12 weeks Dorsiflexion?

I have been working my way to two shoes slowly. I wear two shoes for short distance walking and the boot for the longer distance at the moment. I can still get pains in my leg when walking if I try to walk too fast still and I cannot walk very well at all without wedges in my shoe.

My ROM has gotten better but am a little concerned about my dorsiflexion. While my planterflection is 90% back compared to my good leg the dorsiflexion has a very far way to go. By last measurement, my dorsiflexion is only at 3 degrees past neutral and really giving me trouble getting a natural gate when walking without wedges in my shoe. For a comparison of how much different they are I do this rough measurement: Facing the wall, touch my toes to the wall and bend my knees. I can touch the wall no problem with good leg knee while my bad leg is 3.5 inches away. How long does that take to come back? I do not expected it to come 100% back but even 75% would be nice.

2 Responses to “12 weeks Dorsiflexion?”

  1. At 12 weeks, I was right about where you are in dorsiflexion, and planterflexion was near 100%. I actually didn’t do any active stretching until my 12th week, as I was more worried about healing long than I was about regaining my ROM. My thinking was that I would rather get my ROM a little later, than to heal long. So my only form of stretching up until that point was to just shuffle around my house. It was enough to loosen up the adhesion that stiffened up my ankle.

    After 12 weeks, I began to actively stretch. I would stretch just enough to feel a little pain, but nothing past that. Every day just a little bit more. I was super careful not to push hard. For the wall test, it took me about 20 days to finally be able to touch my knee to the wall. I probably could have done it in about 2 weeks, but I was aiming more to stretch out the adhesion instead of stretching the tendon. I put such little pressure on the stretching that the entire process was pretty much painless.

    However, I should mention that I was non-op,

    I’m at 19 weeks now, and I basically have the same ROM as my good leg. Right now I’m just trying to get my calf strength back.

  2. There’s a time to stretch and regain DF ROM, and you’re probably pretty close. Nobody really knows when the window for “healing long” ends, but the window for re-rupturing starts closing around where you are now (~12 weeks post-whatever).

    Some patients, especially post-op, never regain full DF ROM, because their surgeons trimmed the torn AT ends a lot, then stitched it tight and short. My OS from my first ATR told me he’d done that on purpose, to make sure I didn’t heal long. He also kept me immobilized FOREVER because he was that kind of a guy. It took me a while to get back, but by 10-11 months post-op, I was back on the volleyball court, with no deficit that I could see or feel. Eleven years later (recently), I was told by a podiatrist that my short right AT was causing harm to my foot joints, so healing short is not a complete “freebie”. (See my blog for more details.)

    I’m usually a serious “take it easy wimp” when it comes to DF stretching, but you could certainly use some. Don’t go nuts, though. If it’s included in bit.ly/UWOProtocol by 12 weeks, I’d say Do It. That definitely includes some gentle-but-passive DF stretches with towels and Therabands and such. . .

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