Day 27 after rupture , day 22 after surgery : All quiet on the left foot.
[translated through google.translate (not optimal) and slightly edited, original here: http://www.terrengsykkel.no/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1320534&page=2 - Norwegian only]
Well, now there is finally something new going on, and thus I have something to report.
It happened pretty much nothing the past weeks, however for the record:
1 There was no infection, but the bandage that held the cast (I had a short leg cast - kind of a ‘half -cast’ that was kept into place by a bandage - is this what you call a splint cast?) was too tight, and they had packed too much stuff around the incision . Thus it felt like infection. Everything was better when the bandage put on less tight. And in a herringbone pattern.
2 Do not think your are the world champion on forearm crutches. You get tendinitis in both shoulders , and then you will be completely immobilized . I have avoided this problem so far, but barely . The problem is due to taking too long steps with crutches, which give you excessive stretching of tendons in the shoulder when the body bends forward and the center of gravity is ahead of the crutches. Be careful, and exercise your upper body properly before going on long walks with crutches! (this issue is not a problem as soon as you are PWB and ‘ roll ‘ from the heel and over the toes. This goes slowly, is somewhat more painful for the leg, but you do not get as big strain on the shoulders , and you are therefore much more mobile. Could probably walk a mile or two , if I ever had the time it would take…).
3 It is important to wiggle your toes all the time. The body ‘ forgets ‘ how to do this after a few weeks without movement , and it is frustrating to learn that again.
Last Friday ( Friday, 14 June , 18 days after surgery ) was the last day with a cast and I finally got the ROM walker. And the first round of physical therapy. My tendon is way too short. Of course, some shortening is usual at this stage, but mine is waaaay short. It was with quite some difficulty - and pain - that my foot went into the walker when it was set to 110 degrees angle in my ankle. The PT considered 120 degrees, but concluded that 110 was fine. My tendon would not re-rupture at 110 degrees anyway. I will now gradually start weightbearing, by ‘rolling’ from my heel over to my forefoot. PT t old me to walk/roll about 5 min every hour, and add enough weight on the foot for the heel to make contact with the bottom of the walker. This is painful - feels like it’e tearing in my tendon and calf, and I get the feeling of having blisters on the inside of my skin. but if it help recovery: To h**l with pain! Have had significant progress on the issue so far - I can already take the walker on and off without any problem with the angle.
The PT emphasized that as long as I had the walker on, I could do pretty much anythong, but whenever I took the walker off, it should be absolute rest , and it should be kept higher than my chest. Generally, the foot should only be below your heart during exercise , otherwise it shall be above the heart. It is a challenge to find a good posture like this, especially in the office - but hey, it’s easier in an office than, say, for a carpenter. So I’ll manage that Had I been artisan I would have gotten a 100 % sick leave. I am now 50 % off sick until 19 July (I have so much vacation days , time off days and paternity leave left that I take out holidays during my leave period anyways. Going home like that drives me nuts, and I love my job too much to stay at home. Especially in this condition.
PT also told me try rowing machine. As with the cast (I cheated by starting rowing machine early…) the wlaker can not be attached to the footboard , but I can push with it, so it’s some exercise for thigh, as well as early weightbearing. And : Be prepared, the rowing machine will give your buttocks on the good leg a heavy exercise. Muscle soreness can be expected. But rowing machine is nevertheless very much more enjoyable than arm cycle - which was so boring I stopped doing it…
First week of training, from day 12 to day 18 after surgery , I tried arm cycle to keep me in some shape. It is so incredibly boring that it was with difficulty that I managed to complete 10 minutes on it. Interval training was slightly better , but I never bothered to complete a set of 10×1 minute. It’s a good workout for your upper body, but 3×1 minute is enough, or you will die from boredom… Rowing machine is way better.
I have also been allowed to start with light strength training of the thigh on the injured leg. Leg Curl and Leg Extension . Muscle atrophy has been extreme in three weeks, and 25 repetitions at 15 kg is more than enough for both exercises. For comparison: With the healthy leg I easily do leg extensions with 60 kg and 12 repetitions. ( Which indicates that it’s stronger than it was before injury. That being said, my upper body strength exercises are up some 50% since injury, due to walking on crutches, wheelchair, armcycle, and so on).
My mood is now much better , and I see a little light in the tunnel. Looking forward to spinning and pool training. Hopefully I can start spinning next Friday (day 32 after surgery ) , and I’ll be in the pool on July 4 , ie, 38 days after surgery.
I’m looking forward to uphill running, but it will be in the spring, I think.
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