One small step…: 3 weeks post-op

Hi!  Well, it has been 3 weeks since the operation to surgically repair my ATR.  The rupture happened the day after my 42nd birthday.  Pick-up basketball.  I had started playing in the last three months after a long hiatus.  I was actually really starting to enjoy it.  I naively thought I had make it past the point of greatest risk as I even felt like I had my wind back.  1 hour into the game, pushed off my right foot to move on defense and pop.  The adrenaline must have been flowing because I managed to drive myself home about a mile (had to get my daughter to school) before realizing that was a really bad idea.  An hour later, I had a surgery date set.

First week post-op:  Elevation and Vicadin.  Daughter had party two days after surgery; I managed to crutch my way to the skating rink and enjoyed being around people (got my mind off the ATR).  Tried to tough it out on day three without the pain pills but found myself in a sour mood all day.  The two minute intervals that I was not elevated were very painful for the first 3-4 days with extreme tightness in the calf.  All was fine while elevated though.  I was a bit ripe after the first week as I was a bit paranoid about getting an infection so stayed out of the shower.  Amazingly, the doctor still agreed to see me after a week.  Removed cast and gave me the boot.

Second week post-op:  Non-weight bearing with crutches.  Still stayed elevated for most days but got off pain pills which was big plus.  Job fortunately allows me to work at home so was pretty sedentary for the week.  Still extremely cautious in the shower with multiple bags covering the boot.  I have to admit being extremely afraid of scewing things up so I don’t think I adjusted the boot the whole week (mechanical ability is not my skill set, what if I took the boot off and couldn’t put it back together again?).   Visited doc at end of second week; stitches taken out, one wedge taken out too.   Told to start loading weight on the boot with the goal of ditching crutches by end of the week.  Ready to take off boot 3 times a day and flex foot 5 minute intervals.  Will visit again at end of week 4.

Third week:  Weight-bearing with crutches but not believing I will be able to walk without them later this week as the doc has recommended.  I am no longer viewing my right foot as useless appendage anymore and feeling good about things.  Taking more showers now to the relief of my 6-year old (”Daddy you’re not so stinky anymore”).  By end of week three, I am crutchless.  It is nirvana, although I know the road to recovery is just beginning.  Still, I feel that I have gained a bit of independence.  Still three weeks or so before I am wearing two shoes but a man can dream, no?  Best comment at church today; why are you wearing only one ski boot?

5 Responses to “One small step…: 3 weeks post-op”

  1. Thanks for sharing! That is precisely the same protocol my Dr. has me on. All the best!

  2. Great to see you doing well.

    Quick question: you mentioned “flex foot” exercise. Are you just moving your foot (like ankle rolls).

    I’m currently on a boot, but wasn’t told to do any exercises, but would like to start now.

    I like your doctor!

  3. Carl,

    Yes these are non-weight bearing ankle rolls. I have foot propped up on pillows and try to move toes toward the shin. It’s certainly not much of a movement, but it is nice to see there is some flex there. I am guessing that these 3X/day exercises.


  4. I want your guys’ doctor. i think mine is being conservative. i will still haev a cast on after 4 weeks. I am hoping that one week from today i can get into the boot and start some early mobilization excercises. anyone know of these jedi docs in Phoenix??

  5. Hello Triguy–Sounds like your recovery is going very well. I’m jealous as I am 3.5 weeks post op and stuck in a cast for 4 more days. My doc then wants me in another cast for 2 more weeks–seems crazy with all the examples on this site of people doing exercises and PWB and FWB at 4-8 weeks. I think I will take your post and show to my dr. Thanks for sharing–you give me hope.

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