6 weeks and two shoes!

Hi all, just wanted to post an update as I am really excited to be in 2 shoes now! It is exactly 6 weeks since my operation and doc has given me the go ahead to transition into two shoes.  It is really liberating but the first few steps were really quite disorienting as it felt my repaired foot was like floating on air.  Nonetheless, the therapist got me walking today and though ROM still needs work, I am quite happy to see my right calf (atrophied and all) respond as I flexed my ankle while walking. The problem now is to fix my gait as my right stride is noticably longer than my left stride.  I have to make a concious effort to make them equal but the tightness in my achilles makes it hard.

Likewise, I have heard or read that going down the stairs is one of the bigger challenges as you rehab, and truly it was quite a task. It was quite painful to go down stairs on alternating steps so I had to go down with the bad and the put my good on the same level before going down another step.  I have read that somebody posted a trick to going down the stairs, but I can’t seem to find it.  Can anyone point me to the right link?

Anyway, thanks for reading and good luck to all of us ATR rehab people

5 Responses to “6 weeks and two shoes!”

  1. I am still in the boot ( I am at week 7) and am getting up and down steps in boot pretty well- though super careful. Not sure what the technique would be for two shoes so can’t help you there, but I am sure someone else can chime in. Just be careful- as I understand re- rupture rates are still risky from week 6-12. As of right now my doctor and PT said I would be in boot until week 12, but perhaps that will be moved up, depending how I am progressing.

    Did you try swimming yet? How did it go? My PT is leaning towards me getting in pool next week, as I am leaving for vacation. How did you get in/ out of pool safely?

  2. PS. Congrats for graduating to two shoes. You must be really happy!

  3. Congrats Tim, I recall you are on a really aggressive protocol, so happy it’s working out for you! Regarding using the stairs you said: “I had to go down with the bad and the put my good on the same level before going down another step.”…that is part of the trick…when you go down with the bad, hang it over the step, this will alleviate the stress put on the tendon…the reason steps take weeks to master, and I mean weeks, is because we don’t have that dorsiflexion stretch yet, we don’t have the flexibility and ROM…that stretch pulls on the tendon at the repair site and causes discomfort at the least and a re-rupture at the most.

    I find that two shoes is a transition and though I often get the impression people think they will just start walking like pre-injury, that just isn’t the case. Gait training is also a transition and it will take time to work out that limp…the stronger your calf gets, the greater your ROM and flexibility, the less you will limp.

    Best wishes to you.

  4. Thanks for the great explanation as always Donna. Yeah I thought walking would be quite easy since I have mastered walking in the boot but it sure was different when I had to flex my bad foot on every step with two shoes. My gait looks a bit weird and I really have to make it a conscious effort not to limp while walking.

    Linda, I decided against swimming while in the boot, but once I got into 2 shoes I swam the next day. Thinking back I think know the problem would just be getting out of the pool. Getting in would probably be easy and once inside the pool the water makes it much easier. Thanks for the reminder on re rupture. I do have to remind that I just got out of the boot as I tend to get excited about going back to my normal routine. This injury surely teaches you about patience :)

  5. Hi timothysy, I can’t believe I’ve only come across your blog now. We ruptured our Achilles on the same day, and you had an op the day after I did. But our protocols are slightly different in that I’ve been in casts NWB for the past 6 weeks (a cast change at 3 wks). After 6 weeks, I’m now into 2 shoes too, but with crutches. Anyway, I’ll be following your progress with interest. All the best!

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