A few short weeks ago the PT put me back into the boot because of pain and swelling. Taking their advice and cutting back for a week on my PT routine has put me back on top again. Today I went to the doctor fo the first time I had seen him since I got my cast (the nurse had cut off my cast and put me in the boot). He poked, prodded, and twisted it a little. He said it looked fantastic and that I was doing very well. He also removed all restrictions on me except running and jumping. I am supposed to listen to my body as my ankle will tell me how much I can do. He said it will continue to swell and that is normal for up to a year. I am allowed to ride my bicycle outside (yeah I was getting tired of the trainer now that the weather is nice) I can start walking long distances again, you name it, I can do it. Just not running and jumping. He said to wait till at least 6-8 months post op for that.
I asked a ton of questions and I thought I would share them with you:
Can I go barefoot now? Yes, no problem since I can go past zero degrees
Can I wear sandals? Yes, no problem-I was even allowed to throw out the heel lift
Just how strong is the tendon since he doesn’t want me running and jumping? It will never be as strong as the original but it is very strong. If I stretch before exercise and pay attention to how I am feeling there should be no problem. He said he has people who have had tendon transfers like mine running marathons, mountainbiking and doing most everything. He did state very emphatically that they were doing so at their own risk, and to be aware that since a tendon transfer was done, if it pops again there are very few fixes and none that will allow me to go back to the level of activity I have been used to.
What is the chance of the other side going? When a person has one side blow out, there is a 20-30% chance the other side will go a few years later. (to me that says there is a 70-80% chance it won’t)
Since my job has me walking on very uneven ground (cornfields all summer long) should I wear a brace or any other protective device? No, just be aware of your foot placement and realize that there will be a lot of swelling this first year.
Did he see any problem with trying to ride RAGBRAI (the bicycle ride across IA) this year? No, it should be fine by then.
I realize that the pain and swelling I was having a few weeks ago was my own doing. I was told to “wean” out of the boot and I went whole hog and basically threw it away. That being said, I also realize that even though the doctor has lifted all restrictions, I do need to use some common sense and not go out at warp speed again. If there is one piece of advice I would offer, it is to use common sense and go slow. It is hard I know because we all have been so active, and how one person heals doesn’t mean everyone is going to progress that way as well.
I hope that some of the things I have written will be helpful.