Browsing all articles from April, 2014

Foot/Ankle Surgery Recovery – Day 107 & on

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This is the continuing saga of recovery from foot/ankle surgery for PTT(Post Tibia Tendon).    This is day 107.  Things are progressing well according to the surgeon and my therapist, Matt.  I’m not so positive but am in hopes that he is correct.  Last week a substitute therapist, Mark, assisted with my therapy.  Mark had me remain in my brace, and put the boot on if my foot was sore.  Over the weekend I went to a friend’s property and walked around the property.  Evidently this overdid my foot and ankle immensely.  On Monday I could hardly walk.  My foot was extremely pained across the left side and top of the surgered foot.  It was so very painful that I could not do any home exercises I was given.

Tuesday was another therapy day.  On explaining this to Matt he advised that I had simply done too much on Sunday and not to do that again.  After foot bending, stretching the skin and the scars, Matt next advised that he wanted me to not have the brace on when doing home exercises but have it on any other day.  I told Matt that the hardest part of this exercises business was putting the danged brace on, and doing it into a high top shoe.  I asked Matt when I’d be able to go into lo-quarter shoes.  Matt stated I could buy a pair anytime.  Matt advised that the height of the shoe makes no difference in the healing of the foot and that when I believed my right foot was strong enough to deal with a lo-shoe to go ahead and get them

The reason this is so important about the high top shoe is because my last therapist following the first foot & ankle surgery, had stated for me to never wear lo-quarter shoes again, and only buy shoes with a least a mid-height side.  Over the years, that has morphed into high tops as the mid-height shoes are increasingly more difficult to find.  It hasn’t been any issue till this surgery where a brace is to be worn inside the shoe.  The brace is simply difficult to get on when using a high top shoe.  So I’m looking forward to a low-top shoe.

Today, Thursday April 24th, I had physical therapy.  I learned today that I should Definitely do what the therapist tells me to do!  Last therapy Matt advised me that beginning today, all therapy would be done with my shoe on, without the brace on, and with the orthotic in the shoe for my surgered foot.  Today, I forgot my orthotic.  I told Matt that and asked to do the therapy with my brace on.  Not to be.

I already had my shoe off for Matt to stretch it prior to the workout therapy.  Matt had me walk barefoot up the floor and back to him again.  He advised me to put my sock on and I would be doing all but one exercise with NO shoes on!  Uh-oh.  I think, if I had known how much pain I was going to be in, I may have just left and returned for my next bout with the therapy.  Whew!

We did all the exercises I did in my last therapy… which I had shoes on.   To be fair, the usual heel-to-toe walking on bare floor was removed as were two exercises on the Wii Fit Plus balance board.  That may have been because I probably looked like I was going to fall down soon though!

So, the moral of today’s therapy is – Don’t anger your therapist.  Follow instructions.  Things will be a LOT less painful.  Oh, and just to throw this in….I’m not the slightest bit angry with Matt.  I did All the therapy because my ankle was strong enough and I’m absolutely positive if I had a pain doing it Matt would have discontinued the exercise.  I’m just whining here.

Till next time.

Foot/Ankle Surgery Recovery @ Day 101

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If you haven’t read this blog yet, it is the continuing saga of recovery from Post Tibial Tendon surgery which occurred on January 14, 2014. I began the blog a few days following surgery. My last post had me itching all over from a blood thinner medication I was taking for a small blood clot found in my left calf following some cramping in the same location. I also reported that I was up and walking with my boot and was placing 90 pounds on my foot with each step. This meant that I was using one crutch, but walking with weight on one foot. That’s a long ways from walking with two crutches. A great deal has taken place since the last post.

Today. 4/10/14, I went to the surgeon, and after xrays he removed the walking boot and gave me a tall and stiff brace to fit inside my athletic shoe. Following this, I went to physical therapy and received a whole new set of exercises that I have to do at home, along with some new exercises I will do at the therapy location. Matt, my therapist advised that I could have free rein to interchange the new with the brace on and the boot as I wanted. Yay! The following photos are were taken of my foot directly after the visit to the surgeon today:

left compared to right

left compacurrent right side red to right

current right side
left side of foot

left side of foot



If you have kept up with this blog then you can see the improvement from the first blog to this one. My exercises were different now, at therapy, than before. Except for one, the exercises are all about developing the calf muscle of both legs, not just the affected one. Matt had told me he planned to do this. I had informed him that in the first surgery not much had been done to redevelop my calf muscle, even with the physical therapy. Matt said that was because the emphasis was on developing the person into walking, and balance. This was exactly what was done in the physical therapy following the surgery on my right foot. Consequently, following the surgery of my right foot, my right calf atrophied from lack of exercise and the physical therapy never rebuilt it. So Matt decided to rebuild both calf muscles at the same time. I’m happy to say the least.  Following my therapy, I left with my new brace having done exercises with my new brace as well as doing the exercises that Matt gave me to do at home.  Here are my new home exercises:

footercises 041514

footercises 041514

After my physical therapy I took my new brace home.  Later, I did the exercises with my brace on my foot.  Saturday morning, I did my new exercises with my brace on.  I wore the brace most of the day.  Late in the evening I removed the shoe with the brace in it.  Something inside was loose.  It was the heel, which is removable as there are interchangeable heights as well as interchangeable insteps.  I checked the brace and attempted to replace the heel.  This was not to be.  The heel had tips on the bottom which corresponded to holes in the brace.  The tips on the heel were peened over and wouldn’t fit back into the brace.  The end result was that I couldn’t use the brace any more of the weekend.  Consequently I had to return to the boot.

Today, 4/15, I had another physical therapy appointment.  Upon arrival the therapist examined my brace and went immediately and got another one for me.  Now it was time for new exercises with the brace.  Oh yay… First exercise was the horizontal leg press except instead of the entire legs pressing, the press was only the toes.  So I would place my feet at the bottom, hanging the heels off the lower edge.  Push off with both feet, stretching the calf muscles in both legs, then remove the right foot and allow the left foot to move back so the heels were below the edge of the floor of the machine.  Do this 45 times.  Actually Julie, my therapist made it sound much easier.  “Just do 3 sets of 15.  It’ll go much easier.”  Beats me who told her that.  There was Nothing easy about that exercise!!  Next was the step over.  That’s done by stepping up to a 4″ step with my surgered foor and step over to the floor on the other side of the step with my right foot.  Do this 20 times.  This isn’t really hard.   Following this was marching:  This involves lifting the legs high so the thigh is more than parallel to the floor, step out holding up the leg at least two second.  Do this twice down & back in a straight line about 12 feet long.  Next exercise is one of the most difficult of the day.  Julie placed on the floor, a length of foam, about 3 inches high x about 8 inches wide by about 8 feet long.  My exercise for this was heel to toe walking forward to the end, then heel to toe backwards to the end.  Did this 5 times forward, 5 times backward.  The foam made the walk wobbly and if the ankle is weak, like as not the walker would have to step off.  I only made one forward walk without stepping off.  The rest of the time was step on, step forward, step off or nearly fall off.  It was concentrated fun though.  Next exercise seemed easy.  It was standing on the surgered foot for 10 seconds – 10 times.  I quickly found that nothing is easy here….let alone standing in one place!  I only made one complete 10 second time period.  The rest of the standing I was lucky if I could get through 3 seconds without dropping my ok foot down, or nearly falling.  After this was the standard leg press – except it was done only using my surgered foot.  This had a 100 pound lift with this one foot.

The therapist uses the Wii system and the Wii Fit Plus video with the Balance Board.  They use several games as well as posture and yoga to exercise with.  Today I did a certain movement where the arms are raised and the heels are raised.  All I could do with stand with my weight on the balls of my feet.  I can’t raise my heels off the floor yet.  Later in this same exercise the arms are lowered then both placed back and keeping the back straight while keeping the heels up as far as possible.  Did this three times.  A hard exercise.

This was the end of the exercises.  Now for ice.  Ahhhhh…..The therapist placed my poor foot in a cordura boot which she closed with velco.  Then a water hose is connected at the top of the boot and cold water is run through small hoses that go in and around the boot.  What a wonderful feeling after maximum exercise.  By the time this is done I feel like a L O N G  nap is in order.

The therapists told me to use my new brace inside my house and the boot on the outside still.  I had hoped to graduate from the boot this week.  That was disappointing.  However, the therapist did give me permission to use the stationary bicycle for cardio exercise.  But he also advised me to not set the bike to high number for pedaling, but low, so I can spin it up to get my heart beating faster.  But at least I can begin doing cardio exercising again.  After all, I’ve not done any since just before November, 2013 since my foot began to hurt awfully.  But, the good thing is now I no longer have pain, and I can exercise.  YAY!!








About Detective Estes

Detective EstesMr. Estes has lived in the DC Metropolitan area for most of his life. His father’s influence and expertise in firearms resulted in Mr. Estes beginning to rifle shoot at a young age and eventually shooting on the Washington-Lee High School rifle team in Arlington, VA.

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