Puffy, puffy foot

Some days it’s not so bad, but then other days, like today, I get home and my ankle is riduculously puffy and swollen. As far as I can tell, I’m not doing anything different on the days when it swells so horribly. On the bright side, my PT says I am almost ready to get back on my Trikke scooter- the scene of the crime! I was riding it for the very first time when I ruptured my right AT. I never expected to get the go-ahead to get back on it so soon! I don’t know if I will have the nerve. It’s been my goal all along, but now that it is nearly here I have a lot of anxiety.

13 Responses to “Puffy, puffy foot”

  1. normofthenorth Says:

    I’m no expert on Trikke scooters (Is that the 3-wheeled thing that gets propulsion from leaning back and forth?), but returning to any “high-risk” activity at 14 weeks after an ATR sounds “exciting” to me! And I think the activity that tore your AT is “high-risk” by definition, at least in my bood!

    The surgeon who operated on my first torn AT (8 yrs ago) gave me a rule of thumb that felt right to me: When you can do multiple one-legged calf raises (heel raises, heel lifts) on your “bad” leg without grunting or groaning or sweating, you’re probably ready to return to the “high-risk” activity that tore your AT. For me, that sure wasn’t 14 weeks, and I don’t expect it to be that quick this time, either — though I am planning on doing some aggressive downhill skiing at about 16 weeks, and I think I’ll be ready. But that’s in a ski boot. . .

  2. Gerryr Says:

    Get a bicycle. You’ll get a much better cardio workout and they are safer, whoever heard of anyone getting an ATR riding a bicycle. When I ride my bike on the trainer, I feel nothing at all from either ankle because the ankle hardly flexes at all when cycling. I should have started on the trainer months ago while I was still in the boot.

  3. MaryK Says:

    Yes, Norm, that’s exactly the kind of scooter it is! OK, I’m going to try the one legged calf raise. I have no idea whether I can do one or not. I’ll report back.

  4. MaryK Says:

    I do ride a bike at PT, but it is one of those recumbent ones. I definitely feel an ache in my foot while riding it, towards the end of the ten minutes. I wonder if it would be easier to ride a “regular” bike? But, GerryR, you make an EXCELLENT point- no one on here has reported that they were riding a bike when their AT went… on the other hand, as far as I know, I’m also the only one who was riding a scooter :)

  5. normofthenorth Says:

    Don’t push too hard on the one-legged calf raises, Mary. 8 yrs ago, the only serious setback I suffered during my ATR rehab — and also the only real pain — came after my physio convinced me to do as many of them as I could, when I wasn’t ready. That was just after (HOURS after) I got strong enough to walk normally in bare feet, no limp, just like a normal person. Around 4 MONTHS after my surgery.

    I did take my first post-boot bike ride last night, and it felt OK. In the hinged boot, and it didn’t do much hinging while I was cycling. The pedal may have been closer to the heel of the boot than the toe, and my muscle-and-tendon aren’t strong enough yet to bend that hinge against the resistance of the pedal. It’s coming, but not yet, approaching 9 weeks since the boot arrived.

  6. Gerryr Says:

    You are probably the only person to have an ATR while riding one of those scooters, partly because they haven’t been around very long and they are also not as popular as bicycles. I have ridden a number of exercise bikes and I truly hate/despise/detest recumbent ones. I know a couple of cyclists who ride recumbents and they also say the recumbent exercise bikes are awful, nothing like riding their own recumbent. I would really like to try riding one sometime. If where you go has an upright exercise bike, try it. There are a couple of tricks to getting one adjusted so it works correctly. First, sitting on the saddle with one pedal at it’s lowest point, put your heel on the pedal. The saddle is the correct height when your leg is almost straight. Second, if the pedals have straps, use them and adjust them so the ball of your foot is in line with the pedal axle. Doing those two things will make a huge difference in comfort and efficiency on the bike. Check some local bike shops for rentals. You live in Phoenix so it shouldn’t be too hard to find someplace that rents them. In fact, I can check with the cyclist on an road bike forum and see if I can find you a recommended shop, hopefully one right near a bike path.

  7. "Frouchie" or "Grouchie", or just "Chris" Says:

    I feel your pain, and I know what you mean.

    Yesterday, I wore a shoe…yes a real shoe all day. I’m to wean myself off the boot slowly, but I said oh come one one day.

    Well last night my foot and ankle are just as puffy as yours I think.

    I’m back in the boot today feeling a little sore. In 4 hours I’ll put the shoe on again and wear it for 2 hours…then back to the boot as told too.

    Hang in there!! The end is in sight…a long way off…but in sight.

  8. normofthenorth Says:

    I’ve heard raves about the great workout you can get on a Trikke. Mind you, it was from the local distributor, but still. . . And any workout where you can tear an AT has to be pretty vigorous.

    On my first bike ride post-ATR (described above), I did NOT do the things Gerryr recommends. Of course, I wasn’t trying to maximize my AT workout (as I might have done on an exercise bike), I was trying to get all my body parts home safely — and on a snow-covered road, just to make it interesting!

    My recovering AT doesn’t seem up to effective pedaling with the axle under the ball of the foot. In a hinged boot, the boot would just stay locked at 90 degrees; without a boot, the force of the pedal would over-stretch my still-weak AT.

    It’s kind of a tight-rope, developing a “new” AT without over-working it.

  9. normofthenorth Says:

    Is anybody else amazed at how quickly the affected calf muscle atrophies? I’m wondering if there’s some biological signaling system that triggers extra-fast wasting after a tendon tears. It would probably be sensible for the body/evolution/God/Mother Nature to “turn off” a muscle that can’t possibly do any good, and could easily do harm by pulling the two torn tendon ends farther apart. And after a new (weak) tendon is formed, it’s kind of nice to have the muscle and the tendon strengthening at the same rate — you wouldn’t want a super-strong calf muscle pulling on a brand-new AT, would you?

    When people are immobilized for NON-rupture problems, like broken bones or ankle replacements, I wonder if their calf muscles turn into noodles as fast as ours have? Hmmm. A sailboat racing pal just got an ankle replacement — I think I’ll ask him!

  10. diane Says:

    I have noticed that now that I am wearing 2 shoes that my leg swells up a lot more, but yesterday was my first day doing strength building at PT and my foot swelled up so bad that I felt like my sock was going to cut off my circulation. Should it be that bad?

  11. MaryK Says:

    The compression sock helps me a lot, but yes, the swelling is SO much worse once you start wearing 2 shoes. Also, I think that once we lose the boot, we ramp up our activity level HUGELY due to our new-found freedom- which might be a factor, too.

  12. rosamundi Says:

    Mine gets really cold and immobile and numb. BUT physio has taught my husband how to massage round up and down the tendon applying pressure and this releases swelling. I think nerves must get trapped. Its not difficult to do but hard to do oneself.

  13. MaryK Says:

    So how do I get your husband to Phoenix? :)

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