Week 6-7 - PWB and FWB

I saw my specialist at 5 weeks, and he gave me the ok to start PWB at 6 weeks. As it happened, my right crutch broke at 5.5 weeks so I ended up bringing that forward slightly. (As an aside, if you wear through the rubber on the bottom of your crutch, a washer, some rubber and duct tape will do the trick - took me a couple of goes to find a fix!).

Last time, I never quite got the hang of FWB and there is no doubt that slowed my recovery. So I was determined to do it right this time. I watched a number of YouTube clips on transitioning from PWB to FWB. I started with two crutches, then I loosened my grip to minimise the weight through my arms, then I took my right arm out of the elbow hold and used the right crutch like a walking stick, then I dropped the right crutch completely…

I’m 6.5 weeks now and FWB. I still use one crutch usually to ensure I get a good walking motion. I slip into a limp without one crutch to push me through the step slightly. I use two crutches outside (uphill is challenging!) and when I’m tired too.

I also bought an “Evenup” for my good leg. I didn’t have one with my last ATR and it definitely makes a big difference.

So far, my right ATR feels streets ahead of where my left ATR was at this stage. I’ve got a lot more functionality in my toes  (thanks toe exercises), strength in my upper leg, and generally better mental connection to my leg. I think not being scared of my leg has made a big difference this time around.

I’m also spending some time with my foot out of the boot each day now, preparing for life after the boot! It sure is nice to get some sunshine on the leg!!!

2 Responses to “Week 6-7 - PWB and FWB”

  1. Congrats on FWB! For me the big thing with FWB was to start by taking small steps but with a normal gait. As I got more strength and flexibility in the achilles I could lengthen my stride. Initially I was walking with itty, bitty steps - but with a normal stride :) The important thing is to resume walking with a normal motion so your leg learns to do it the right way, even if your stride is a lot shorter than before surgery. The stride length will come back as your achilles gets more flexible.

  2. Yes that is a great point. I started off with really small steps and only FWB for about half of the day. Over a week my leg has gotten a lot stronger! Another tip I learnt last time is to use an exaggerated walking motion (lifting your knees quite high as you step through), this forces a walking motion, rather than limping. I don’t do this all the time, but it’s a good reminder a few times a day!

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