9 weeks post OP

April 26, 2013 | |

I’ve continued to go to PT twice a week and the amount of work we have done have increased each time. The “worst” part is the ASTIM (the “massage” using a plastic torture device) intensity seems to increase daily and I’ve started to make whimpering noises during the treatment…! It’s all good, I tell myself, but I have to ice myself in the entire leg since PT has started to do this for my entire leg…how fun!

Aside from that, lots of balance exercises using balance boards and what not…doing criss cross side movements up and down the gym, “marching” type steps to force balance on each leg while moving, and one leg balance on the floor and foam for 30sec-1min at a time. The work at home has been similar, boot has been ditched inside as of a week or so ago and focusing on smooth stride (heel strike, push off with ball of foot). Lots of stretching of the calf now with knee bent and straight to work both calf muscles (hold 30sec at a time). This has really improved my DF ROM.

Another item I’ve added is biking without the boot. That gets my blood flowing and lets me do the stretching more effectively. I’ve had to back off a bit on intensity from when I had the boot on for biking but the effect has been tremendous. Of course, pedal is positioned near the center of the foot rather than at the ball to reduce tendon load. I’ll increase intensity incrementally so I can be dripping in sweat again…

I also had my third Ortho check up today. He was very happy with the progress I’ve made. I was semi-nervous going in because I had accelerated his protocol, but since he had talked with my PT (they are next door) from time to time and understood I was working out of the boot he didn’t even mention not following his protocol. Of course, he did mention most of his patients are in the boot for 12 weeks and are now beginning to be FWB once or twice during the visit… Anyway, I’m now cleared to wean the boot outside as well, given clearance to drive (I drive cars with three pedals [manual]), bike outside if I have the boot on, etc. Lots of emphasis on remembering that even as strength comes back in the next few weeks/months my tendon is still a weak link and that I need to take it easy. No sprinting! No tennis! Etc.


7 Comments so far

  1. normofthenorth on April 26, 2013 11:45 pm

    Working up a sweat post-ATR counts as a breakthrough! :-)

    But do keep Watching Your Step, because blowing it now would be Very Bad, and it’s still possible. (And your Doc would add a couple of weeks onto EVERYBODY’s rehab!!)

  2. yakswak on April 26, 2013 11:54 pm

    yeah, for sure…being extra careful is part of my routine now!

    I’ve had a lot of good workouts in the boot, just trying to get to that point without the boot without setting myself back.

  3. Ripraproar on April 27, 2013 2:07 am

    Hi yakswak
    Sounds like your doing great, I’m 10 weeks today, not doing much, just green band twice a day, some leg balancing, that’s about it, other than been pt just two times in total 30 mins per visit meaning ive been once a week for the last 2 weeks. First week was massage and band, 2 nd week pool and 3 rd week will be pool, when you say lots of stretching of the calf knee bent, how is this done? I’m not use to gyms. I’d be interested in following some of your pt

  4. yakswak on April 27, 2013 10:20 am

    Well at 8 weeks Ortho gave the PT ok to move past neutral for our exercises. That’s when she had me start stretching the calf area. There are two major muscles down there and they engage depending on how your knees are bent. The lower muscle (Soleus) is stretched with knees bent and the Gastrocnemis is stretched with knees locked. I’m just stretching to just before I start to feel any pain. This is just one part of the leg exercises I’m doing, all meant to restore balance, strength, etc. No weights yet, that will start next week, but the art of walking in boot in hinged mode plus walking outside of boot has been working my calf.

    The stretching is something described in many posters blogs. It’s just to slowly get full rom back.

  5. eyechilles on April 27, 2013 11:30 am

    Yo Yak-

    Good to hear from you again. Congrats on 2 shoes outside and driving again! My ortho has almost the same protocol for me because 2 shoes is supposed to start at 12 weeks officially but he is letting me wean off the boot now. He said driving locally should be fine so I will be starting that next week. Since my PT is not moving much past his approach, I’m still on the yellow theraband (hoping for red next week) and not doing any balancing on my bad leg yet. I’m happy your recovery is going well and thanks for sharing your updates. Are you using heel lifts in the shoes and what kind of shoes are you wearing by the way?

  6. Ripraproar on April 27, 2013 11:35 am

    Many thanks for taking te time to explain the stretch, ave a good recovery

  7. yakswak on April 27, 2013 12:04 pm


    Thanks for the note! I’m not using heel lifts, just some gel insoles I used before. It’s a 3/4 type so in effect a small lift. No special shoes just running shoes with a larger heel to toe drop (I have some with shorter drops that is a halfway “barefoot” running shoes also but won’t be using those for a bit). My dress shoes all have a bit of heel so they work also. I assume you are the same in that the calf is tight in the morning so it helps to warm up a bit and then stretch lightly before walking. Guessing this is going to persist for a while…

    Happy healing!


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