18 weeks post-op.

July 18, 2017

A little late with this update, mainly because I seem to have arrived at a plateau and don’t have much to add to last week’s note. I’ll admit to slacking off a bit with my exercises earlier in the week - it’s easy for me to do when my leg feels ok - not great, but ok - and I can go about my daily activities reasonably well. Sometimes I want to ignore the entire recovery process and pretend nothing ever happened. Hey, my ankle’s a little stiff! No big deal.

This week’s plan is to update a weekly exercise spreadsheet I used to print out to track my progress. Something as simple as having a piece of paper taped to the refrigerator does wonders for my workout consistency.

What I noticed over the last few days of reduced exercising: My ankle and calf actually end up feeling worse each morning, even with the rest. The stiffness and soreness are more pronounced. I guess it pays to continually work and stretch each day after all. :)

I think that’s the tough part of this stage for me. The first three months provided me with plenty of milestones and achievements. Now in the fifth month post-op each week has become basically the same. I do notice more strength in my calf muscle, but that development is happening a lot slower than the earlier progress.

Random details for week 18: I’ve almost retired the compression sock. I still wear it on occasion, and my foot swells without it, but it doesn’t feel necessary now. I’m walking fairly well most of the time. I do get some stiffness and pain (the pain near the heel, or sometimes in the peroneal tendons), so I still end up limping on occasion if I’m on my feet a lot. My ankle is super-stiff in the morning. I do a round of Theraband exercises as a morning warm-up before I even put my feet on the floor. Then I do a set of gentle calf raises, and then I feel like I can walk around.

We have a trip to Colorado coming up soon. That should break up the rehab monotony a bit. I’ll be interested to see how any sort of incline/elevation affects me. Here at sea level I enjoy a nice blanket of oxygen and not a hill in sight!

17 weeks post-op.

July 8, 2017

This week I learned how much is too much when I spent Tuesday working on some long-neglected beds and shrubs around the house. I dragged a tarp full of leaves, mulch, and dirt (and my son) from the back of the house to the front, and that required a lot of pushing off with my legs. I managed to do the work okay, but was quickly reminded that my right leg doesn’t have much power and the lack of strength puts stress on different areas of my leg. At first my right knee hurt below the kneecap, and then my ankle and Achilles hurt. My limp definitely returned in full force.

Nothing about the soreness felt particularly bad…more like a warning. It did take about 3 days for everything to settle down, though. Perfect timing for more yard work this weekend. :)

I treated myself to a pair of Vionic sandals for my birthday. They’re expensive, but they’re pretty nice. I hate wearing socks and shoes all the time - I was always barefoot or in sandals before the injury - so it’s nice to have comfortable sandals. And what better way to celebrate turning 42 than getting orthotic sandals and walking around slowly.

I’ve started one-leg calf raises in the pool. I can do those at about 4.5 feet of water. Any closer to 4 and it gets too tough. Also doing light jogging, jumping side to side in 4 to 5 feet of water. It’s a nice way to ease into those motions.

Out of the pool, I’m putting most of my weight on my right leg when I lower from a two-leg calf raise. I haven’t been as dedicated as I should be with the calf raises. After the yard work issues I decided to make it an easy week.

Aside from the temporary return of the limp, walking has been okay lately. Sometimes I feel a pinch on my Achilles when I push off, sometimes it’s all swollen and stiff, sometimes it’s fine. In a way every day is the same, and every day is different. It’s slow progress and each day the stiffness or achiness moves around.

I hope to get in some more exercise this week. It’s easy to get complacent once things start feeling better.