3-month anniversary & questions

Three months ago today the doc confirmed what I already knew–my left achilles was in two. I was tired from a long tennis practice, and I got wrongfooted when my partner hit a short ball and I ended up putting all my weight on the outside (pinky toe area) of my left foot, which I think did me in. Like a bungy cord snapping. Two days later I had surgery.
In general I feel like my recovery has gone pretty well, with the the normal ups and downs. Here is my timeline.
  • Month 1: No walking. Surgery & cast. What worked for me: knee scooter is way better than crutches; also no beer to keep weight down.
  • Month 2: Walking with boot. Mild PT (yellow band & 2-leg toe raises). What worked for me: long boot walks, lots of icing, and gym for general leg/core work.
  • Month 3: Walking w/o boot. Started full PT (which is great). What worked for me: biking, walks, icing, at-home PT exercises everyday.
  • Month 4: we will see

Questions:
  1. Exercises: Anyone have some favorite exercises at this point? Two weeks ago it was lunges, which I felt really helped build strength/balance/cardio. This past week it has been toe walks, which was tough at first but I am slowly seeing some progress. Hoping my PT guy will authorize jumping rope soon.
  2. Mobility: How do you get the full range of motion back and when does this occur? I understand things are going to be tight in the calf-stretch direction, but why am I still limited in the toe-point direction? I guess it’s from all the scar tissue back there? Did anyone do massage/ultrasound/something else outside of their PT to help break down this scar tissue?

thanks!

5 Responses to “3-month anniversary & questions”

  1. Sounds like you are doing really well. Re: the mobility, I think it will come back with time. I had the opposite problem–poor DF compared to plantar flexion. My DF seems to have improved dramatically in month 4 (since I can now use a squat toilet if I want.) I don’t know what impedes the flexibility but it sounds like you are doing everything necessary to improve it–walking, stretching, etc. I’m impressed with your toe walks–I can only tip toe in place while holding on to something! Great report :)

  2. @kellygirl: I’m definitely pretty careful with the toe walking–I make sure everything is warmed up and then start nice and slow. It does feel like it’s helped, though.

    Between your good foot and your bad foot, if you sit on the ground and point your toes, how much difference is there? Mine are about 1.5″ different.

  3. My plantar flexion was the same on both feet. My DF on the bad foot was neutral and -15 on the good leg. I think they are about the same now although I haven’t had it measured at PT. FWIW, it really improved in month 4. Good luck!

  4. Power walking helped with my range of motion. Once I started I saw drastic improvements in my ROM.

  5. If you can get to a pool, deep water walking and swimming has really helped my flexibility return. The flapping calf muscle and foot and ankle tingling sensations are a little weird but my whole leg feels so much better after every pool session.

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