Monday, November 18, 2013

Total Ankle Replacement #1 -- 5 Month Update

It's been a little over 5 months since my ankle #1 (left) total ankle replacement and I'm gearing up for going under the knife with ankle #2 (right) in a little over three weeks.  What does this tell you?  That having it done was worth it.  Worth it enough that I can't wait to get #2 done and rehabbed so I can have a bit of normalcy back in my life.  And by normalcy, I mean I can go grocery shopping without having to cancel all the rest of my plans for the week.

Range of Motion

My range of motion (ROM) isn't what I'd hoped it would be (I was hoping I would get to at least what I had).  I don't know what the numbers were before the surgery, but here are my newest measurements...

Ankle AROM Dorsiflexion: 5, P=20
Ankle AROM Plantarflexion: 35, P=55
Ankle AROM Eversion: 10, P=15
Ankle AROM Inversion 20 P=30

AROM means Active Range of much I can move my foot on my own.  The “P” means much my therapist can torture it to :)  My therapist says that I'm still within the “normal” range for walking, but that I won't be a ballerina any time soon.  My Nutcracker dreams dashed!

"The Dancing Class" ~Degas


I started the treadmill at physical therapy just a couple weeks ago, and I think that has helped me experience less pain when I walk.  I wish I could workout more on the treadmill, but ankle #2 limits me as it is very susceptible to overuse.

Using my new ankle is getting easier...I can walk on it and stand on it longer with less recovery time.  I went to the grocery store just a few days ago and spent about 15-20 minutes in the store .  This was the second “real” outing I've had… the first was when I went to the craft store about 3 weeks ago.  The difference between the two outings is that I felt less sore this time than last, so that's progress.  I'm only using my aircast when I go out of the house...otherwise, I'm wearing my Birki's around the house for support.

Over the past month I've started doing a little more housework, including:

  • laundry
  • vacuuming for very short periods of time (my left hip will start hurting--probably due to my gait)
  • hand washing dishes (our dishwasher broke about 6 weeks ago--great timing Murphy!)
  • Cooking.  Well okay, I only cooked once...but I'm counting it as progress!

If you add all this to my two outings, I'm on my way to “normal”...well, my normal.

Overall, I feel like I'm much stronger than 3 months ago when I started PT, but I know I have a bit more to go.  I can now balance on #1 for several seconds.  This will be VERY important when I have #2 done, since I'll have to be non-weight bearing anywhere from 2-6 weeks, depending on if my bone fractures again during the surgery.  Being able to balance will be my biggest struggle for those first few weeks.

Anyone else have total ankle replacement?  Or other ankle surgery?  How long did it take for you to feel “normal”?  Would you do it again?