5 Weeks Post-op update

Hello every one,

It has been 2 weeks since my last update. They were quite interesting weeks.
Between week 3 and 4, everything was Ok, however, all my tries to walk with one crutch or put more weight on my leg didn’t result in any useful outcome. I can walk with one crutch, but it was quite difficult because of the position of my foot in the Vaco Cast, I was at position 3. I didn’t have any balance at all, I would do 4 or 5 steps and then give up.

At my 4 week mark, I was scheduled to see surgeon, according to the protocol, I knew that this meeting would be exciting as I would be able to shower and sleep without the boot and also he will give the green light to move the boot down one position each week. Indeed it was a very happy day for me, didn’t get to see my surgeon, I saw the physician assistant. She checked the wound, moved the boot to position 2, explaining to me that I now have Range of motion between levels 2 and 3 while I’m walking! and that every week I drop it one more level till I reach neutral. She advised to shower in the boot and then wash my leg after that especially that I like standing up in the shower.
My next follow up will be at 7 weeks, she told me I should be walking in neutral position for a week, and to bring a shoe with me :):)

I was very very excited to have this ROM. It was a great/weird/difficult feeling when I took a couple of steps where my foot actually moves. It took me almost a day to get used to it before feeling comfortable to increase weight bearing on it. As I felt I was able to walk relatively better, I decide to ditch the knee scooter (I only use if I’m walking a distance more than 10 minutes, Like between the train station and my work). It wasn’t a very smart decision, the under arms crutches although putting more weight on my foot were very uncomfortable, I decided to ditch them and bought a pair of forearm crutches, they were the best.
I started using the forearm crutches and I immediately felt more improvement on my weight bearing, ease of movement, pain tolerance and speed as well.

During that past week, walking with one crutch was better, but not sufficient to ditch the second crutch my balance was still so impaired, however I think I was able to walk without crutches at all for few minutes around my house, but still balance was a problem. I didn’t feel much pain on my leg, It was more of feeling pressure on my heel and occasionally, some pins feeling in my tendon.

Yesterday, It was the time to change the boot again, to position 1 this.. I was very excited, more ROM, more progress. I knew what to expect when I put my foot on the ground, it will feel weird so I changed the boot, secured it and started walking for 10 minutes to eliminate any weird feelings, it worked quite well. I was ready to put more weight and resume my normal routine after 30 minutes or so.

Today, First day to walk 0.4 miles between the train and work with the new boot setting, It was quite easy, only pain is occasional pain in the back of the heel (Donna, you mentioned that this might be not good right ? ). I felt that I wasn’t putting that much weight on the crutches because my arms didn’t hurt as they normally do. This encouraged me when I got up to work to try walking with one crutch again and OMG, It feels so easy now, there are some balance problems still, but I feel Im putting all my weight on my leg.. I freaked out to the extent that I felt I re-ruptured it or something that’s why I can do all that on it. Same with walking with no crutches, it feels very easy too!!! Although I’m very excited, I will try to take it slowly and not ditch the crutches until I am in neutral next week, especially I will lose the high sole in the boot and change to the flat one!!
I think weeks after the first month are very exciting, each week there is a change/improvement, so for all who are before 4 weeks, its doable and I believe the worst is over!!!

5 Responses to “5 Weeks Post-op update”

  1. Nice description of your progress…I’m sure it will be helpful to others…Great idea on the forearm crutches, I’ve heard others here say they are much better!

    Pain in the back of the heel this early could be anything really…however, f it persists it could be insertional tendinitis (sore on the back of the heel) which is not good only because it can become chronic and lead to all kinds of other issues. I had it many years ago and it only went away when I took a lot of time off from working out and never went back to the activity that caused it. When I started doing eccentric heel drops as part of my rehab at 16 weeks I had that same darn heel pain again because those micro tears are still there, so I stopped doing that exercise and am doing the same motion but on a flat surface to avoid the heel pain. My point being as you get into more movement and PT it’s important to add new things in and then wait and see how you do with them over a day or two before continuing. If back of the heel pain, or shin pain (usually shin splints) then it’s best to stop that new exercise and come up with another way to work the same muscle you are trying to get at. For example I have moderate osteoarthritis in my knees so I don’t do a lot of lunges or squats, I have other exercises to work my quads and hamstrings.

    I agree that what seems like the worst is over…the first 4 weeks are tough…what’s coming up is hard in other ways. Each phase has it’s challenges. Mine now is adding duration and speed to my walk…you kind of get tired of being tired (fatigued leg/tendon), at PT I’m now working on calf strength and it’s not taking as long as I thought it would. I did my first set of single leg calf raises and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be….do you know when you start PT? I don’t recall seeing it here in your blog.

  2. Thanks Donna, for as usual great response.

    I start PT at Week 7, he is planning to put me in shoes while I’m doing PT. Its quite scary, I’m not sure if that is considered late for PT start. Also, they didn’t clear me for swimming or cycling with no resistance yet, no alphabet or any complex ROM exercises

    As of now, they are telling me because my boot has a range of motion and its not fixed, that’s the start of my PT.

    I agree about your point about the challenges in each phase,
    I feel good about my tendon now that I’m so freaked out and keep reaching to move my foot up and down to touch it and feel its there and stretching :) I don’t want to go back!

  3. Glad to hear about your progress and yes it is so exciting to see the improvements week over week. Being a week ahead of you, I saw great progress between week 5 and 6. I see surgeon tomorrow where they will take me from 2 to 1 wedge and then start PT on Friday. I agree the weight bearing in the boot is a form of PT and it is amazing to feel things returning to “normal”. Hope things continue to go well for you.

  4. I started PT at week 6…I don’t think it’s bad to start PT earlier than week 6, I just don’t think you can do much anyway and as you said you have a boot doing the work for you! YAY that!…so week 7 is a fine time to start. I didn’t have any ROM to to do until I started PT, I was told I could only wave my gently foot back and forth. However, I do think other active, gentle, and sitting ROM stuff is OK before 6 weeks as long as there is nothing passive or for dorsiflexion. Initial ROM comes back really fast…a week after PT you’ll most likely see huge improvements and may be in two shoes…I was in two shoes at PT on my 3rd visit which was between week 7 & 8.

    You won’t have any problems, I think your doing great!

    and LINDA…YAY…I’m so happy for you…going down to one wedge tomorrow….another milestone! I hope you enjoy PT Friday, be sure to let us know how it goes.

  5. Good Job mate, I’m very happy to hear all of us is progressing well

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-Spam Image

Powered by WP Hashcash