Archive for the 'Post Op visit' Category

May 15 2008

10 Weeks Post Op

Published by ross under Post Op visit

10 week post op visit

time goes slow the first couple of weeks but now……..

Follow up appointments are so surreal now…walking in, seeing others with crutches, boots, casts and thinking I was just there..

Scene 1:  surgeon feeling ankle, moving it arround, saying ahhh,,,ohhhhh, not looking patient in the eye.

Surgeon:  ” You are ahead of schedule, doing great”
Me:           ” I bet you say that to all your patients”
S:              “No, I’m serious”
Me:           ” So now what”
S:              ” Start easing back to normal life”
Me:          ” hike 10 miles??racquetball??, running??, golf ??, mountain biking??”
S:              ”  Oh……that’s not a normal life!!”
Me:           ” for me it is……so then what can I start to do??”
S:           ” definitely golf, jog light, and increase calf strength”
Me:       ” Some swelling at times , should I be concerned??”
S:          “No it will take 6 months to a year for new blood vessels, lymph chains to be repaired so you will experience periods of swelling depending on your activity level”
Me:      “so do I need to see you again”
S:          ” yes but only on the golf course, you owe me a round or two for the great work I did”

So there you have it, time to get back to an easy, light normal life.  Will start to jog and increase weight load on leg.  Curious as to how long it takes to actually do a one legged calf raise??
that’s my next goal.  In the beginning it was goals like surgery, cast off, boot off, NWB to PWB to FWB, then two shoes and now a one legged calf raise.  Set dates of June 1 for walking 18 holes, July 1 for a mountain bike ride, Sept 1st for an 8 minute mile and January 1, 2009 to step on the racquetball court and play.

Excited about my trip, this Saturday to the Canyon so I’ll have pictures of an ATR on the Colorado river, soaking in the sun and loving life.  thanks for everyones support, encouraging words, and insight on this chapter of my life.  Will report back in 2 weeks so keep up the fight…and
never, never, never……give up………Winston Churchill

Doc Ross

13 responses so far

Apr 24 2008

7 week Post Op (#4 )

Published by ross under Post Op visit

Time for…(drum roll)…..Two shoes…..yes I wrote two shoes.  Had my post op visit yesterday 7 weeks from day of surgery.  Went in had the whirlpool for 10 minutes, ultrasound for 3 minutes then saw the surgeon.  Checked movement, range of motion, swelling and integrity of tendon.  ROM was full in dorsiflexion and plantarflexion with some mild restriction in inversion (probably from swelling around ankle).  Was given two braces for support. One was basically a compression sleeve for swelling that looks like a stocking and goes about mid calf.  The other is for the office, and my trip to the Grand Canyon.  It gives a lot more support around the ankle and tendon.  This is for prevention in case of any slips, falls or stupidity (most likely).  Will get a picture up for you to see.

Exercises are to increase in frequency and intensity.  NO weights at all for two weeks.  Full range of motion exercises with tubing in both eccentric and concentric contractions.  Start on proprioception (balance exercises) which is on the wobble board, etc.  Biking, swimming, walking to be done as much as possible, daily hopefully.  Based on the fact that he lengthened the gastroc in addition to the tendon repair I should expect muscular soreness and tenderness over the muscle.  Sounds like more massages for me :)  When asked about golf he said to chip and putt for 2 weeks, then gradually increase to full shots over the next two and then use a cart for the first few rounds.  Yahoo!!! golf in a month.

Out go the crutches and the boot.  Put away in the dark depths of the basement.  Or maybe we could have a ATR reunion barnfire. I’ll bring the matches, Brendan the beer and Dennis his digital camera.  Bad for the enviornment but just another reason to have a party.  We all need it.

So as you can see I am pretty excited, I know, go slow, and I am but you all know that this day made me smile.  We are all waiting for this visit, the range of emotions from day one has been hard for all of us.  I look forward to all of you having a similar experience soon.

I am ……one day closer to the end

Doc Ross

23 responses so far

Apr 10 2008

Post Op Visit #3

Published by ross under Post Op visit

Off and walking…

4/9/08…..At this visit I was met with smiles as I had arranged for a delivery of an “Edible Arrangement” to the surgeon’s office…amazing what some fruit will do….Just my way of saying thank you…..then off to the whirlpool for 5 minutes, ultrasound for 2 and then examined.  Scar looks great, mobility 90% but some swelling around the ankle and tendon.  Was told to start FWB (with the boot on) but for long walks to use the crutch for support.  Due to the amount of swelling I was given a pull up ankle brace with gel cushions in it, which are located on both sides of the tendon.  Advised to keep this on throughout the day and take it off when sleeping.  It made a huge difference as when I took it off last night there was very little swelling around the ankle and I could actually see the tendon.  It almost looked normal…how encouraging.  At this point I am to start light rehab with tubing, start swimming, and to continue with physical modalities and ROM exercises.  No weights, no calf raises or any type of hard muscle contractions.  Will need to wait 2 more weeks before I am out of the boot and able to put on 2 shoes.  I am excited!!!  Next appt 4/23/08

As for work I can start 1/2 days by myself but full days will be tedious.  So hopefully just one more week of having to hire another chiropractor to help me.  Hiking down the Grand Canyon looks more doable as I have 5 1/2 weeks to be walking like a human being. 

My routine is as follows:

  • Massage 2-3 X week…highly recommended
  • Ultrasound 2 X week        
  • Cold Laser 2 X week        
  • E-Stim 1 X week
  • ROM daily 
  • Hot tub 2X week  
  • Swimming  see how it goes
  • Crutches as needed

 Thanks to everyone that contributes to this blog as it is great to see what everyone is doing, your stories encourage us all to get better, motivate us to move forward, challenge us physically so we get healthy quicker and can return to the activities we love.  So keep posting.

Brendan….tried to get a picture up but when resizing the picture it would not save it in the new form…any ideas??

Received the video of my surgery….amazing what you can do to your body and how they repair it.  Not sure how to post a video but I would welcome instructions on how if interested in seeing it.

I am………………one day closer to the end!!

Doc Ross

6 responses so far

Mar 27 2008

3 Weeks post op visit

Published by ross under Post Op visit

Off and running….sort of.

Had my 2nd post op visit yesterday.  Took the cast off and received the ‘boot’.  Was amazed at the length of the scar, probably 10 inches long. Will try and get a picture up sometime this weekend.  Was informed that with my rupture the muscle shortened, contracted quite a bit (probably from my intense exercising and huge muscularity..yeah right..LOL) and that it was best to lengthen the gastroc by cutting the aponeurosis surrounding the muscle.  This would help with rehab and future return to sports.  Due to the amount of repair there was still a lot of swelling around the ankle and foot.  I even took off my other shoe and sock so I could compare.  At the office they did some ultrasound and a whirlpool.  The whirlpool primarily to wash off a lot of dead skin.  There was a tightening of the sole of my foot which is the plantar fascia and was told this normal due to the lack of movement.  No pain at all just stiffness.

As for rehab…need to be in the boot and NWB for 2 more weeks.  I can take it off in order to do passive modalities, i.e. ultrasound, laser, massage, ice, e-stim.  I can take showers, get it wet but no weight bearing.  Due to the swelling I need to hold off on swimming, and hot tubs for another week.  There is no chance of infection at this point as the suture is healing well and without openings.  In two weeks I have my followup appointment and barring any complications I can get started with rehab.  As a chiropractor I am fully stocked and even bought some new equipment once I get the go ahead.

Prognosis regarding activity..I should be stable enough for my Grand Canyon week long hike, rafting trip.  That was exciting news.  I and two buddies are leaving mid May for a hike of 9 miles to the river, raft 5 days and helicopter out and then off to Vegas.  So you could imagine my happiness knowing that although weak I should be able to do it.  He informed that PWB/FWB should begin in 2 weeks.  I am shooting to start then in the pool with walking, treading and swimming.

The office has still been a challenge.  If any of you have seen a chiropractor you know that we need our legs to adjust, balance and obviously move about the office.  Our office is busy and I have not been able to adjust and therefore needed to hire another doc for the office.  So for two more weeks I will conitnue to need help.

So that’s my latest.  I am grateful for this site and welcome your comments and questions. Today we’re one day closer to the end.

Doc Ross

9 responses so far

Mar 11 2008

First Post Op

Published by ross under Post Op visit

4  days post op….

Was driven by a friend as my wife needed to work.  Taking off the splint and dressing was very relieving.  Was amazed at the relief and was able to say Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.  but then reality set in, scar is long from heel up to mid calf, leg was swollen, yellow, and then was able to say……Whoaaaaaaaaaa…asked the typical post op questions and then time for the cast..chose black to match my mood…LOL…

the hardest part was that the surgeon wanted to get my ankle to 90 degrees so he bent it, leaned on it while the cast hardened…OUCH…based on my research this would best for the long term.  Problem with rehab is not strengthening the muscles but getting full range of motion and flexibility.  This helps address that but only time will tell.

I was hoping to get the video of the surgery but he was unable to edit it.  There  were a couple of other procedures on the disc that he needs to remove.  Based on you tube videos I don’t expect anything different other than its my surgery and being a doctor I am very curious.  Plus having observed many surgeries over the years I want to hear the stories, music, jokes made at my expense.  If you have never been to a surgery before it is a very unique experience.  Don’t get me wrong everyone is very professional, energetic, but there is lively conversation and music to break up the seriousness of the situation.

After, I was driven to work, no patients in the morning but I planned on seeing patients in the afternoon…NOT…no way…to tired, sore, and pissed off…not in a good attitude to take of patients…time to scramble, find someone to help adjust patients and let me do the consults, exams and admin work…Was lucky to find someone to help and had a great night working with him and having patients  ask me questions and giving me their love and best wishes.

I was able to acquire a roll-about to get around.  Basically a wheel chair for my leg.  I will try and upload a picture of it.  Definitely a life saver, I was able to wheel around the office, non-weight bearing,  like I was on a skate board.  Patients laughing, actually had a patient that customizes cars ask if I wanted some rims, spinners and a custom paint job.  Everyone was amazed that I was there, and I think pretty appreciative of me doing my best for them.

This is getting pretty long so I’ll gather my thoughts and write later in the day.  thanks to all that have commented and responded.


Doc Ross

3 responses so far