More PT Info

PT seems to be moving along well for me. At todays appointment I was again on the step machine. It’s called a NuStep. This machine basically allows stepping motion and you can control the resistance. I was doing it on wed. with the boot on at at a resistance of 5 out of 10. Today I did it for 7 minutes with the resistance set at 1, but without the boot on. Interesting feeling at first, but felt decent once I got going. Below are some photos of the exercises I am doing at home.

This is simply done with the resistance band over the foot and pointing the toe.  I have progressed from using the red band to using the green and blue.  I do about 30 reps, 2x a day.

This exercise is done by wrapping the resistance band behind my ‘good’ foot and then holding it in my hand.  I move my right foot in an outward motion, keeping the lower leg still so all the motion is with the ankle area.  30-50 reps, 2x a day.  I have progressed from the red band to the green.

This one is basically the opposite of the exercise above.  In order to generate resistance in the opposite direction, I cross my left leg over the top of my right, then pull the band behind my right foot, which is actually on the left and hold it in my hand.  I work by moving my injured foot to the left, again using the ankle and not rotating the leg.

This is a photo of the  mini BAPS  board they gave me.  You can kind of see the bulb on the bottom.  I position the foot on the board so no edges are touching first, then do a few reps moving the board to touch toe edge and heel edge back and forth.  The key to all of these is stability so you need to do th exercises with as much control as possible.  Then I do some reps side to side.  Next I do counterclockwise circles, then clockwise circles.  It was hard at first, but I am making a lot of progress now.  You need to have your knee 90 degrees and directly over the foot.  I started this sitting and now am doing its standing while holding onto a rail and slowly adding more and more pressure.  BAPS stands forBiomechanical Ankle Platform System.  This board is pretty easy for me now, but the one the PT office has is larger and roundish shaped.  They are putting larger bulbs on the bottom so there is more range of motion challenge and the board is largeer and they can add wieght to it which significantly changes the exercise.  Here is a photo of a real BAPS board showing the weights on the left, and the bulbs that go on the bottom in the front.

PT Info

I have had a few requests to expand on my PT regimen. I’ll do my best to put into words where I am. I started PT at week 3.5 post op and am currently this week moving to 75% weight bearing.

After the first appointment he sent me home with a small version of a BAPS board, a red thera-band with a loop tied in the end for my foot, and 2 compression stocking things to keep on my foot for swelling etc. Before this the only motions I was doing was at the Docs request to start taking my foot out of the boot and slowly try to point my toe in the air and back, and also to make circles with my ankle clockwise and counter. That went pretty good, and started feeling great after the initial soreness went away.

My ‘big’ workout twice a day is the following.  I start with a towel under my foot and pull it back toward me with both hands to stretch it out.  This was a really scary one to do at first as you fear pulling the whole thing apart.  After a week, it’s amazing the increase in range of motion and it actually feels good to do this stretch.

Next I loop the band over my foot and pull the band straight back so I can work on the resistance of pointing my foot away and back for 30 reps or so.  This was a tougher one initially and still is.  I am moving up in the resistance bands this week.  This one can cause some soreness.

I then do a few exercises to help build the stability of the ankle area for that day when I will try to walk again without a boot.  I put both fee up next to each other, with the resistance band over the injured foot, and the band runs under my good foot and I pull the band towards me.  I then to 30-50 reps moving in and outward motion against the band.

I also to the same exercise in the other direction moving my foot inward with resistance.  To set this up, I put the loop over my injured foot, then cross my leg over the top of my bad leg.  The band again, goes from the injured foot, behind the good foot.  Same exercise as above, but by crossing the leg I reverse the direction of the resistance.  I hope this info makes some sense.  I didn’t have time to take a photo of the exercises, but will try to do so.

The mini baps board is again a stability exercise.  The board is about 14 inches square with a wood bulb on the bottom so it wobbles.  I place my foot on the board and move my foot clockwise and counter touching all four corners, one at a time, to the floor.

Last, I put a small towel on a hard floor, set my foot on it and do toe curls to scrunch the towel up under my feet.  Let me know if you have any other questions about this stuff as it might not make sense written out.

Today my PT massaged the scar area to break up scar tissue.  This part sucks.  Pain.  A good time to think happy thoughts.  It would be a great time for a PBR tallboy, but I don’t think they allow those in the PT rooms.

Moving Forward

I got to start PT last week. It’s pretty sketchy feeling when you start moving that foot. Your head is filled with this huge paranoia that when you move it you tendon will explode or your foot will fall off, but it’s really all just mental. After a few days of getting my hoof out of my boot and moving it about it really started feeling a lot better. The initial stiffness and hesitance almost makes your stomach turn. It’s not so much pain as it is just a weird uncomfortable feeling.

I have a great guy working on the PT and he is super keen on my drive to get back to all things good like climbing, running, racquetball, golf etc. PT was a huge lift as far as feeling like you are making forward progress. During the non-weight bearing phase you are just helpless feeling.

Since I have moved on and been ‘promoted’ to 1 crutch. It feels great and I am hardly having to use it much around the house. I logged some quality miles on the mono crutch this weekend celebrating St. Pattys in the great city of St. Paul and going to a hockey game. Definitely much more mobile. One recommendation. Once you start bearing weight and walking in the boot you may get an almost bruising feeling on the ball of your foot or heal. I STRONGLY recommend putting a Superfeet insole inside of the boot. I use them in my hiking boots, golf shoes and court shoes. The footbed made an immediate difference for my foot.

I am feeling pretty good doing PT exercises daily and going to the PT office twice a week. I hope to be burying the last crutch soon and becoming mobile and two handed once again on my feet.

Jumping on the “bandwagon”

Thanks to Dennis, I have been reading many of your stories etc for a week or so. I had some free time and decided to join the crew for stories of perilous nay and exploding tendons. My short story, long. Ruptured tendon on 2/14 (poor timing for my marriage) and had surgery on 2/19. I was in a boot immediately after surgery and will be starting physical therapy this Thursday. Still a victim of the crutches, but I feel we will be breaking up soon. I figure a support group can’t be too bad. Of all things I do (climbing, mountaineering, racquetball, running…….) , I managed to do this bending over to pick up a racquetball while teaching my class at the U of MN. As a result, not only am I rendered lame for several months, I have a crappy story to tell at the bar as well. In the spirit of fun, here is a photo of my bragging rights…….

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