14.5 weeks post-op update - still feeling heel pain - birth of a beautiful daughter has kept me busy
June 22, 2009 | | 4 Comments
Just a quick update. I’m about 14.5 weeks post-op and things are improving. I still walk with a limp and seem to get heel pain after walking for about 15 mins. My physiotherapist thinks I need to see a podiatrist to try and get some orthotics fitted into my shoes. She thinks that the pain may be the limiting factor in progress. My typical PT exercises include the following:
1. Stretch of calf muscles (3×30secs)
2. One-leg squats (x40)
3. One-leg squats with back against wall (x35)
4. Standing one-footed on the bed matress (at least 60secs)
5. 2-foot calf raises (x40)
I try and do the the above exercises at least twice a day. In addition to the above I also try and do the following:
1. Stretch hamstrings
2. Strengthen buttock muscles
3. Try and walk on toes for about 20 seconds (x3)
4. 2-foot calf raises using stair.
5. Cross-trainer and stationary bike
I try and do the above atleast once a day, but things have been a bit difficult with regards to doing exercises lately as:
My wife gave birth to a beautiful daughter (our first baby) on Monday 15th April 2009. The last week and a bit has been very exciting and hectic.
Will update the blog when things settle down a bit.
Take care everyone.
Hi everyone just a quick update.
Its’ now been 12 weeks post-op. I have had approximately 6 physio sessions and 4 hydrotherapy sessions. I can walk for around 30 mins or so without too much discomfort. I still find that my tendon is a bit painful when I try and walk properly or after my exercises - the pain seems to improve on a daily basis. The strength in my leg is improving - but still no where near as good as my good leg. The physio has officially given me the go ahead to drive today (which is great) - this will imply that I will be able start work (my work involves a lot of driving).
With regards to my future rehab, the following will apply:
1. No need for hydrotherapy sessions (although, I will try and go swimming as the water is excellent to build strength/cardio).
2. I will have 4x acupuncture sessions to try and alleviate pain in tendon and/or reduce scar tissue.
3. Physiotherapy sessions will be once every two weeks.
My physio sessions include stretching/strength building of bad leg. In addition to these exercises, I also try and do the stationary bike for around 30 mins and cross-trainer for 10 mins around 5 times a week. I find the stationary bike is excellent to loosen things up. I also try and massage my tendon for around 15-20 minutes per day.
For those that are starting their road to recovery - hang in there - things get better - but patience is key.
Just a quick update on my recovery. I am trying to walk as much as I can, but find that I need to rest every 20-30 minutes (I can only do 20-30 minutes per day). I find it more uncomfortable/agitating standing in one position (for example, waiting at a checkout queue to pay for shopping) rather than walking slowly. I still walk very slowly and with a noticeable limp.
In terms of exercising, I am still doing the stationary bike (approx 25 minutes per day - minimal resistance) and I do my PT exercises 3 times a day. The PT exercises now include stretching/strengthening my calf muscle using my body weight (which is a bit painful, but not too bad), theraband (blue band - inversion/eversion) exercises, strengthening of buttocks, balancing (standing on bad leg), and two-foot heal (calf) raises. I still find that I favour my good leg when I do two-foot calf raises - but it’s getting better.
Today, I had a 30 minute hydrotherapy session which was great. I was able to do 1-foot calf raises in the water - I’m a long way off doing this on land. I also noticed that I ended up working my bad leg muscles and the tendon properly in water as I felt more confident in doing so. In addition to regular PT, I would recommend hydrotherapy with an experienced practitioner (PT) - the first session for me was good.
I also decided to use the cross-trainer for 10 minutes today (lowest resistance) - this was against the advice of my PT who suggested I should wait a week before using the cross-trainer. However, I had purchased a cross-trainer prior to my injury and it got delivered after my injury - it’s been sitting in my room unused for the last two months - the temptation was too great and I must admit that 10 minutes on the cross trainer did give me a better work out (in terms of sweat-dripped and elevated heart beat) than the stationary bike.
Anyway enough of my rambling. I do hope everyone is progressing well at various stages of recovery. I will of course update on a regular basis.
Just a quick update - I have been in two-shoes with no crutches for about 10 days. PT is going well. I have also been given the go-ahead to get rid of the the gel-like heal/wedge that was placed in my shoe. I can walk for around 20-30 minutes a day, albeit at a slow rate and with a limp. I’ve also been cycling (stationary bike) for about 20 minutes a day. PT exercises mainly include stretching the calf, theraband exercises and to work on dormant foot musles. I have also been doing two-footed heal raises. My PT basically wants me to do single-foot heal raise on my bad leg before she gives me the green light to drive. At this stage I don’t think I can do that. All-in-all progress is being achieved - but the reality of a long road to full-recovery has truly sunk-in. I am grateful, that life is getting back to some normality, although, I can’t go back to work until I can drive.
Hope everyone is progressing well with their recoveries.
April 30, 2009 | | 1 Comment
I had my second PT appointment this morning and was given a few exercises (mainly to improve range of motion and to trigger the use of some muscles that have been dormant for a while). I was also given the go ahead to ditch the boot. I am now in two shoes (with jelly-type insert). I have been told to use 1 crutch for support if needed. I still walk with a huge limp and have noticed a bit of discomfort/pain in my lower calf towards the end of the day - rest/ice/elevation seems to sort this out. It’s quite strange how things progress as I was in casts NWB for 6 weeks and all of a sudden within the last 6 days I have been asked to go from NWB to AirCast to FWB to 2-Shoes. At this stage i’m not over exerting myself as if I do I tend to feel it in the evenings. I have been told by my PT to concentrate on correct way of walking (i.e. heel to toe) for a few minutes at a time as opposed to walking abnormaly for a long period of time. My next PT appointment is on Tuesday - will update with progress.
April 28, 2009 | | Leave a Comment
Something I forgot to mention in my previous post. During my physio this morning I had a conversation with my therapist regarding the AirCast. I was told that at this stage of my recovery (i.e. 6 weeks post-op) the AirCast/boot was not as important as the heal/wedge. I basically have two wedges/heals. One is in my normal leg shoe and the other in AirCast. I will need to keep these heals/wedges for a total of 6 weeks. I think the plan is to slowly wean me off AirCast and into 2-shoes - both with heals/wedges.
I had my first proper PT session today and must admit it was great. The therapist massaged the tendon and my calf and basically said that my calf muscle had disappeared. The massage initially hurt (more so in the calf) but after a while it felt really nice and relaxed. I was given a set of exercises to do three times a day to increase my range of motion and to basically stretch my tendon. I was also told that it’s fine for me to massage the tendon/calf approx 2-3 times a day. My next PT appointment is on Thursday and at this stage, I have been scheduled for 2 PT sessions per week. I have also started to walk (with AirCast) without crutches in the house for a few minutes at a time. I’m hoping that I can use a stationary bike within a week or so.
Just a quick update on my recovery progress. On Friday 24th April (6 weeks post-op stage) my consultant took cast off and gave me the AirCast and basically said my status can change from NWB to FWB. On that day, I decided to place as much weight as I could but still had to use two crutches. I was pretty much walking around the house (albeit a few minutes at a time). I don’t think I was able to place FWB at this point. I could feel my tendon stretch and my foot/ankle was swollen. On Saturday 25th April, I was able to place more weight on my foot, but still had to use two crutches. I also noticed that in the mornings my foot was in less pain but during the end of the day it was swollen and in a bit of discomfort (elevation and ice sorted this out). Sunday 26th April 2009 was pretty much the same as Saturday.
Monday 27th April 2009 (morning) - Foot/tendon felt good, I decided to place more weight whilst walking and decided to go from 2 crutches to 1 (this may change back to two crutches as the day progresses). The most I have decided to walk is a few minutes in the house - i don’t want to over do it.
I also notice that when I place my foot in the AirCast my tendon stretches. I also experience a bit of pain in my calf and tendon when I walk.
I have my first proper PT session tomorrow so will update after this session.
Hope everyone is progressing well.
April 24, 2009 | | 10 Comments
I had my 6 weeks post-op appointment to see consultant. I have been in various casts for the last 6 weeks (all NWB). I was epecting to recieve boot/aircast and to progress to PWB. However, the consultant seemed to have different ideas. He had a feel of the tendon, manipulated my foot in different directions and said everything was looking good and that I can progress from NWB to FWB as soon as I can. The consultant initially decided to get me in two shoes (with heals/wedges). I was suprised with this decision as I was expecting a boot or aircast for a few weeks. Anyway to cut a long story short, the consultant then decided to give me the AirCast with one wedge/heal as I did not have my other shoe with me and I was also concerned about the risk of re-rupture and the fact that most people on this blog do tend to have some form of walking brace when they switch from NWB to PWB/FWB. Therefore, the surgeon agreed to give me aircast with one wedge/heal, I was also given a wedge for my good foot shoe. Initially I thought my surgeon was conservative as I’ve been in my cast NWB for 6 weeks. However, after this appointment it seems as if things are progressing quite rapidly. I can now PWB with aircast and both crutches. Depending on how things progress, I am hoping to place more weight on my foot over the weekend. I only need to have the AirCast on whilst walking and weight bearing so I can take it off at night or whilst resting.
After the appointment, my orthopaedic consultant basically discharged me and handed me over to PT. He said that there was no need for me to see him anymore as things are healing nicely and that I could easily make an appointment if things deteriorate. So now I am in the hands of the physiotherapist.
My first PT appointment was basically 20 mins long and was immediately after my appointment with orthopaedic consultant. I was told to do gentle ROM exercises (nothing too physical) on ankle whilst being seated. My next appointment with PT is on Tuesday 28th April 2009. I’m hoping that by that time I should be placing more weight on foot. I was also told by PT that it could take another 6 weeks (a total of 12 weeks post-op) before I can drive, however, this could change depending on how well I progress and whether I can do an emergency stop or not.
Apologies for the long-winded comment, but I do find it astounding that there are so many different rehab protocols for this injury. It seems as if each surgeon has a different protocol.
Anyway, I do hope all of you are progressing well in your recovery plans.
I’m now 1 day short of 4 weeks post-op. I had my final cast change today. I did not meet the consultant but the cast nurse basically adjusted my foot to near neutral position. I could feel the tendon stretch when my foot was placed towards neutral. I’m not in any pain.
The plaster nurse also gave me a sandle to use with my cast and said that I could start partial weight bearing. This was a pleasant surprise as I was still expecing to be NWB for an additional two weeks until my final cast came off. I am slightly concerned as I have not seen the consultant and it was not the consultant but the cast nurse who has basically given me the go ahead to partially weight bear. I am now 4 weeks post-op and was wondering if it’s safe for me to start PWB (still in cast - near neutral position - with sandle). Any feedback will be most appreciated.