postop rehab protocol

Coming up on my first postop one week after surgery.  Believe doc will want to cast me for 3 weeks, then boot me for 2 more, then PT to begin 6 weeks out.  I want to push for more aggressive protocol with walking boot/modified orthosis and partial weight bearing, disuse of crutches, asap.  Read studies and seen protocols saying early functional treatment leads to faster recovery, less muscle atrophy, etc., without increased incidence of rerupture/complications.

Don’t know how doc will respond but want to push for this approach.  Anyone have this issue?  Suggestions?

6 Responses to “postop rehab protocol”

  1. Hello Nomada,
    Studies also tell you that it takes up to a year to heal properly whichever protocol you follow.
    I’d go steady if I were you, its a risk. However there are some people on the site who have got back on their feet slightly quicker than others - it will depend on how much of a risk -taker your Doc is


  2. The protocol you just described was exactly what I had and most people I have talked to think it was aggressive. Some of the exercises you may want to ask your doctor about when you are in a cast are riding a stationary bike and leg lifts/hamstring curls to minimize the upper leg from atrophy. Good luck!

  3. Richard,

    Thanks for the sanity check. Appreciate the exercise suggestions.
    I’m just looking for a way to speed up the recovery process, like everyone else, and also just as important to provide a mental boost that I’m not getting weaker than necessary before trying to rehab. Will see how the doc appointment goes.


  4. Having done this twice already and having both the slow rehab protocol and the early rehab protocol done, I prefer the early protocol. I agree, you end up in the same place eventually but I had a much easier time and much less pain along the way with the early. The big key was the early range of motion not the early strength building. Oddly it seemed like a lot of the strength I had to fight for with the slow, just came out of nowhere when I had the early. Again I think it really helped to have that range of motion right away. I understand that some repairs are so tough that the early rehab protocol is not an option.

  5. Just got back from my one week postop attpointment (actually 8 days post surgery) and am very upbeat. Sutures removed and everything looks good. Best news is that surgeon put me directly into Bledsoe boot instead of hard cast for 3 weeks and then boot for 2 more, which is her normal protocol. Because of all the great information and personal stories on this cite, I explained my reasons for wanting a more aggressive recovery process, earlier physical therapy and range of motion than she normally allows. I was pleasantly surprised that she was happy to accommodate this. My next appointment with the doc is 4 weeks out. Meanwhile, I picked up a super icing machine that will help to reduce remaining swelling for the next week. First phys therapy is 3 weeks out, 4 weeks post-surgery,

    Don’t get the idea that I’m going to be out walking around and doing anything crazy. She advised me to keep sleeping in the boot for 2 more weeks to be safe. She also told me to keep the boot on when I shower since slipping is the biggest risk of re-repture at this point. I will also keep using the crutches until I feel comfortable enough to try walking without them. In fact, I’m going to be extra careful to safeguard the surgery. But I am looking forward to be able to massage my own foot and let it breathe.

    I’ll let you know how this goes. Important part for me is that I made what I think is an informed decision based in large part on the information I obtained from this cite. I can’t thank you all enough and encourage everyone else to be their own best advocate.

  6. Nomada,
    GREAT news! I love it! A true health care “consumer”
    Keep up the positive approach…my anti spam word happens to be “active”.

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