Apr 03 2008

4 Weeks Post Op

Published by ross at 6:15 am under To The Future....

Seeing progress, following everyones recovery is very informative and enlightening.  I am now in the boot and able to take it off on a regular basis.  The swelling comes and goes depending on my work and activity.  Luckily it dissipates with elevation, ice and therapy.  No pain except when I put some weight on it while in the boot.  Mostly a strange twinge in my heel….anyone else feel that??  It has felt wonderful to take off the boot, shower, scrub and clean up.  The scar appears to be a lot longer than the pictures on this site and although computer illiterate will try and get a picture up. 

Passive PT has commenced.  Very happy about this.  Range of motion-spelling the alphabet- one thing that is beneficial is to do it with both ankles simultaneously so you can actually see where you are restriceted and stiff.  Also massage, having it done 3 times per week, 3 times on the AT and full body once.  A definite must for all, increase circulation, relaxation, improved mobility and just plain ‘ol feels good. A welcome reprieve from a month of frustration.  Have started hot tubing.  Although I had increased swelling after, that was controlled with application of ice for 10 minutes.

So as of right now I feel pretty confident that my trip to the Grand Canyon mid May will go as planned.  Someone had asked about what part of the river and it is the lower canyon..a 5 day rafting trip after a 10 mile hike down to the river.  A definite challege ahead of me but one I am preparing for.  I appreciate all the comments and feedback as it keeps me motivated and excited for all of you as you reach milestones.  

Thank you all

Doc Ross

8 Responses to “4 Weeks Post Op”

  1. brendanon 03 Apr 2008 at 6:39 am

    Hey Ross - thanks for the update. We are real close in dates and progress. I have been in the boot for almost a week now, and am working on the same exercises you mentioned. It took me a few days to figure out the “both ankles” thing…makes a big difference. I have already seen a big improvement in ROM in just one week. I’m able to get to 90 degrees pretty easy, no extra pressure. I too have swelling that comes and goes. I’m still trying to elevate when I can, at work mostly. I do elevate before my exercises, as the ROM is obviously not as good with a “kankle” I have been massaging the AT/ankle/scar as well…but not sure how hard to do it? Any thoughts. There are a few spots were I can tell I’m hitting a nerve, because my foot goes a little numb. I usually just back off that area (figure it’s a nerve healing) and work somewhere else. The tendon is thick for sure..I can’t really even tell what is tendon and what is swelling from the incision…I figure both could benefit from th massage, I’m just not sure how deep of a massage I should be doing. Thanks!

  2. dennison 03 Apr 2008 at 7:36 am

    Ross - Thanks for the post. It looks like your achilles tendon is recovering nicely. I’ve had that strange sensation in my heel for several days when I first started FWB. It gradually went away for me..
    Glad that you were able to start PT early. I wish I could have started at 4 weeks post-op as well. Good suggestion about the massages.
    The Grand Canyon trip sounds wonderful. The most that we’ve done was walk around the top of the canyon. I’d actually like to hike down, and also try the rafting. Maybe next year.
    Are you planning on wearing your boot for the hike? If so, I think it’ll be okay.
    I’ve been trekking all over in it, and I’ve gotten quite comfortable walking around. I used to look awkward in the boot because of the sole height differences, but I’ve adjusted to it and I can walk at a very fast pace now. It looks fairly natural as well.

    I am sure everyone figures it out after a week, but I think the trick is to always have the boot leg’s knee bent slightly to adjust to the height. It eventually becomes a very natural thing to do.

  3. rosson 03 Apr 2008 at 8:03 am

    Did you see how good I am doing in the NCAA…dead last…thank you very much..
    Massaging the tendon should be to tolerance…moist heat for 5 minutes than make sure you do it perpendicular and parallel to the tendon. Long strokes from the ankle up to the knee is best. See if your PCP, chiropractor or surgeon could give you a referral to a massage therapist as part of the post surgical rehab protocols….insurance just may cover it.. :) Important to make sure you don’t overdo it, so after a massage or ROM rest it for 1-2 hours before you try and do more. thanks for your comments and help..
    Also would appreciate info on how to post pictures..
    Doc Ross

  4. brendanon 03 Apr 2008 at 8:36 am

    Ross - thanks for the info on the massage.

    To upload pictures here are the steps:
    1) Go to your post editing page
    2) Look below where you put test for the post, you’ll see three lines that say: File, Title, and Description.
    3) To the right of the “file” line, there is a button “Browse”…click this.
    4) Find the picture file that you want to upload, click “Open”.
    5) Enter a title and/or description if you want…if you don’t enter a title, it was just default to the file name.
    6) Click “Upload” button that is to the bottom right of the Description area.
    7) It will take some time to upload depending on teh size of the file.
    8) Once the pic uploads, you will see a thumbnail of it.
    9) You can choose thumbnail, full size, or title depending on what you want in the post itself. I usually choose full size.
    10) Go up to the post and get your cursor in the location you want the picture to be inserted.
    11) Scroll back down and click the “Send to Editor” button.
    12) Then you can go back up to the picture in the editor, and adjust the size if you want by clicking and dragging the corners of the picture.


  5. Tomon 03 Apr 2008 at 8:56 am

    Ross - Great to hear you’re making progress and feeling well. I too had a bit of a tingling sensation as I started bearing weight. I would feel it for a step or two and then it would go away. Not sure if it’s the same thing you mentioned, but it only lasted for about a week. I think it is all the nerve endings becoming re-stimulated.

  6. johnskieron 04 Apr 2008 at 10:33 am

    Ross - Just started yesterday with FWB in an Aircast….no crutch. Works fine…no pain, but it is awkward and it was sore last night. My leg (quad, calf muscle) also feels stronger after just a few weeks at 50% PWB. I’m 7 weeks out, so I’m trying to think what it would be like in a boot hiking 10 miles down to the the Grand Canyon. I’ve hiked perhaps the first mile or two down from the South Rim in hiking boots. It would certainly be a challenge to go 10 miles in a boot and at least the initial part is pretty steep. A regular hiking boot would certainly be easier and perhaps a heel lift would make sense to reduce pressure on the tendon. Obviously your doctor would have recommedations. I think also be really careful getting in and out of the boat…there will be uneven landing areas, rocks, etc. I think this is definitely doable Ross but be careful. Would you want additional support such as a splint or boot while in the boat and/or if you end up in the water?

    I think they flushed the canyon just in the past month so it should be pristine!!

    Have fun! Sounds great…can I come with you? :)

  7. nancyon 05 Apr 2008 at 3:03 pm

    another thought about adjusting the height of you good leg versus your boot leg
    my friend who ruptured her AT 4yrs ago said that she was able to find a good pair of running shoes that had a heal slightly higher than aver. and that worked out fine, so she did not limp/compensate, etc
    she lend me her aircast and tried it today and it felt good
    since my 2nd post op appt. is on the 16th…i’ll follow doc’s instructions and stick to the splint…

    good luck all
    it’s good to read what everyone is doing, it’s gives me hope!!
    so tired of hopping around

  8. michaelon 05 Apr 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I rafted the upper canyon 2 summers ago and had a blast. Hiking out on the Bright Angel trail with a full pack in mid-July was tough. Wouldn’t want to do it in my present condition, or even in a boot. From your description of your progress and the fact that you’re hiking down you should be fine. Keep in mind how cold the Colorado is. Even in July it was about 40 degrees; I imagine it may even be cooler in May. I’m sure you’ll have a great time. I wish you dry weather.

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