Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Total Ankle Replacement: 16 Weeks Post-Op – Ankle #2

So today is 16 weeks since I had my total ankle replacement on ankle #2 and things are coming along pretty well.  I still don't feel “normal” in either of my ankles (ankle #1 is approximately 9 months post-op).  But there's a very really possibility that I might not ever get to “normal”.  I'll settle for pain free and working :)

Physical Therapy
I'm still going to physical therapy twice a week to regain the strength in my legs and feet.  At physical therapy I'm doing between 10-12 minutes on the treadmill...still at a snails pace.  I'm up to 45lbs on the hip machine, 15lbs on the knee machine, and level 6 on the total gym.  This is all with the aircast ankle brace on ankle #2 (for pics of my aircast click here).  My therapist also has me doing some weird exercises on the reformer (pilates machine) with my shoes and brace off.  I guess this torture is supposed to help strengthen the smaller muscles in my feet.  And last week the rebounder was added into the mix...that's the one where you throw a weighted ball at a mini trampoline and it bounces back and you catch it.  What does this have to do with my ankle?  Yeah, I have to do this exercise while balancing on my bad foot.  I've yet to master just one toss.

My range of motion is pretty much the same as it was a couple of months ago...seems like I got it all back pretty quickly (click here for my last post with measurements).  The biggest difference is that when I flex my ankle up, I can make it go further now on my own (this is my active dorsiflexion...for those that know all those fancy pt terms).

'Round the House
My gait is continuing to get better, although I'm still walking with a bit of a limp, even with the aircast on.  Without the aircast, the limp is much more noticeable.  I wear it whenever I go out, but when I'm at home I don't.  The one exception is when I had company over for my birthday...I wore my aircast in the house since I thought I would be up and about a bit more.  It definitely gives me a bit more stability than without it.  And, thankfully, it isn't as annoying to wear as it was in the beginning.

Out and About
Yesterday was the first day that I went out in the afternoon after having pt in the morning.  Usually on pt days, I don't schedule anything for the rest of the day because I'm so sore.  But yesterday we went out to dinner after I took my son to the orthodontist.  By the time we got home last night I was pretty sore, especially since I drove.  But waking up today I was okay.

If I'm out for the afternoon then by the time I get home both my ankles are swollen.  To be fair, this was like this even before the surgery.  I was hoping it was going to get better, and maybe it still will, but it hasn't yet.  I've yet to make a grocery store run...that's my biggest go the grocery store and not regret it for days afterward.  It's the little things!

Immediate Goals
Over the next month my biggest goals are:  to go to the clothing store with my daughter for some needed items, and to go to the elementary school to have lunch with my son.  The clothing store run will have to be short and sweet...luckily my tom-boy daughter would rather be doing just about anything else but shopping with her mom.  And I have to get in all the school lunches that I can with my son before he goes to middle school and wants nothing to do with me :(

I wonder just how far behind I am than the average person having this type of surgery...if there's anyone out there who can compare, please comment below!

To read about my full ankle replacement journey, please click here.

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