Well that wasnt what I wanted to hear …….

Went through the usual question and answer session then was asked to hop onto the bed. Checked the ROM and was toldĀ  “it was still very limited”.

Then the medieval torture session began as she started to poke and prod around calf and Achilles area and she homed straight in on the area where the was large scar tissue and lump. Was ok when she was gentle but then the minute she squeezed both sides together I squealed like a small pig. She continues to work it but said that as it was still very tender that would only do a gentle soft tissue massage and would hope this would begin to help. I spent the next 20 mintues biting my lip and saying yes that is fine as she worked around the area. I have to say if this is theĀ  gentle part im not looking forward to the next one.

However the hammer blow was yet to come. The Big Question…… So am I ok to start my driving now…… Sorry…. There is not enough ROM for you to drive yet maybe another couple of weeks but I will check again next week. Colour drained from me… Another 2 weeks…….. :-(

That being said i have been back just over an hour now and already i feel i have more movement and less tension in the Achilles area. If the physio can continue to work miracles like that I wonder how long it might take. So I am booked in again for next Monday and thinking a cheeky call to my work to see if I can get more Physio through my private medical. Surely twice a week can only be a good thing

18 Responses to “Week 9 - First Physio Appointment”
  1. Hala says:

    Well, at least you’re on your way!! How much ROM do you have? Mine is still very limited but gradually improving with stretching I think. Have you been told to stretch and massage throughout the day?

  2. smiler says:

    Didnt really get give a % degree on ROM but I would estimate 20 - 30 % maximum. I have been give calf stretches and standing on the 1 leg to streghten my Ankle muscles as I didnt realise they have taken a bit of a battering too

    So not a lot to go on for another week. I did buy one of those elastaband strechy type things myself the other day so might begin to work on that then next week will ask if i can hop on a bike

  3. davidr says:

    So you are fully weight bearing then if you are able to stand on one leg? And what do you mean by 20-30% movement?

  4. smiler says:

    Yes full weight bearing although do tend to keep a crutch with me if going to far for safety, as for movement i mean 20 - 30 degree not % sorry do if I pull my toes / foot as high as I can and then push it down the opposite direct there is about a 30 degree shift

  5. davidr says:

    How much is your dorsiflexion (past 90 degrees)?

    It’s weird, you’re FWB and on PT session 1, I’m NWB and have been doing physio for over a month. I am good everywhere except my ankle, it’s very weak.

  6. smiler says:

    Been full weight bearing since I week 8 when I came out of the boot. Im not stable on my ankle and can only stay on it for a few seconds without wobbling or it begin to hurt but I felt, and the physio seems to think it is strong enough for me to at least try to balance on 1 leg

    Dont get my wrong it still hurts and am walking with a heavy limp but the one thing I have seen on here is that everyones recovery seems to be very different and where I think im doing well in one area am miles behind somewhere else. Like I said there are people on here driving at 8 weeks yet it seems I may be closer to 11 weeks

  7. davidr says:

    Yes that’s it, one area you’re good, another you’re bad. I haven’t driven for 8 years as I can’t afford a car if that helps. Also I have had to move home with the parents aged 32 as a few weeks before this happened the fiance dumped me. So it’s a trial for everyone. I have to say the last few days I have mentally cracked. Just as you’re aiming to drive, I think my aim is walking into a pub and having a beer, it will seem amazing.

    So you were fully out of the boot at week 8. What happens then? Do you have a timeline of recovery?

  8. smiler says:

    That’s just it. They havent mentioned a plan at all of a recovery time. In my head I have some ideas but try not to give them out as it seems I’m always to optimistic and end up being disappointed.

    Im really taking it 1 week at a time at the moment as just seeing gradually improvement. I have been surprised my lack of plans given to me so far but thinking that they are waiting to they see sufficient strength etc to be able to plan a little further ahead

  9. davidr says:

    I’m the same, when I went to my first physio session I said my goal was to walk into a pub on my birthday with no crutches, at first they said no, but then they said OK that’s what we will aim for. I expected a plan and goals and machines in the gym and advice to swim etc., but there’s nothing. Even 2 weeks ago I said, am I going to be walking into a pub on my birthday or not, they said we’ll see. Well, it’s my birthday tomorrow and I’m 2 crutches, NWB in my boot.

    It’s just so different for everyone, some have structure, some don’t. I’m asking tomorrow if I can go to a different physio department as it’s the not knowing that is as annoying as anything.

  10. kimjax says:

    Smiler - I laughed outloud at this! I remember the first time they “massaged” my scar/tendon - yikes! I had worn a clog to elevate the good foot and nearly disfigured the therapist when it came up involuntarily. I didn’t feel good the rest of the night as it throbbed for hours. The next morning I felt better - and now it’s not too painful at all when they do it. It really helps ROM - although it’s a bit scary when they’re rough with the suture (inside) site.

  11. smiler says:

    Lets just say the young and innocent looking physio probably learnt a few new words this morning. I not sure who came out more emotinally scarred. Also they may charge me for the several large chucks i took out of the bed in order to stop my screams :-)

    Lets just say if that was gentle the OMG I must be such a wimp

  12. Hala says:

    I’m having my first physio massage on Thursday so now dreading it. What is it they do? Why does it hurt so much?!!

  13. davidr says:

    Strange, my physio massage has never hurt, and my ROM is good, 0 degrees by week 3 and same as my good foot by week 5. However, I do have a lot of pain just trying to put weight on my foot. And when I went to the surgeon 2 weeks post op and he pushed me about 10 degrees past neutral I did swear a lot! So like you say, different horses for different courses. Thing with me is that pain has never bothered me, just want to get moving. Hala, how far along are you to be having your first physio massage this week?

  14. smiler says:

    Hala - Not sure if you read the initial post but basically

    1 - Asked what I had done and how
    2 - Got me to stand up no shoes on floor
    3 - Tried to get me to heal lift
    4 - Got me on the bed and checked movement of foot in all 4 directions
    5 - Turned me on my back and pinched along the achilles checking the hard scar tissue
    6 - Squuezed my calf and from top to all the way past achilles
    7 - Gave me 2 exercises to do 4 times a day

    In all honesty if I had told her it was hurting she would have stopped or been more gentle but I want to get through this as qucik as I can so decided it was worth a little bit more pain ~(Im not a big brave solider normally :-) )

  15. Hala says:

    Davidr, I’m 10.5 weeks now but was in a cast for the first 9 weeks so only had my first physio last week. As you say, everyone is different - my ankle is quite strong, I can stand on my bad leg OK but after a few seconds my balance gives and I am a bit nervous to use my muscles too much to correct it. I don’t really have any pain other than the odd twinge, which tells me I need to rest up for a bit. My big problem is my DF, it’s maybe similar to Smiler’s. I’d like to think it has improved to neutral (without assistance) since last week but it’s hard to tell. If I put my toe against the wall the best I have managed so far is my knee about 4cm away from the wall (I wear a size 7.5/41)

    Smiler, I feel better now - that’s what I had at my first physio but didn’t count it as a massage. It was the pinching of the Achilles and calf that was the worst for me, they are quite rough aren’t they, but hopefully it won’t get too much worse? I am massaging the swelling and scar tissue every day so hopefully it’ll be OK On Thursday, fingers crossed!

  16. smiler says:

    Sorry Hala, didnt mean to scare you ;-) . But yes the pinching made me swear alot , I’m sure if I could have seen the physio she would have been blushing !!!!!!!

    Have to let us know what you do Thursday so I know whats coming next

  17. andrew1971 says:

    My Doctor said to me driving at 12weeks from the start - I am hopeful for the ‘ok’ before then, but it seems to be the magic number for the majority.

    For me it’s a case of can I accelerate normally and perform an emergency stop (it’s my right leg) without the boot on - once I can do that then I feel it’s okay for me to drive.

    I am a non-op ATR and I have to say - I don’t feel any real lumps, maybe a bump, my snap was quite high up so maybe thats why?

  18. normofthenorth says:

    Andrew, most non-op patients escape without attachments, though several have reported lumps, bumps, or gaps. Attachments — tissue (often including skin) being stuck to the AT and dragged along with it during flexion and extension — are caused by two adjacent damaged tissues healing together and not in their original layers. So the torn (and trimmed) tendon can heal into the cut-and-stitched paratenon, which can heal together with the cut-and-stitched subcutaneous tissue, which can heal together with the cut-and-stitched skin. If they stay attached, your ROM will be limited, because a normal AT slides much farther up and down than our calf skin can move.

    Another complicating factor for everybody (op and non-op) is that swelling alone limits flexion, causing a “congested” sensation that’s familiar to all of us. I got a bruise in my OTHER leg fairly soon after my ATR healed, and I was shocked how much the bruise and swelling reminded me of ATR recovery — and I hadn’t even bruised the ankle, the swelling had “dropped” with gravity from my injured shin!

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