Thursday, October 6, 2011

One Year Anniversary!

Well... here it is, my one year anniversary. Had my follow-up a couple of days ago and my surgeon says everything looks great. The implant has fused well to my bone and the bone appears to have gotten stronger. The scar is healing well and although it is still visible, it is lighter. My range of motion is good.

My left foot is still somewhat numb and tingly on the bottom but the sensation is definitely less than it was before. I still wear sneakers for extra cushion; heels are no longer an option. My left ankle and calf muscles are still weaker than my right and standing for long periods of time are uncomfortable, but overall I am not experiencing any limitations. There are times my ankle does feel sore, but the discomfort seems to be muscular and not the implant itself. Now it's just a matter of strengthening.

Life has been very good. I have been so active, going places and doing things I would never have been able to do before this surgery. This past summer we went on a vacation that required lots of walking. I've done some light hiking. I'm able to clean my entire house in one afternoon, rather than breaking it up into two afternoons. I can carry things up and down the stairs with ease. I'm able to be on my feet for two and a half hours at the animal shelter in the morning, and then run errands later that same day. I've joined a gym, swim laps in the pool and ride my bike (on pavement, of course) for exercise.

To anyone who is considering having this surgery done, I say go for it! Your ankle will never be the same again... but when you fractured it you knew that, didn't you? You may have some limitations. There may be things you will no longer be able or permitted to do. I was a passionate mountain biker and I have had to give that up. But in return there are many, many other things I can do now that I couldn't do before. There is no more pain or discomfort. There are no more excuses.

When considering this surgery, another important factor to remember is having emotional and physical support. This is a major surgery and the recovery period will be different for everyone, but it is crucial to have a good team behind you. Someone to visit you in the hospital. Someone to bring you home. Someone to help you shower. Someone to help you up and down the stairs. Someone to bring you things you may not be able to grab yourself. Someone to hold your hand when the pain comes and remind you that you made the right decision.

If you are also considering ways to stay fit and strengthen your ankle again after the surgery and after your physical therapy, remember to check with your surgeon and/or physical therapist about any limitations you may have. No matter what family or friends or coworkers may tell you, remember that you want this implant to last a long time. There are plenty of activities you can do without putting any additional stress or weight on your ankle, and that don't involve impact to your ankle. Be smart and trust your instincts.

Thank you to my family, who were there for me when I needed them most. Thank you to my friends, who were there to cheer me on. Thank you all for reading this blog; I hope I have been of some help to you. Most of all, thank you to Dr. Ayal Segal and Pro Sports Physical Therapy for giving me my life back. :)