The plateau phase

My walking is really frustrating me at the moment. I still limp a lot, and dont have the calf strength to walk normally at all. After making such fast progress throughout my injury I seem to have come to a grinding halt. I know it will get strong again one day, but its so frustrating how long it takes.

Anyway, count my blessings I suppose. This stage is far easier to bear than the early weeks. My sympathies to anyone just starting out - stay strong, keep mentally busy and be patient!

11 Responses to “The plateau phase”

  1. I’m just over double the post Op time that you are and STILL feel the same way at times. I don’t mean this as a discouragement, but rather so you don’t get discouraged by not feeling like you are making a “normal” recovery. My new analogy for the recovery process is that is like your hair growing, you don’t really notice it until that one day you realize you need a haircut. Only difference is you probably don’t fret over how fast your hair grows. Point is, over time it does, no matter what you do. This will pass to, probably about the time I stop thinking about it.

  2. Hey jim, thanks for your comments … patience is not one of my best virtues.

  3. I’m with ya, withnail. I am pretty close to your ATR and surgery dates. I, too, have recovered very quickly and cannot seem to shake the limp. Just remember, your recovery has gone very quickly and you are way ahead of most bloggers on the site.

    My problem is that I am wary of pushing off with my calf. However, given the calf raises my doctor told me to perform in the pool, my calf continues to get stronger and the limp less pronounced. Have you tried calf raises in a pool/ Ask your doctor about it.

  4. I’m almost 3 weeks behind you, but I read these posts and know I have to settle in for a long progression to full recovery. During the first few weeks post-op, there is so much to learn just to function semi-normal, but now that I’m in a groove and pretty mobile (other than driving and still being on crutches), I keep reminding myself that there will still be baby steps along the way even when the boot comes off. I don’t think I’ll be able to * not * think about each step until a good 3-4 months post-op, if not longer.

    Hang in there. Sounds like you are coming along great. And those of us behind you appreciate the updates! :)

  5. I hear you - it was 3 months yesterday, I am still limping, and my leg feels tight all the time. I am reading about others who are starting to run, on treadmills, and not limping now, who are close to the same timeframe. It’s very interesting how different it is is for all of us. I keep reminding myself that I need 6 months till running! I found week 10 frustrating, then felt like I made more progress in weeks 11 and 12. Even though I am still limping, I can definitely walk faster, and my ankle mobility is a lot better than it was. Hang in there - I bet you will see a difference in the next 2 weeks!

  6. Feel your pain. I’m a week behind you. I too have had a good recovery and find the limp frustrating. Keep going a little bit a lot and we’ll all get there.

  7. im at week 15 and I still limp too. my problem is I am a thinker so im thinking a lot and this causes me stress.. then I have people at work constantly commenting on how im still limping and all. I really wonder if ill ever walk normally, having a really bad day today…

  8. Hi there Cynthia

    I’m sure you’re with me in hoping that none of those posting here on Withnail’s blog before you, are still suffering - that was 5 years ago but would be good to hear from them.

    Week 15 is still pretty early in what can easily be a 12 month recovery period. Hopefully you’ve been having some PT, maybe at a moderate level but now at a stage when you can up the pace and really get the strength back in your legs and lower back, all of which suffer during recovery - you are unbalanced, lots of strain on the good leg if you don’t take precautions, and so on.

    At week 16 I started with a sports therapist. Over the following 8 weeks my exercise levels increased to a level way higher than I had experienced for a few years. Now, a year on, I might lapse into a slight limp if I’m overdoing it but even then, when I realise it, I can somehow tell myself to get it together, and I’m walking ok again.

    I feel that the first 80% of your optimum recovery is generally going to be by about the 6 month mark, with the other 20% being the nice-to-have to bring you up a to a level as good as (better in my case) pre-atr.

    We have all had down days like yours (don’t your non-atr friends for other reasons?) but they get less and you will feel a definite sense of achievement. Fact…!

  9. Curious if others felt that way too. That at six month mark basic functions return to normal?

  10. I think most of us experience a “decay function” in our impairment. (In the math-physics sence, not biology! Google asymptotic. Like radioactive decay, with a “half-life”.) Progress is fastest at the beginning, crosses “Not Half Bad” after a handful of months, then gradually slides towards 100% recovery. Other groups refer to “ADL” = Activities of Daily Living, once you can get by OK. Once I was back to cycling, sailing, and volleyball, I didn’t care much about (or notice) the rest. For me that was around 10-11 months. (2nd rehab was interrupted for heart surgery! “It’s Complicated.”)

  11. Hey Clive thanks a lot… That made me feel tonnes better. My recovery was pretty fast in terms on the incision area and all. (imagine my doctor opted for the very conservative method plaster after surgery and removed it after 5 weeks) after the plaster was removed i began seeing my Physio therapist and the ultra sounds, massage and basic Physio started. I’m doing well in fact she dosent want me to see her but has given me exercises to do at home and in the pool. Hate calf raises, i don’t know if anyone knows any other that can help me shake this limp, most times i think I’m walking fine then i ask someone and ohh gosh!! I’m told all horrors! But if you’re saying 6 months then I’m going to relax and so my Physio i will get there and back in my heels! I don’t have a blog but u can mail me Thanks

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