12 weeks post-op. Cruising along.

June 2, 2017

Week 12 has arrived and it kind of snuck up on me. Early on I was fixated on this week because my doctor kept telling me “The tendon itself won’t fully heal for 12 weeks.” It automatically became an important milestone - like life could begin again and rehab could start in earnest after week 12. But instead of being a big moment, it’s another week of slow and steady progress with no major issues. I’ll take it. The first 3 months drained me so I welcome the uneventful weeks.

Random observations:

  • Of all the activities in PT or at home, walking and getting on with daily life appears to be my best rehab prescription. Each day my gait feels better and my ankle gets more flexible. I still do my basic ROM exercises, but for the most part keeping the house running and chasing after my son provide plenty of work.
  • Going down stairs got slightly easier this week. I’m not confident alternating feet yet, but I can do it (last week I couldn’t, or didn’t want to try).
  • I’m now thinking in terms of a non-limping percentage of my walking each day. As in, Thursday I didn’t limp maybe 40% of the time. I feel like I default to a limp and have to make myself even it out. I hope to see that get better each day or week. I’m definitely ahead of where I was last week.
  • I’m still surprised by the muscle loss in my right quadriceps. I expected the calf to shrink. I guess I didn’t think about the whole leg essentially being out of commission for a month. To remedy this I go up stairs right leg first the entire way instead of alternating - the reverse of how I went with the iWalk! Time to get in gear, right leg. I’m supposed to add some leg presses to my PT routine soon and I’m sure that will help.
  • Aches and pains come and go on each leg. I’ve come to expect something different each day. Might be my left (good) Achilles ticked off about something, my right hamstring getting tight, my toe hurting. There’s always something. Nothing alarming, so that’s good.

That’s about it for this week’s wrap-up. It’s amazing how surgery day on March 10 can feel like it was 100 years ago or yesterday depending on how I look at it. Even a month ago I was wondering how I’d manage a trip we have planned for late July. Now it all seems possible. So for anyone out there in the 0-8 week range feeling gloomy, I hope you experience the same change in mindset that I did. A lot of things that seemed scary or impossible don’t look so bad now.