The PT and surgeon say my recovery is going quickly. I don’t know what to attribute it to (although I typically have been a fast healer!) but my feeling is it is a couple things:

• Out of PWB stage quickly – I think I was FWB at 2 weeks (in boot of course).
• Early ankle ROM exercises 3 or 4 times a day
• Supplements – I regularly took large doses of Vitamin C (emergen-c packets), Jello (gelatin), whey protein (for the amino acids, especially glutamine) and multivitamins

Who knows if that all helped…maybe it is just luck?

Best of luck to all you out there!

Week 8 update - two shoes!

I had my OS appointment yesterday, a day before my 8 week anniversary and was given the green light to transition to 2 shoes. I’ve spent the majority of the time since in 2 shoes and only put the boot on when I was going to my son’s school curriculum night (was a little leery of a large crowd on my first day of two shoes…).

I had been walking in bare feet for a week or so but it feels much better to be in shoes. The leg feels a little weak and I’m doing the typical transition slowness but I’ll take it. I had a ton of swelling last night (had like a muffin top when I took my shoe off), but so far today the swelling hasn’t been bad.

I imagine I’ll still use my boot when I go to UW Husky football games and possibly when I golf over the next week or two, but I think I’m mostly done with it!

I’m going to continue with once a week PT (tomorrow I believe we are going to start on the leg press machine) as well as my three times a day work out of squats, one leg balances, seated/standing calf raises and band work. I slowed down on the gelatin supplementing as I got tired of Jello. I don’t mind the taste and texture, I just would forget to take it or make it. I’ve stuck religiously to my protein supplements (twice a day) and vitamin C supplements (once or twice daily packets of emergen-c). I don’t know if they are helping, my gut tells me they are but who knows.

One last thing. I noticed a bump on the bottom of my foot. It is about the size of a pea and it is on the arch right below the ball of the foot. It doesn’t hurt unless I press on it (to which my wife says don’t press on it). I only discovered it because I was rubbing my foot to help with the swelling. The PT doesn’t think it is anything major and we are going to track it.

Did anyone else have anything like that?

week 7 updates - new firsts!

Well week 7 had a lot of new firsts. Started driving again over the weekend. It is nice to have that freedom back. My goal was to be driving by 8 weeks so that I could take my wife to the hospital when the baby comes (due date a week away!). Sleeping with my boot off which is soooo nice. Walked in two shoes around the house and outside, although I’m going to stick with the boot until I meet my os later this week. Standing calf raises…they feel much better then seated calf raises!

Another interesting first was that my bad leg could do plantar flexion and dorsiflexion to just about the same point as my good leg. I’m not sure if that is good or not, but figured I would note it in case I have any issues of healing long or something like that.

My pt gave me a couple new exercises. One is as to squat down and then oscillate up and down an inch or two for 10 seconds. That really hits the quads and loosens up the ankle. The other is standing calf raises.

I have had a slight increase in heel pain which I’m attributing to the increased activity (in addition to the new stuff, I walked a ton over the weekend at a husky football game). It seems to go away with rest and ice so I’m not really concerned.

Good luck to everyone out there! This site has been great and it is nice to read about everyone’s progress and the different approaches to this injury.

week 6 update for the golfers out there

I figured I’d post a quick update for the golfers out there who are early in their recovery. Yesterday I played 18 holes in a scramble and then played 7 more holes tonight. The boot is on when I’m playing and ball is going about 20% less but straight (probably due to my lack of weight shift and getting on my toe). I’ll take that even when I’m healthy!

I played the 7 holes 3 over and I’m a 13 index. So the boot might stay on for rounds even when I’m healthy!

Week 6 update

It is interesting that I find writing blog entries very therapeutic. So I apologize if I’m writing too many!

Today is my 6 week anniversary for my surgery. I had another PT session and they increased my exercises to the following things out of the boot:

Two legged squats - 10 reps 3 times a day
Seated calf raises - 10 reps 3 times a day
Balance on 1 leg for 10 seconds - 1 time a day

I’m also doing band exercises - 4 sets of 10 once or twice a day.

PT also still includes a massage with a graston tool which was less painful this last time.

The exercises feel great. It is nice to be working out even if it is such a little amount. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting the boot off in 2 weeks…

Week 5 update - new PT and new exercises

I started with my new PT on 8/20, exactly 5 weeks from surgery. There is a night and day difference between the PTs and even their offices. Glad I made the switch so far!

In this session I had my first expereince with a graston tool. That felt good for the most part with a little bit of pain and discomfort. I also was given a band to workout with each day - 4 sets of 10 reps where I point my toe and slowly bring it back to neutral.

I also walked for my first time in bare feet. I took two small steps. Talk about a humbling experience and a good reminder that this is a long process. I was feeling pretty good in my boot and geting around well and not even really thinking about my injury, but trying to walk on bare feet made me feel like I was back at square 1!

I’m supposed to stand on my feet daily and slowly shift my weight over each foot to stretch the ankle out. That feels really good to stretch some of those muscles and joint that have been stuck doing the ankle alphabet for the past couple weeks…

week 5 update

Things are progressing. Fwb in a boot is great, it took about 3 days to get a good gait and since then it hasn’t really felt like it hinders me much.

I haven’t been to pt in about 9 days. I was worried about the stretching my pt was doing and healing long. I decided to hold off on pt until I saw the surgeon last Thursday. He gave me a clean bill of health and shook his head when I told him that the pt stretched me past neutral. He said you don’t want to be doing that at this stage.

I start with a new pt tomorrow so hopefully the experience is better.

It is funny I was so concerned and protective of not slipping, falling, tripping, etc… And then when all the healing long talk started my new fear started! Well it is what it is at this point so nosense worrying I guess.

I started hitting balls at the range with short flat footed swings in the boot. I decided I was finally going to change my grip so I figured there was never going to be a more perfect time. It feels good to be swinging a club again.

3.5 week update - standing with no boot

Not much to report, but i had a minor victory over the weekend. As I was putting on pants I stood up on one leg as I normally do. I had been sitting with both feet on the ground with my bad foot at about 90 degrees.

As I was balancing on one leg (safely) I decided to slowly put my foot down. It was holding about 5% of my weight, if not less. As I got a little more brave, I slowly transferred my weight so that I was standing normally with no boot. It felt great to just stand still without anything “helping.”

It’s funny how such minor things can feel like such big deals nowadays!

week 3 update

Tomorrow will be the 3 week mark for me. Things seem to be going well, boot walking is getting easier. Incision is healing well and was told I could go into a pool.

I had my 4th pt appointment today. I’m a little concerned that the pt was overly aggressive with the dorsiflexion today. I mentioned that I wasn’t supposed to go past neutral and she got me to 5 degrees. It is the first time it has been stretched past neutral.

There was also a super sharp pain with burning while she was massaging my incision. Not related to stretching and everything was fine after a few minutes so I’m hoping it was scar tissue or something.

I think I’m going to find a new pt as I felt that she ignored both my comments and also my docs protocol (to not got past neutral). I’m hoping I’m nipping any potential healing long worries in the bud by switching pt…