Sunday, February 01, 2009

1.5 feet on the ground

I'm closing in on 5 weeks after the surgery and an update was long overdue. I had every intention to post some more regular updates about my progress but I never got it. The truth is life isn't very exciting when you have to walk around with crutches so I can't say that I had much to write about.

There haven't been any dramatic changes since the first days after the surgery, just a gradual and steady improvement.  My left leg is still in a cast and I still need crutches to walk around but as you may have figured out from the title I can at least put some weight on the operated foot. I was on a non-weight bearing cast for the first 3 weeks and spent a lot of time trying to balance myself on one leg. It took some getting used to and for the first few days it felt like I was getting a workout everytime I had to walk. Not a bad thing I guess since I spent most of my days lying or sitting down. I think it helped improve my upper body strength along with my sense of balance and coordination, getting to the point where I could comfortably walk a decent distance. 

I changed over to a weight bearing cast about a week and a half ago so things are even more comfortable now since I can stand on both feet. It took a few trips to the doctor before I could get a weight bearing cast as they had to push my foot up to a 90 degree angle before I could stand on it. My foot was pretty stiff the first couple of times I replaced the cast and I went through a few intermediate stages where they kept pushing my foot further up each time. They got it up to a 90 degree angle eventually and I gradually started putting weight on it.  I was supposed to be putting only 25% weight for the first week, which basically meant my foot was touching the ground but pretty much just used for balance, with all the weight on the crutches. I'm now at a 50% weight so it almost feels like I'm walking normally, with some support of course from the crutches. Next week I'll start using only one of the crutches and a week later I'll be crutch-free. I'll be walking with the cast at first then getting a walking boot for another couple of weeks so I'm looking at almost another month before I'm walking around with my own shoes on both feet. 

It goes without saying that all this time I've been eager to get some kind of exercise. It's tough to do much when you are standing on one leg so I was fairly sedentary for the first 3 weeks. I did some crunches every now and then but nothing particularly demanding. I made it to the gym once and even had the bright idea of trying to work the stationary bike with one leg but that was rather unsucessful. I guess I'll need to wait a couple more weeks before doing any form of cross training. In the meantime I'm trying to stick to an almost daily program of core work and upper body strengthening. 

That's all for now. Hopefully I won't take another month to post an update.