Week 6: 3rd Post-Op & Transition to FWB

Hi everyone!

Another Friday, another doctor’s appointment.

Week 5 Updates: Nothing major!

Got into the swing of things for my NWB PT appointments. Each appointment starts with manual therapy and stretching by my PT for about 20-30 minutes (I think our chatting makes it go a little slower but it’s super comfortable so I’m in no rush). Been working on the towel slides and assisted inversion/eversion and we added 4-way weighted leg lifts (back, prone, L-side, R-side), weighted clamshells, towel scrunching, and marble pick-ups. The towel and marble exercises are where I discovered that my toes aren’t working properly! I’m unable to properly extend and contract them so I make sure to really focus on that ROM when I’m doing each. It sounds so silly but sometimes when I’m not wearing my boot and I have my foot flat on the ground, I realize how my toes don’t really engage or work to balance me anymore. PT was good to work on my flexibility but we were mainly just waiting for my 3rd post-op (6 weeks out) for the go-ahead to start active therapy and walking.

On more personal/mundane notes, I’m no longer elevating my leg when I sleep but I’m still wearing my boot to bed. I hadn’t really had a problem with swelling after the surgery and my PT confirmed that it looked great so I’m lounging about my house as usual. I don’t wear my boot when I take short naps which has been a little scary since I’m a big twitcher when I fall asleep but I’ve made it this far so I think I’m doing alright. Also, I am finally driving myself around!!!! This is a big one for me. I love driving and I love having my independence so relying on people for everything during this time period has been tough for me. I’ve been physically fine to drive according to my doctor and my PT for the last 1 or 2 weeks but my parents weren’t comfortable with the idea yet (for no logical reason to my dismay). However, I’ve finally gotten my DMV temporary handicap placard (I heavily recommend getting one) and I got to drive myself to Taco Bell, PT, and my friend’s house! It’s nice to have some semblance of independence/normality even if I still have to take my crutches or knee scooter everywhere.

Also I measured my calves just to see where I’m at before I start walking again! It seems like my left calf is about 92% of my right calf. I’m not really sure what that means but that doesn’t seem too bad? I naturally have small calves though so maybe just the size isn’t a good indicator for the strength for me.

Healthy Right Calf: 34.6cm

ATR Calf: 31.9cm

Week 6 is what we’ve all been waiting for! Another doctor’s appointment and my clearance to start moving to FWB!!!!! Although I’ve been counting down the days until this point, I’m honestly a little scared of the idea of walking. My doctor said I should be transitioning out of the boot in about 2 weeks but I’ve gotten so used to having it (even when I take it off) that the idea of not needing it seems so sudden (6 weeks is absolutely not sudden, nor are the additional 2 weeks but tell that to my anxiety). His Phase-Out plan to FWB has 5 Phases: 2 Crutches, 1 Crutch, Boot, Ankle Brace, No Support. My doctor is planning for about 5 days in each of the first 3 phases and then the timeline for ankle brace to no support is based on personal strength and preference. My incision is pretty much healed, no more scabbing left and only a slightly raised scar.  I definitely need to get consistent with my band and strength exercises at home to help my return to walking.

I have my underlying fears about not being strong enough, having a limp, whatever else I can make up in my head but I’m also excited for what is a major step to having my life back. In two weeks, I’ll be able to get back into the volleyball gym where I had my injury–coaching of course–and that’s what I’m looking forward to the most in the short term. It’s so crazy to think that I might be walking barefoot so soon. One small step for me!



P.S. Exercises:

  • 3×10 4-Way Leg Lifts
  • 3×10 Clamshells
  • 3×10 Assisted Inversion/Eversion
  • 3×10 Towel toe Crunches
  • 3×10 Towel slides
  • 1 Jar of Marbles moved

*Adding to regimen on the weekend*

  • 3×10 Seated tiny heel lifts (focusing on engaging toes and ball of feet)
  • 3×10 Active Inversion/Eversion

One Response to “Week 6: 3rd Post-Op & Transition to FWB”

  1. This is great news! I’m having a tough time with not being able to drive. Starting to question getting my life back when things keep getting taken away! Your news is inspiring!

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