12 Weeks……On the Road to Normalcy

Can’t believe it’s been more than 12 weeks since my surgery…..it’s been a long road in many respects and am grateful for the help, encouragement and support from so many quarters - my family and friends, my OS, PT and the folks on this blog, without whom this journey would have been so much more difficult.

It’s good to be walking around the house, the office and most safe indoor places without the boot….The use of boot over the last week is now restricted primarily to crowded areas (Mall, Grocery stores, soccer fields, etc and that too more precautionary than necessity)and am hoping to get rid of it totally over the next week or two as I feel more comfortable in those situations.

PT has been going quite well….pretty much doing the standard drills that everyone talks about, ROM is almost back and similar to the other leg, balance and weight bearing  is getting better and strengthening has a long way to go but improving daily. Biking every day, haven’t started running yet but have been asked to try and take larger steps and try walking faster before we move to the running stage. Gait has almost come back, seems to be better in the mornings but a noticeable limp returns as the day goes by.

The one thing that I have noticed now is that by the end of the day (may be because I am on my feet more often or it’s because of no boot)  my foot tends to be quite swollen around the tendon and seems tired……Seems to be fine after elevation, ice and a good nights rest. My PT tells me that this may go on and reduce over the next 2-3 months, but is not a big deal. Anyone else experience that? Any suggestions that may help?

The wound has also healed and for the most part the scar seems normal, except for some areas closer to the heel that are "fluffed" up (Barely). I was asked to use Mederma (sp?)….any suggestions/thoughts from those with similar experience? Is there a real need?

Being able to drive….wow!, just so liberating….am enjoying it so much more now than I ever did. Upon reflection, have come to realize that there are so many activities in our daily lives we take for granted until they are suddenly taken away and it feels good to be consciously enjoying them now that they are back.

Overall happy with the progress and am just glad to being able to feel normal again and am consciously trying to enjoy every minute of it.

5 Responses to “12 Weeks……On the Road to Normalcy”

  1. You asked in reference to continued swelling and tiredness of the tendon: “Anyone else experience that? Any suggestions that may help?”

    At 17 weeks yes. Suggestions? Do things incrementally & continue to RICE as needed. Neither the swelling nor the tiredness is unmanageable. I just can’t do as much as I’d like. Today I really wanted to go for a long walk but after PT the tendon just wasn’t up for it. Some days are better and I try to do more then…on days like today I accept that I can’t.

    Saw my OS for 16 week follow up and told him I’m still very sensitive along the incision and tendon and that I’m having zips, zaps, and zings with the increased PT I’m now able to do. I also have a small bump on the tendon at the bottom of the incision and a larger one at the top so he’s ordered a compounded medicine that I’ll get in a few days. It’s custom formulated and is applied externally to the tendon. It has 3 medicines in it, one for pain, one for inflammation, and one for scar tissue. I’ll let others know if it’s helpful after I use it.

  2. I’ll be 12 weeks on Friday. How does your tendon feel with weight bearing? Any pain with push off? Push off is very painful for me, tried going back to work for 4 hours last week (bartending) and was dying by the end of the 4 hours. Just trying to get a comparison. You seem to be doing very well!

  3. 3 months - big milestone! Keep up the hard work!

  4. Thanks all for the comments/encouragement.
    Donna, sure let us know how the new medicine goes.
    Beachy, I don’t have a whole lot of pain anywhere, except for the occasional shooting pains. However, with some excessive standing (less than 30 min) or even just being vertical, I can feel my heel area swelling over time and then the shoes/socks start hurting around the tendon area as there’s no room for them to expand. So I can see how 4hrs may be tough on you. You may want to try being in a boot for some of the time to see if if helps.
    I have now made it a habit, even at work to elevate/ice my feet whenever I can and then again do the same at night. My PT has suggested that I don;t stop the day to day exercise or use as it’s good to stay active at this stage and manage the discomfort/swelling.
    As for my walk, I still seem to have a slight limp (not enough strength), but seems to be improving and is usually better after my PT when I am not as stiff.

  5. Hey there! Nice to see you today. Almost 13 weeks behind you…YAY you!

    You said: “As for my walk, I still seem to have a slight limp (not enough strength), but seems to be improving and is usually better after my PT when I am not as stiff.”

    I agree that the limp is not enough strength in the calf muscle and a still weak tendon (tendon is in the remodeling phase)..after walking or standing for more than a half hour the calf fails so the tendon tries to support us and it gets sore or swollen…or as in your case, you still get a small limp. Seems pretty normal and well reported here.

    At almost 18 weeks my limp is gone now, it just kind of stopped happening over the last few weeks. I think it’s because I started more calf strengthening exercises since 16 weeks because that was the point at which re-ruptures decrease significantly…I bet as you reach the point where you can really start to build that calf muscle back up your limp will go away too…seems to happen that way for most of us.

    YAY!

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