Posted on July 29th, 2015 by vball
I didn’t realize it’s been so long since I blogged! It coincided with me driving and going back to work. Funny, sitting in austin traffic for an hour
really exercises the dorsiflex!
Being busier (and going to a funeral) has kept my mind occupied but the AT is still in the back the mind.
I’m pretty conscious of where i walk still.
Up until week 11 , PT has been pretty much the same…mostly ROM and balancing. I told the PT to not worry about core and
quad strength b/c I’m doing it on my own anyways. We had also agreed to not doing any strength training (heel raises) until around this time. So I wanted
here to spend time on manual manipulation and directly working on the AT.
At a little past week 11, I went swimming at the gym and that same day,
I started doing full heel raises in the pool. It just felt ready. Did it in about 4-5 feet of water (chest high) and it was not a problem. It really loosened
up the ankle it seemed and I felt a sore calf the next day(which is good)
I’ve gone to the pool twice a week since then. Also started eccentric heel (tip toe on good heal and slowly go down on injured) drops at PT.
Those were hard. I followed that up with doing that in the pool this past weekend. My calf muscle is coming back. Went to 12 week followup
and DR. said I can start ramping up strength training. No running until 4 months. I can do 2 legged heel raises pretty easy and I don’t think I’m favoring the good
I can walk fairly normal even though I feel the stretch if I take long strides (trying to do it consciously as well). I have to be careful b/c I have always
been a really fast walker (it’s a slow jog to some people) and that really pushes it so I have to make sure I slow down.
I highly recommend swimming to augment your PT. I’ve been in two shoes outdoors since about week 8 and go barefoot in the house and haven’t looked back.
at times, the AT is still sensitive to touch but I can constantly flex do flex my calf and do mini heel raises at my work desk.
anybody want to buy an almost new (medium)Vacocast?! I barely used it and was 90% used indoors! When it did go outdoors, the entire bottom was taped up so
looks brand new. Even has the extra liner.
Been going back to 24 hr fitness and feeling much better!
Marching towards recovery!
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Posted on July 2nd, 2015 by vball
I’m exactly 9 weeks today! Started the morning with PT.
I finally figured out the pics!
PT involved the following:
1 (bad) leg treadmill gait training for 6 minutes.
4 sets of 1 (bad) leg balance on a foam board for a 1 minute
some 2 balancing
3 set 1 (bad) leg press for the first time
I have pretty much ditched the Vacocast into the corner. That was 350 well spent
Things do seem to progress each day. I’m walking much better barefoot around the house. Slowly working out the AT tightness.
I’m continuing my own core work as well. Also doing 1 (good) leg squats. Will probably hit the gym next week as well as the pool.
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Posted on June 29th, 2015 by vball
It seems I have made a lot of progress in the past 7 days. 6 days ago, I went into PT with the boot on and left with 2 shoes.
6 days ago I could not stand on the 1 bad foot for 3 seconds. I couldn’t really walk barefoot due to the pain under foot.
Today, I walk into PT with barely a limp in 2 shoes. I am 2 degrees from full planter vs the good foot and -8 dorsi vs -16 vs the good foot.
I can balance on a foam board for 1 minute on the 1 bad foot and if it gets warmed up enough, I can walk without a limp. There is still a stretch
if I take normal strides. I walked very slowly on the 1 bad foot on the treadmill at a speed of 1 while I practiced the heel to toe transition. I kept the good foot on the side of the treadmill.
I am walking barefoot at home on tile.
This hasn’t really been free though. I did a lot of walking this past weekend and my ankle and achilles swelled up and I still have some dull aches in the middle of the night that wakes me up.
however, the bright redness and the dullness that comes with standing after sitting for a while is slowly fading away.
I just tried sticking my foot in a pot of ice water. I couldn’t last past 15 seconds. I must be a big baby but the bottom of my feet can’t take it.
Looks like I may be done with the vacocast earlier than I thought I would be. I envisioned keeping it on for at least 2 more weeks.
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Posted on June 23rd, 2015 by vball
Had my 4th PT session today and asked her to not worry about doing core exercises b/c I do them at home.
Here is the PT I did for the Hour.
She is gave the ankle and AT a good rubdown. Her assistant volunteer was watching and didn’t know I had surgery because she couldn’t really see a scar/incision.
It’s healed really well.
Picked up marbles and moved a towel.
I have tightness in the ankle so more massaging (I like it although the rubbing the AT didn’t feel good when its rubbed!)
Moved to two shoes and walked back and forth for about 5 minutes. Have an almost normal gait. If I take shorter strides than usual
it just looks like I’m walking in slow motion but no limp.
Did the two legged balance on the wobble board (rotating the board 45 degrees every minute). Tried the one (bad) leg balance on a foam board but
the ankle didn’t like it.
I also tried to stand barefoot and walk around barefoot in the house last night and the bottom of my feet didn’t like it. Seems like I lost the cushioning in the heel. PT thinks
bottom of foot is tight so she worked on it some.
Went home and changed into my two “elevator” shoes and the artificial heel lift they provide makes it feel like I can just walk around normally.
I can feel feel some swelling around the AT and I have a compression sock on. Still continuing to use my handheld micro current machine.
Need to order some crocs. Plan on wearing the vacocast if I go outside for probably the next week or two but moving on to the next rehab phase!
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Posted on June 20th, 2015 by vball
Things are progressing well. I’ve had 2 more PT sessions and she had me stand barefeet(little scary at first) and balance on a wobble board across various angles. I definitely feel better the rest of the day after PT (1st thing in the morning). I still have the minor foot aches (not AT) at night that wake me up early in the morning but a little less “achy” as the nights go by.
PT sessions are fairly easy right now. She has me doing some core stuff but I do that every other day anyways so it’s not very hard. I’d rather focus on the Achilles.
I’m still pretty conservative.
I still use a crutch (mostly at night) if I’m out of the boot and need to get up. I haven’t attempted to walk barefoot yet.
I’ve continued to use the microcurrent machine daily. Here are several very interesting links.
I really like reading the first one. It seems the incision is smoothing out along with the scar tissue. Maybe it’a mental, but I feel the AT
Therapist asked me to bring the other shoe next time I see here. (going twice a week).
I have the vacocast setting at 0 but let it hinge all the time now. It took me about a day and half to start walking around more normally with the flat sole after I moved to 0 a week and a half ago. I will probably use it for 2 more weeks max and then hopefully never have to use it again.
BTW, I tape the bottom of it with athletic tape when I get out of my house and just peel off the tape when I get back in. It keeps the sole clean for my house and all the nastiness off the boot since i wear it all the time! My boot and 2 soles looks brand new!
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Posted on June 13th, 2015 by vball
I am 6 weeks 2 days post op. Saw the Ortho 3 days ago for the first time since surgery (saw Phy Assistant at 2 weeks).
He was very pleased with the surgery so far. Said the incision has healed nicely (I still cant figure out how to post pics… I was able to upload to Library but can’t do much after that) and the tendon feels strong. He started doing this PARS method about a year ago. If anyone is at pre surgery, you should really push for this procedure.
I was at .5 in the vacocast and he said move it to neutral (0) and will see me in 6 weeks and start PT. I went and Saw PT yesterday for the first time. She also said that was a great looking surgery/incision b/c she normally sees the long vertical one.
Apparently, I’m at 50 degrees planter (vs 60 on the good leg) and -2 degrees past neutral. I forget what left and right measurements were.
I mentioned the pain I’ve been having on the top and outerside of the foot as well as around the ankle area. I can’t curl my toes so we started on picking up marbles and try to move a towel with the toes curled. That was my homework assignment. She also had me try to stand barefoot on each leg (no problem with the good leg… can’t do it forever). Only lasted about 3 seconds on the bad one, but that may have been mental.
Regarding the vacocast setting, I’ve had little trouble up until now moving to .5 but having a lot of tightness moving to 0. In addition, I decided to move the flat sole. Walking around the house is a little diffcult without the rocker and i’m back to limping. Need some time to get used to it.
I’m still having trouble sleeping through the night due to the dull ache that flares up at night on the ankle/foot. For the second time since I gave up meds at 3 days post surgery, I took some ibuprofen (took aleve last time). It seemed to help as I slept 6.5+ hours before I woke up with the ache again. I did lose the boot in bed at 5 weeks so sleeping with just a sock.
I am still faithfully taking 1000mg of vitamin c daily (2 500mg) and doing the microcurrent twice morning and night. I can feel the achilles tendon up and down the leg and it seems strong.
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Posted on June 5th, 2015 by vball
for the past several days, I’ve been walking around the house mosty with a crutch on one side.
My wife doesn’t like it but I told her I’m not feeling anything in the heel. I do feel a little ache on the right side of ankle here and there but it’s more like a mild sprained ankle pain. Sometimes the bottom of my feet get kind of tired. Last night, I thought I would probably go another couple of days with crutch on good side, but it’s been tossed today.
At first, I would take a long stride with my bad foot and then small stride with my injured one. If I always keep the feet parallel or the good foot behind the bad, I felt nothing. Throughout the day, I gradually put the good foot a little ahead of the bad and it seems I practically have a normal gait! I am FWB at 5weeks+1. I try to get up every 30 minutes or so and walk around for a few minutes. My foot does get tired (mostly bottom) so I stop and work some more.
I have the vacocast at 1 (10 degrees) and tried both hinged and locked when walking. Locked seems to feel more secure. I will probably move it to .5 in two days and leave it there before my 6 week followup, where I will see the DR for the first time since surgery (say PA at 2 weeks). I’m wearing my height increasing shoe on the good foot (along with a heel insert) which gave me close to 3 inches but I’m still about .5 inches off from being truly even. I do feel it in my back (but I have low back issues before the ATR). I may try to go to the flatter sole when I move to 5 degrees.
I still use steristrips on my little horizontal incision (mostly to help with future scarring) and still use the micro current machine twice a day (1 hr morning, 1 hr before bed). I still have that sensation on my heel bone but that’s going away gradually. I also massage some aloe oil into the cut a couple of times a days. Aside from the incision and a bump right about it (not sure if its scar tissue or sutures), my AT seems to be smoothing out? I do like the micro current even though I can’t feel anything from it. if you search for tendonworks, there is some good testimony from it, including from rugby player Dan Carter.
The only real discomfort I have is a dull ache on the ankle for the past several nights which wake me up and the I toss the boot. I took two aleve’s before bed last night but it didn’t seem to do anything for it. It was the first real med I have taken since 4 days after surgery, unless you count a baby aspirin. I still get some pain sensations occasional from the top of the foot and that’s due to the boot pressing down on it.
As far as therapy for the achilles, I’m doing mostly just range of motion flexing and walking around. I do some upper body and core every other day. I did try 1 rep of standing on 1 foot for about 5 seconds and didn’t have any issues with it(used kitchen counters to balance). May do some more of that this weekend.
feeling stronger bit by bit!
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Posted on June 2nd, 2015 by vball
I’ve had a significant decrease in swelling in the past 3 days. Coincidently, I have started using my handheld microcurrent machine at 35uA 1 hour each time, twice a day and also started taking 1000 mg of vitamin C for the past 5 days. However, it should be noted that I didn’t have that much swelling to begin with. The little I did have was like a sprained ankle and it’s been there until recently.
I started walking around the house 5 days ago (I’m guessing about 80 -90 percent WB) while still holding both crutches. I don’t use the crutch on heel strike and only use mild pressure when I end with the TOE.
The decrease is so significant that my feet are very similar size at this point. I would be hard pressed to tell the difference. The achilles also seems to be shrinking and Is it time? why so much in the past few days. I have been wearing a compression sock since 2 weeks. Is the microcurrent really helping that much?
I’ll try to post some images.
Things haven’t been all smooth. I’m still dealing with top of foot pain from the vacocast, especially at night. I think I have it way too tight. When I take it off, there are red spots right on top of the foot. I wanted to keep it real tight when I’m trying to walk around to make sure the AT stays protected.
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Posted on May 31st, 2015 by vball
So I have been reading on microcurrent (I have the machine) and it’s benefits! I should have used this starting a couple of weeks ago.
If you google microcurrent and rabbits, you can read a great article along with images on how the tendons healed. I’m sold!
For those with wound issues(I don’t have any), you may consider it as well.
Documented Effects of Microcurrent
There is a lot that science has learned about how and why microcurrent has such dramatic healing and pain relieving effects. Here are the physiologic effects of microcurrent as confirmed by research studies:
- Faster and more efficient wound healing – Numerous research studies have validated this effect. As an example, researchers Carley and Wainapel2 reported the following: 30 hospital patients with non-healing ulcers were divided into two groups, one treated with conventional wound dressings and one with microcurrent stimulation at 300 – 700 µA. The latter group was given two – two-hour stimulation periods per day. After six weeks of such treatments the group treated with microcurrents showed a 150 – 250 percent healing rate, with stronger scar formation, less pain and lessened infection of the treated area.
- Boosting ATP production in cells – ATP is the energy-carrying molecule in cells that powers all activity, including cellular healing. Cheng, et al3 have been widely quoted for confirming how microcurrent boosts ATP production as well as the availability of free amino acids for cellular repair. Most significant was their finding that levels of electrical stimulation above 1000 µA (1 milliamp) actually retarded ATP production. This indicated that only very low-level electrical stimulation has this very desirable effect.
- Strengthening tendons – Oweye and his team4 reported stronger tendons in rats that had positive (anodal) microcurrent applied, with current at 75 µA, 10 Hz frequency. Many other studies have shown similar effects.
- Better bone healing – A team of Japanese researchers5 demonstrated that mandibular lesions in dogs responded well to application of 50 µA stimulation. They stated “It seems likely that direct microcurrent promotes normal bone formation within the defective area and accelerates the osseous healing process. Prolonged application of electrical stimulus promotes a remarkable bone remodeling mechanism.”
- Helping kill bacterial infection in wounds – J.A. Spadaro and team6 reported good bacteriocidal effects combining microcurrent stimulation with silver ions. Percutaneous silver wire implants were placed in rats, and the wounds inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus to test how much infection would spread. Microcurrent stimulation was passed through the wires, with + anodal current placed into implanted silver wire, and the – cathodal electrode placed on the rat’s belly as a ground. It was found that significant inhibition of infection occurred, with the most marked results at 20µA current level. “Metallic silver can be effectively and efficiently activated to elicit its anti-microbial activity by the application of microampere electrical current.”
- Microcurrent may support function of stem cells in healing eye diseases7 - One form of microcurrent stimulated both dermal fibroblasts and U937 cells to secrete transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1), which is an important regulator of cell-mediated inflammation and tissue regeneration. This article supports the potential of microcurrent to improve the results of stem cell transplantation.
- Polarized microcurrent used to shrink cancerous tumors8 – B. Nordenstrom, M.D. demonstrated that the positive polarity of microcurrent, passed through needles implanted into cancerous tumors, blocked cancer pain and in many cases caused the tumors to regress or disappear. He theorized that this treatment set up a form of electro-osmosis, which dehydrated the tumor and blocked production of pain-producing substances such as histamine, substance P and bradykinin.
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Posted on May 31st, 2015 by vball
Yesterday, I looked at the protocol printout and it said i should be at 10 degrees at 4 weeks. I was at 20 so I moved it to 15 and kept it locked. I walked around the house quite a bit and still felt no pain in the AT. I felt a little bit in the ankle as it’s still a little swollen. The only real discomfort I have is still on top of the foot as the vacocast must still have hotspot. I’m not sure what to do with it. It causes me problems at night. I also decided to take off the top plastic of the boot at night and just wear the boot with the straps to see if I can get more comfortable. It helped a little bit but still having discomfort on the top of the foot. I’m strongly tempted to sleep without the boot soon.
Today, I unlocked the top of the boot to let it hinge so I am between 30-15 flexing. We’ll see how that goes. I think my ROM is close to neutral right now but will wait a day or two to move it to 10.
I can do ROM flexing in the boot since it’s hinged. Not sure if it’s a good thing or not.
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