End of week 13 post op and still swelling

So my leg isn’t swelling as much as it did 2 weeks ago but nothing new to report, I haven’t been able to do much apart from RICE

Going through a rough patch as emotionally i am relatively depressed, lack of exercise and sweating out made me a very grumpy person. Last wed after my physic, my PT gave me a list of things to do in the gym including horizontal calf presses and calf stretches. I followed as instructed but after the session i could sense my leg swelling up again! I am sick and tired of this - having to be so mindful of the things i am doing and yet if i don’t do them i cannot progress. However working out made me fearful that i may indirectly cause it to inflame again! This is frustrating me a lot and even on weekends i don’t do much or walk around a lot but i could sense the leg was swelling up a little bit more than before i exercised on thurs (note i was totally out of action for 2 weeks just because i wanted to be good and do what my physic told me to do which is to rest as much as can)

anyone felt like this before? like you are not progressing or improving where you should really be strengthening and doing calf raises? I have read many blogs and by week 13-14 most are able to do calf raises. anyone ever felt like your leg swells after an exercise ? Note i haven’t been back to cycling nonstop for 45-60 min anymore, the last session on thurs i just did 15′ on the bike and the rest were strengthening and abs exercises.

what else can i do to improve my situation? really at wits end. its like nothing apart from just sitting at home and grow fat :(

9 Responses to “End of week 13 post op and still swelling”

  1. I agree that swelling is a pain (literally, sometimes), and can be an impediment to pursuing more active PT. I’ve noticed that both more activity and just more time on my feet leads to more swelling. I’ve found the best way to combat swelling is to elevate as much as possible–which I continue to do now at nearly week 15. I also continue to ice twice a day. Mornings are usually best from a swelling standpoint, so I would suggest you try to do your more aggressive PT early in the day and leave the more passive stuff for later. Most of all–stay positive and focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. -David

  2. Is your swelling always gone or minimal first thing in the morning? Does it usually increase gradually through the day, whether or not your pushing exercises? I think I may have been about 20 weeks in when I created a blog page with a title like “This swelling and elevation is getting OLD!” So the general problem is not uncommon, though yours may still be special.
    For one thing, with or without swelling, looking back a week or two, you should be able to notice some increased strength, endurance, abilitiies, ROM, etc. We do speak of a “frustrating plateau”, but we don’t usually plateau for more than a week or two before we can notice some notable progress, at least in hindsight.
    Two other thoughts, about weight and frustration:
    1) Most good studies on exercise find that it’s amazingly positive for health, but remarkably ineffective as a weight-loss strategy. Most people eat a lot more when they’re very active than when they’re not — nothing like a good workout or a long walk to work up an appetite. Of course, if you’re trapped inside and frustrated, you may find yourself eating to meet psychological needs. But there’s no physical (or even good) reason to gain weight from an ATR (and some of us lost a few pounds).
    2) At the risk of sounding like a pop psychiatrist. . . nobody can frustrate or exasperate you except you, or at least without your full cooperation. Life has hit you with an ATR (I think — can you install the ATR Timeline Widget?). Most everybody here has gone through that, or the equivalent, once or twice. Bummer, but there are lots of worse afflictions, and almost all of us end up about as good as new in about a year. But it’s up to us whether that year is a year of growth and discovery and deepening relationships with friends and relatives, or whether it’s a frustrating PITA.
    Somebody said once about sailing “we can’t choose the wind, but we can trim (adjust) our sails.” And that’s true here, too. To borrow one of my Dad’s better expressions, “For the same price” you can either focus on the part of the glass that’s half full, or the part that’s half empty. Same price, but very different effect!

  3. Soj, responding to your “I have read many blogs and by week 13-14 most are able to do calf raises.” — I don’t think you should get too hung up about feeling behind and what you read on other blogs as far as where someone else is or was in a week similar to your place in time. Don’t get me wrong, I find most of the advice on this site quite valuable, but everybody’s timeline is different.

    I seem to be right around the same time as you, maybe a few days ahead, now at almost 14 weeks post op. As Norm wrote, can you install your ATR timeline widget? see Achilles Timeline Widget on front page. If you need get stuck, I posted some additional instructions here when my timeline wasn’t showing up: achillesblog.com/goldman/2014/04/13/where-is-nyc/

    I have only recently been able to do anything close to a real calf raise and we’re talking two feet, not single. And at a fraction of push up on the injured side, like 1/3rd. I still limp, and walk partial mile per day, not the 1,2 or more miles per day that I read on other people’s blogs. So I hear you when you write, “…not progressing or improving where you should really be strengthening and doing calf raises,” but know that it will get better, just more slowly then you (and we) would all like. And the swelling will get better too, but that can last for months and months and even longer itself. You are doing the right thing with RICE even if it bores you (to tears).

    Good luck!

  4. Soj, since we seem to be at about the same point in the timeline, and not sure if your injured side is stiff (as mine is) I wanted to share a “chair stretch” that my PT taught me a week ago, to help improve ROM and work to fix my limp. In case it helps you also, It’s here on Youtube: youtube.com/watch?v=rlUe1-YLy5g&feature=youtu.be

  5. thanks guys - yes i realise my widget isn’t shown though i do see it on my webpage!

    well i think my swelling only happens towards the end of day at night i wear my compression socks to sleep and usually ice it as well if i am home long enough after a days work. so in the morning it looks pretty normal. i just saw my physic today and he said it definitely improved from 2 weeks ago when i had that inflammation and had to stop all activities. now he is giving me some exercises to do in the gym . i think where my frustration came from was that i used to have a routine - gym/exercise in the morning, lots of plyometrics, lots of body weight exercises, e.g. insanity work out program… so losing the routine makes me feel uneasy. and also, i still like my socialising and going out, drinking etc, but without the same amount of output i had before, i felt like my weight was creeping up. then i get depressed, and end up eating more. i am trying to be more optimistic and choosing the set of right and balanced work out routines in the gym now…

    so anyway, after my PT today, he said my reaction to the exercises was normal. he definitely don’t feel like my leg is inflamed anymore, so any soreness or tightness around the tendon after the exercises is normal as long as i don’t overdo the exercises he prescribed (e.g. spinning classes that i push too hard). so tomorrow i will be trying it out again and see how it goes on wed as i have another session with him on wed….

    my swell isn’t as bad as it was 2 weeks ago now, i wish i could post some pictures but can’t figure it out how to do it in the most uncomplicated way! anyway, things are starting to look up (albeit very very slowly) but hey like you guys mention, i guess i can only make lemonade out of lemons eh!

  6. Ya, keep thinking lemonade — “for the same price!” :-)

    And I see your ATR Timeline Widget just fine now! Netball, it was!

  7. Hey there,

    I am *exactly* where you are. Seriously. My swelling is so bad at 13 weeks I can barely wear a shoe. Elevating helps, but it’s not like any of us can do that all day, right? I am wearing a compression sock (light compression, knee length) and that seems to help some. I have pretty good range of motion but my strength is still kind of pitiful. I can stand on my toes with both feet, but it’s like 2/3 on my good side and 1/3 on my bad. I have pain every day, every step. Hang in there. We’re all in it together.

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