Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week Fourteen

Wednesday, January 5th, was fourteen weeks post-surgery. Full-time days at work that week with physical therapy afterward were draining me but my ankle was holding up very well.

My ankle was definitely getting stronger but the pai in my Achilles tendon was very intense when the therapist massaged it! That was the one part of physical therapy that I dreaded... the massage of the tendon. At home I continued my stretching exercises knowing eventually the pain would go away, and I worked on my balance exercises to help get my strength up. The Achilles tendon pain and getting the strength back were two hurdles I definitely couldn't wait to overcome! Each night and each morning I also massaged my scars with cocoa butter to help the healing process; they were healing well but were still painful to the touch.

On Saturday I returned to the shelter after three months of being away... it felt great to be back! Before the surgery I would be at the shelter for 2-2.5 hours in the morning and then my ankle was done for the rest of the day. It would be sore, I would be limping, I was pretty much useless! This day was different; when I returned home my ankle was sore but nothing like the soreness I had experienced before the surgery. That afternoon I was able to run errands and take care of household chores... all without any discomfort.

By Monday I noticed that my Achilles tendon did not hurt as much when I was walking; the extra stretching exercises I was doing were definitely helping. At this point the hardest part of the recovery period was working full-time, going to physical therapy, and attending to all the little details of my every day life. I found myself pretty tired at the end of each day!


  1. OMG Christine how I can relate, I could never hold a full time job because of my ankle. After 2-3hrs I was done for the rest of that day. I decided to go back to school and get a degree on field that I can work pt and still get benefit for my surgery. Always knew I wanted a replacement even though every doc I saw drilled fusion..So I became a nurse, 13hrs shift, I dreaded going to work not because I hate it, but because I knew the pain I was going to feel and how I was going to be the next 2days afterwords. The pain, not being able to put your feet on the floor, tip pie toe around the house or crawling like a baby around the house, the hours soaking the foot in hot water and crying my butt off of the pain, my husband not being able to sleep. The story he would tell me of how I message in ankle and leg as I slept without waking up. Not having a clue about what he would be talking about, I could remember. And the cramps, omg that damn cramps...Now at least a slow recovery, but that pain, the one I have had for 16yrs its finally almost over. Christine, do you feel your heel hurting you alot after you take off the aircast. I understand you were diagnosed with arthritis for only a few years, but now when you walk does you heel bone hurt? Do you think you can send me the exercise that your physical therapist gave you to do? please advice

  2. Hi Jeanette, I'm so sorry you had to go through so much pain before your surgery! When I was wearing the aircast and removed it I did notice that my heel was hurting; I was told it was because my Achilles tendon had been stretched and it was recovering. My heel no longer hurts when I walk!

    I don't feel comfortable giving out my physical therapy exercise information... I think it's important for anyone reading this blog to speak with their doctor and/or physical therapist. My therapist may have me doing different exercises than your therapist would, just like my doctor may give me different restrictions than your doctor would.

    I feel very lucky that my recovery is going so well and I hope you understand that everyone recovers differently... I can't really give advice on more personal issues... all I can do is tell my story and hope that in some way I can help. Maybe I'll give you things to think about, things you may want to talk to your doctor about. :)

  3. Of Course, any information is a valueble, I do understand that every recovery is different, no two people recover the same, some slower than other, some may take a different route due to other health issues. I just ask for the exercise info not to do it my self, but to use at a reference, for when I try to find a physical therapist. Since ankle replacement is new due to the fact that the insurance are finally NOT seeing it as experimental. Physical therapist around where I live are not to experience with this type of surgery, I just wanted as a reference. Any advice with be of most help.

  4. The physical therapy place that I go to was not familiar with this type of surgery either. I am their first ankle replacement patient! But I chose them because they seemed to understand the need to be gentle with my ankle, not to force it (and their hours worked for me). The kinds of exercises your therapist gives you will depend on what types of restrictions your doctor sets for you. Hopefully you'll find someone you are comfortable with! :-)