2 shoes!!!

Today I visited the doctor for my 12 week post op followup. He had me bend my ankle and said I’m doing “very good”, then out of nowhere came the glorious words…”go to a shoe” I almost couldn’t believe what I just heard. He showed me 2 exercises to help strengthen my ankle, which kind of worries me. Shouldn’t I have a range of exercises to do, other than just ankle lifts? Anyways, I’m going to continue with the theraband exercises and 2 leg ankle lifts. He says that since PT is at least $30 a visit, he is going to have me do exercises on my own. He also cleared me to ride, as long as I’m wearing boots to protect the scar site.

I rode my motorcycle today and had a smile from ear to ear…it was an awesome night!=)

3 Responses to “2 shoes!!!”

  1. stiehler,

    Congrats on the shoes and bike ride! I took my first long walk outside in shoes today but I’m not ready to ditch the boot in risky situations.

    Take a look at the rehab info available on this site for examples of simple ankle exercises:

    http://achillesblog.com/files/2008/03/achilles_tendon_rupture_mass_gen.pdf

    Simply walking and concentrating on a normal gait is great therapy. Also, try balancing on just your hurt foot for a minute or so. Be sure to have something to grab hold of at first.

  2. Congrats! 2 shoes is a huge step, as is getting back on your motorcycle. Just don’t hurt yourself!

    There are lots of strong opinions here about Physio, mostly strongly pro. I’m wedded to the evidence, and there isn’t much evidence either way on PT compared to exercising on your own. Most of the other treatments the PTs use — lasers, electro-stim (”difference current”), and UltraSound — haven’t been tested rigorously, much less on ATR recovery patients, AFAIK. Most of the new studies showing good results with quick protocols did use PT, and many successful patients felt that their PT did more to help them than their surgeon (with or without surgery).

    It’s hard to know.

    For exercises, I got a bunch from my PT. Many of the key “exercises” involve more extreme versions of ADL, Activities of Daily Living. 2-leg heel raises, 1-leg seated heel raises (knee bent), “up on 2 and down on 1″ (or fractionally so, until you can handle that), and lots of balancing on one foot, especially the healing foot. I also got some stretches, but I downplayed them (esp. dorsiflexion) because I was more worried about over-stretching the AT than I was about it restricting my dorsiflexion (which seemed to be recovering nicely all along).

    My PT, like many of them, was convinced that his deep massage therapy could do magical things, in breaking up internal scar tissue. Maybe it’s true. After my first ATR healed (post-op) 8 years ago, I was left with an ankle that “clicks” the first time I go up on my toes in the morning, and occasionally later in the day, too. My PT thought he could cure that with physical manipulation, if I cared enough about it (which I don’t).

    It’s nice to deal with people (like my PT) who believe in what they’re doing, but I’m unaware of good studies that back up those kinds of claims in a large population of randomized patients.

    And overly aggressive PTs can definitely do harm! I had a 1-month setback from one 8 yrs ago, and a list of “how I re-ruptured my AT” on another website featured “Physio” as one of the most popular answers!

  3. Congrats on 2 shoes! I know how awesome those words are as I just got an aircast from my Dr. and told me I can begin to transition from the boot to the aircast (I can only wear it at night when I am home from work). As of today, I am 6 weeks post op, so I am so excited about that fact that beginning Monday, I can wear 2 sneakers to work!

    That is awesome that you were able to get back on your bike! You must have been smiling. I ride too and I haven’t ridden since my incident in early May so of course I can’t wait to get back riding. You gave me hope that I will be back on mine in no time since I am transitioning to a shoe. I will as my Doc about riding when I see him in 2 more weeks.

    As far as stretching exercises, I am not at PT yet, but I have been doing 4 different exercises. The first one is he has me spell the alphabet with my foot. This gets it moving in all directions. Also, I flex it back and for with the band for strengthening, but it sounds like you are doing that already. Then I do a side to side and then I do clock wise and counter clock wise flexes. I think I’ll be starting PT in about 2 or 3 weeks.

    Good luck with your continued recovery! Again, the best part of that is that you are back riding! Have fun and be safe!

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