First Few Steps

Monday 23rd December 2013

At my first checkup - since getting into my boot, and the EWB protocol - my consultant had a good look at the achilles after my crutch slip incident. He seemed happy emough that there was no major damage “possibly pulled a few strands” was the official vertict. The main thing was he was happy enough to continue with his EWB protocol and as it was 4 weeks since my rupture he changed to boot settings to a 10 degree limit and told me I could start putting some weight on it. This was a bit worrying  (and painfull) but with the use of my crutches I could manage a few very tentative steps with my foot touching down.

The next day was a bit of a revalation. I’d spend a fair bit of time with my leg raised and  I felt like I could actually stand bearing me own weight without the crutches. What a massive phsycological boost. The biggest being the realisation that if I haddn’t canged consultants I would still have my full leg cast on.
I was going out to a frind’s Christmas dinner party that night and took the celebratory step of actually removing the boot (very carefully) to allow myself to put on some smart trousers instead of my baggy walking trouser. So this marked another first.

The next day I was feeling even better, managing to walk/limp along  with only one crutch. This is actually slower than using both critcues but is a massive mental boost, I can carry things again. I’m by no means walking propery as I can’t bring my good leg through forward of my recovering one but what a large and sudden improvement from crutching it everywhere, it is exactly 4 weeks after it ruptured and still before my first consultant would have removed my first full leg cast. I would still have had another four weeks in a lower leg cast to go with him.

I have so much to thank this website for, giving me the required knowledge and the inclination to be pushy enough to use that knowledge.

As my consultant had his speech bach he informed me that he studied in canada under another doctor who was using EWB protocols to treat ATR’s. and that previously he would always have suggested surgery to treat them but not now. He’s been treating ATR’s like this for 7 years now in Britain and has only had 2 re-ruptures out of about 40 treatments (5%), one of which the patient was substantially overweight. 

I’m almost beginning to think skiing in March might well be achievable after all. I’m starting to look forward to some physio already, I know it’ll be tough and painful but it’ll be worth it to get my leg back.

3 Responses to “First Few Steps”

  1. hey ross…congrats..hope you can ski soon.

    EWB, I assume is Early Weight Bearing. I wonder if that’s my protocol too, although I have never heard that term used by my Doctor or PT. I had surgery 3 weeks ago. Cast is off and I’m allowed to put my foot down when in the boot. I shower unbooted and both feet down.

    I have my 4th PT session today. I will ask him if I’m a EWBer, as I like the sound of that.

  2. That’s terrific Ross!! And that kind of patient empowerment is one of the best things this site ever does, and one of Dennis’s main goals when he set it up. And hurrah to Canada for improving British ATR care!! :-)

    Don’t stop, good luck, good healing, and Watch Your Step!

    When you do walk, PWB & FWB, make sure it’s as normal as possible in every way except stride length on “that” side. Never turn your toes out to the side, the way you probably did right after the injury. I think the best breakthrough is forgetting where you left the crutch or cane, and putting it in the basement — right up there with the big step when you realize you haven’t thought about this injury for a while (MONTHS from now)!

  3. SZ, I hope you’ve got a stool in the shower. Standing barefoot in a shower at 3 weeks sounds scary to me.

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