Apr 12 2010

Week 12 - Focus on Strength

Published by norcalsurf70 at 1:07 pm under Uncategorized

Since my last Dr’s visit on 3/26 at week 10, the goal has been to build strength in the AT through a variety of exercises.  By May 26th, he wants to see me do 10 single leg calf raises on the repaired AT.  Today, I can do zero.  I’ve got the two leg versions down and can do 2 sets of 20, but one leg?  Not yet.

Each day I seem to get a little more flexibility and perhaps more strength.  After a long day on my feet, the swelling still occurs and I need to elevate and ice.  Typically, by morning the swelling is down, and I’m ready to take on another day.

In the next week or so, I’m going to give surfing a shot as I seem to have the flexibility now.  I hope to be able to jump on the mountain bike soon to get back into the outdoor cardio game again, as running isn’t an option just yet.  Perhaps in addition to the stationary bike, the elliptical machine may do the trick.

Anyone out there able to do single leg calf raises within 18 weeks?

3 Responses to “Week 12 - Focus on Strength”

  1. mikejon 13 Apr 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Hi norcal, I started with double heal lifts at 8weeks and after success of 3 sets of 12 raise at 9 weeks went to a double heal lift raise and from there I would stay in the raised position and lift the good leg off the ground and then lowering the “bad foot” down to the ground under control. Pretty scary the first time but built my confidence. I asked when they will likely have me try my first one legged lift and they said ten weeks. Not sure what to expect or how many(if any at all) I will be able to do. I am kind of nervous/excited/scared about it which I know is normal for all of us. Just a reminder I had surgery to repair mine. I was given similar info as norm stated on recovery conservative vs surgery in that both end up with similar function/strength at the 1 year mark with some confliction in between. Regardless, in my opinion correct early weightbearing is important whatever path you take. And just a confidence builder for those of you that chose the conservative route, the prof doing the study from overseas gave the impression that she leaned toward the conservative approach at this point but stressed more studies need to be evaluated.

  2. sullypaon 14 Apr 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Norcal

    I’ve been pushing with the ball of my recovery foot on a bathroom scale without straining. At 11 weeks I’m at about 100 lbs. and increasing at about 15 - 20 lbs. a week since I started and finished ROM PT. I’m into strength-building PT now and hope that in 5 - 6 more weeks I should push 200 lbs. on the scale and should be able to do a real 1 ankle toe rise.

    Much of my strength-building to date has been daily 1-2 mile walks on beach, for a total of 3 - 4 miles total a day, pressing on the ball of the foot. I feel walking/biking, etc. on your heel does little to develop the calf muscles. Just started 2 legged heel raises 3X20, which I find not difficult so I load the recovery foot as much as possible, both up and down.

    My dream is to do the 1 legged raise when my orthopedic clears me for running and all sports May 19, 16 weeks post-op. That means I have to gain 20 lbs. pressure each week, which I feel is achieveable.


  3. normofthenorthon 15 Apr 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Norcalsurf, the answer to your question is YES, I could do single leg calf raises within 18 weeks (in 2002), but I wish I’d been smart enough not to try!

    After my first ATR was repaired surgically in Nov. 2001, I was placed in a series of (3) casts, then a hinged walking boot. As I recall, it was just at 17 weeks that I could first walk perfectly in bare feet, and also just at 17 weeks that I could first do a 1-legged heel raise.

    Unfortunately, that same day, when I was in for Physio, AFTER my PT and I paraded up and down the length of the Sports Medicine Clinic (me in bare feet) showing off my newly perfected gait, she asked me to do some single-leg heel raises.

    I told her I didn’t think I was ready for single-leg heel raises as an exercise, because there was no way I was strong enough to do 8 of them. (That’s a rule-of-thumb I’d heard for weight-lifting-type exercises.) She said “So just do as many as you can!” And like a fool, I did just that! With a bunch of grunting and groaning, I pulled off 3 or 4 not-bad single-leg heel raises. And by the next morning, the back of my heel (where the AT attaches to the bone) was so painfully sore — the worst pain I’d had through the entire ATR process! — that I couldn’t walk normally in bare feet again for another MONTH! (I spent that month back in the hinged boot, BTW.)

    So I’d say don’t go nuts choosing your exercises on the basis of wishful thinking! (And this from a guy who’s 2/3 of the way through a ski week at Whistler starting right after 17 weeks post-ATR!)

    This time around (without surgery), I’ve hit all the early landmarks quite a bit earlier than I did last time, and I’ve been out of all orthotic boots for 8 or 9 weeks now. But my barefoot walking is still only perfect when I concentrate and push hard, and I’m still not ready for a single 1-leg heel raise, at just about 18 weeks. I still have a few weeks until I’m at the point where I could walk perfectly the SECOND time, 8 yrs ago, i.e., after my month-long setback, but the two paths seem to be converging, if not criss-crossing.

    Mind you, my 65th birthday is coming up fast, and it’s just conceivable that age has something to do with my wimpy calf strength this time. There are lots of variables here, including the difference between surgical and non-surgical approaches, and many others. I’ve actually been working HARDER on calf exercises this time than last time, though the strength seems to be coming slower than when I just stayed in the hinged boot and walked and ran and bicycled(!).

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