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EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

Posted by Bruce on 7/04/01 at 01:21 (052176)

Hi, gang!

I am doing really well. I've been in my regular walking shoes the last two weeks, walking without any crutch or boot. Friday was my last day wearing an ACE bandage. Now I just put a bandage on the back of my heel in the morning and I'm ready to go. I have a 2 inch scar on the back of my heel, with about a 1/2 inch scab still to heal. I will start back to wearing my orthotics in a couple more weeks.

I tend to have some stiffness by the Achilles when I get up after sitting at my desk for awhile. That causes me to limp until it gets loosened up, but after that I walk with an almost unnoticable limp.

I do get pretty sore after a fair amount of walking, ie., after about an hour of being on my feet shopping at the mall this past weekend. That's OK. I know that will pass.

Doc said I am progressing slightly ahead of schedule and have made tremendous progress the last two weeks. I have another appt. in 6 weeks which he says may be my last! Then I reminded him about my shin splints and my left foot. OK, maybe it will be my last appt. for a good while, anyway. He said as far as he was concerned, I could resume normal activities at my comfort level, no risk of injuring anything relating to the two surgical procedures. He even mentioned jogging. Well, I haven't been able to jog for atleast two years! I thought about the old joke:
'Oh, really? And will I be able to play the piano, too?' I'll be happy to just be able to walk for exercise without pain, let alone jog! We'll see. That would be great, but I'm in NO hurry to start jogging again. First things first.

I'll be keeping in touch. Good night!

Bruce

Re: EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

Dan L on 7/04/01 at hrmin (052193)

Congrats and best wishes!!!! I hope you continue to progress well!
Dan in SC

Re: EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

ellen w on 7/06/01 at 13:11 (052357)

Hi Bruce,
That's great news. One thing I would recommend before you start excercising is a good conditioning program to strengthen your legs. I had symptoms like you post-surgery -- stiffness that ironed out after walking -- and then proceeded to get one injury after the next every time I tried to up my activity level. I think a good conditioning program to strenghthen and stretch my leg muscles would have been a good prevention program. Good luck
ellen

Re: EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

Bruce on 7/07/01 at 15:29 (052416)

Hi, Ellen.

Thanks for the good advice. Any specific suggestions re conditioning program I can do at home?

Bruce

Re: EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

Andrea R. on 7/09/01 at 08:17 (052532)

Bruce,

Glad to here things are progressing well. I'm down to a cane when I have to walk any distance and nothing otherwise.

My doctor suggested swimming and bicycling along with some of the exercises I learned in PT prior to surgery. Ask about seeing a Physical Therapist. You should be able to get an evaluation and a recommended stretching program in one visit. Let them know you want a home exercise program. You should only need a follow-up visit to see how your progressing and maybe change or add to your routine.

Keep in touch.

Andrea

Re: EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

ellen w on 7/09/01 at 14:40 (052560)

Hi Bruce,

This is the routine I do (almost) every morning:

Before I get out of bed:
1. stretches described by Julie (see her post on 6/26 on Treatment board to Rudy)
2. more stretches using a theraband looped once around my foot (basically pushing the foot in each direction (down, both sides, up) 3 sets each direction, each foot, 10 repetitions each foot. Except for the 'up' direction, I hold the band in my hand, though I would probably get more resistance if I tied the band to the bed leg.)
3. Stretch the back of my legs by drawing each leg separately up to my chest, as far as it will go without pain, and holding for a count of 20, repeating 3 times.
4. Then, while the knee is bent, grasp the foot with the opposite hand and pull the leg towards my head, again repeating 3 times.

Once I get out of bed, I take a break, then do these:
1. Stand and balance on one leg (don't do this if your foot is inflammed!)
Do as long as you can, build up your time. This builds strength and balance.
2. Do the calf stretches recommended by Scott -- I use a telephone book with another book propped against it like a slant board. Hold that strethc for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.
3. Very gentle knee bends, 3 sets of 10 each (do not go down far or you will kill your knees)
4. Standing on a raised surface, like a book or step (I use my otherwise unused step excerciser), put your foot flat on the surface and gently bend one knee at a time till the other foot touches the floor.) (These last 2 are to build up knee strength)

These may seem like a lot, but they actually don't take all that much time. If I have extra time to spare, I get down on the floor and do several sets of of leg raises. You can buy ankle weights at sports stores that make these exercises more effective.

You may also want to look at the PFT site on Scott's product board. I keep putting off buying a pair, but they look like they may be a more effective exercise than the therabands (though the therabands are much cheaper.)

Some of these exercises are to strengthen the ankle, others the knee (I had several over-use knee injuries from walking too much without proper conditioning, which is why I really urge caution. Walking is great exercise, but with weakened legs you can really overdo it. When I started a walking program, I thought I was doing it the smart way. Took a course under a doctor's supervision, over several weeks worked my way up to longer distances, then really overdid it. My knees got so inflammed I had difficulties moving and going up/down stairs was agony.

Re: EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

Dan L on 7/04/01 at hrmin (052193)

Congrats and best wishes!!!! I hope you continue to progress well!
Dan in SC

Re: EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

ellen w on 7/06/01 at 13:11 (052357)

Hi Bruce,
That's great news. One thing I would recommend before you start excercising is a good conditioning program to strengthen your legs. I had symptoms like you post-surgery -- stiffness that ironed out after walking -- and then proceeded to get one injury after the next every time I tried to up my activity level. I think a good conditioning program to strenghthen and stretch my leg muscles would have been a good prevention program. Good luck
ellen

Re: EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

Bruce on 7/07/01 at 15:29 (052416)

Hi, Ellen.

Thanks for the good advice. Any specific suggestions re conditioning program I can do at home?

Bruce

Re: EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

Andrea R. on 7/09/01 at 08:17 (052532)

Bruce,

Glad to here things are progressing well. I'm down to a cane when I have to walk any distance and nothing otherwise.

My doctor suggested swimming and bicycling along with some of the exercises I learned in PT prior to surgery. Ask about seeing a Physical Therapist. You should be able to get an evaluation and a recommended stretching program in one visit. Let them know you want a home exercise program. You should only need a follow-up visit to see how your progressing and maybe change or add to your routine.

Keep in touch.

Andrea

Re: EPF & Haglund's: 7 Week Post-Op Report: Good News!

ellen w on 7/09/01 at 14:40 (052560)

Hi Bruce,

This is the routine I do (almost) every morning:

Before I get out of bed:
1. stretches described by Julie (see her post on 6/26 on Treatment board to Rudy)
2. more stretches using a theraband looped once around my foot (basically pushing the foot in each direction (down, both sides, up) 3 sets each direction, each foot, 10 repetitions each foot. Except for the 'up' direction, I hold the band in my hand, though I would probably get more resistance if I tied the band to the bed leg.)
3. Stretch the back of my legs by drawing each leg separately up to my chest, as far as it will go without pain, and holding for a count of 20, repeating 3 times.
4. Then, while the knee is bent, grasp the foot with the opposite hand and pull the leg towards my head, again repeating 3 times.

Once I get out of bed, I take a break, then do these:
1. Stand and balance on one leg (don't do this if your foot is inflammed!)
Do as long as you can, build up your time. This builds strength and balance.
2. Do the calf stretches recommended by Scott -- I use a telephone book with another book propped against it like a slant board. Hold that strethc for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.
3. Very gentle knee bends, 3 sets of 10 each (do not go down far or you will kill your knees)
4. Standing on a raised surface, like a book or step (I use my otherwise unused step excerciser), put your foot flat on the surface and gently bend one knee at a time till the other foot touches the floor.) (These last 2 are to build up knee strength)

These may seem like a lot, but they actually don't take all that much time. If I have extra time to spare, I get down on the floor and do several sets of of leg raises. You can buy ankle weights at sports stores that make these exercises more effective.

You may also want to look at the PFT site on Scott's product board. I keep putting off buying a pair, but they look like they may be a more effective exercise than the therabands (though the therabands are much cheaper.)

Some of these exercises are to strengthen the ankle, others the knee (I had several over-use knee injuries from walking too much without proper conditioning, which is why I really urge caution. Walking is great exercise, but with weakened legs you can really overdo it. When I started a walking program, I thought I was doing it the smart way. Took a course under a doctor's supervision, over several weeks worked my way up to longer distances, then really overdid it. My knees got so inflammed I had difficulties moving and going up/down stairs was agony.