19 October 2015

Surgery Update | 8 Weeks Post - Op

I haven't posted a surgery update in quite a while. As you know from my last post, my two week review went really well. So well in fact that I was told a six week review wasn't necessary and once my six weeks had passed I could start to slowly ease myself into physiotherapy. Slowly, it is.

WEEK 2- 3

With my bandages now gone I spent week 2 - 3 slowly beginning to bend and rotate my ankle, gradually pushing myself to weight bear again as each day passed. I still had a lot of swelling with mid week 3 being the worst. So bad in fact that the swelling actually began to pull on my incision. For four or five days after bandage removal I continued to wear a mepore plaster on the area to keep it clean. 

I was incredibly nervous about my now visible incision becoming infected and made sure not to spend too much time in the shower or weight bearing for the first week. Going from sitting with my leg elevated for two weeks to gradually encouraging myself to be mobile was a lot more difficult than  I thought!

With the help of the surgical boot and my crutches, I was able to start slowly walking a little bit further each day but still felt full weight bearing was not an option. 

I had looked at my foot so much in this week, and I kept telling Shane it didn't look "right" over and over again. I couldn't put my finger on what it was! It was near the end of the of the week that it clicked with me - my toe had been reset in the correct place!

A silly thing to be excited about really, and now I understood why my surgeon was so obsessed with the movement in that toe after my surgery and during my checkup. I had so much medication in my system for the two weeks after surgery that it just didn't click with me that what didn't look "right" was the wrong that was fixed. Every day I was in a dream like state, and although I haven't had the need for medication since then - this all feels so surreal.


I decided to ditch two crutches and try weight bearing with one. I still had too much swelling to even consider trying shoes on. 

Pain wise, I had very little. After almost two years of agony these past four weeks have been some of the best nights sleep I've ever had!


The breakthrough week. Runners, flats - nothing would fit on my foot. Although my incision is drying up and healing nicely - I still have some swelling . So out came a pair of boots I bought before Christmas last year to accommodate the insoles that were made for me and sadly ended up not working. 

My foot slipped right in comfortably! I was so excited!!! Words cannot even describe how good it felt to be able to slip my foot into a real shoe with minimal pain again. I was more determined than ever to get out walking! My husband was just as excited to see my stand normally again!

I went for my first "long distance" walks this week, my boots stemming the vibrations of each step and becoming more comfortable as the days went on. 

I did of course experience some swelling but nothing I couldn't handle. My trusty Therapearl ice pack is now invaluable to me.


I booked a checkup with my GP, as I was now feeling more confident that I could begin physio in the water as suggested by my surgeon during my follow up. 

My GP however felt that there was still a lot of swelling in my foot in week 6 and suggested that I wait at least another week before starting anything. 

The crutch has become less and less of a necessity for me, in that I'm feeling confident enough and strong enough to walk a small distance without it as each day passes. However, I am still nervous to go without the crutch completely as many people lack understanding for me walking slowly and carefully and have already knocked into me several times. I find the crutch serves to alert them to give me a little space, and that is something I need to gradually begin to become more trusting of. I'm so scared of risking that one little knock.


Physio week is here and I could not wait to get started! We signed up with our local leisure centre which has two 1.4m swimming pools and a fully equipped gym. I had already been given some start off exercises by my surgeon who was confident that I knew what I needed to do. Of course, I have the hospital physio on hand to go through anything if need be.

I just want to take a moment here to say that the one driving force of encouragement throughout my recovery has been my husband. Shane has stayed up countless nights with me pre surgery holding me as I was writhing and heaving in pain. He has encouraged each and every step. He was there beside me, not leaving me for even a second as I slept off my anaesthesia. He took time off work to cook, clean and take care of me in the two weeks I could not do anything. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving and supportive husband and he really is the reason why I am recovering so well.

For this first week of physio, he was with me every single day. We did the exercises I needed to do together and he made sure I was comfortable and confident with myself before deciding he could leave me to do his own workouts - and I am incredibly grateful for that. 

Here is a basic list of the water exercises that were recommended:

I start by walking backwards and forwards in the water as a warm up - followed by:

Toe curls x 10
Ankle rotations x10
Ankle flexes x 10
Forward lunges x10
Side lunges x 10
One leg balance (Each leg 10 seconds)
Side Stepping (20 steps back and forth) x 2
Hip Kickers x 10
Planks x 5 (hold each for 15 seconds)
Water Bicycle for as long as my muscles can handle it. Normally 3 minutes.
Push ups (there are little seats shallow enough to do these in our pool)
Standing Knee lifts x 10

The first week was difficult as I began working muscles that I haven't used in a very long time, but I persevered and was feeling really happy with the results after just 3 or 4 sessions.


This week was a tough one. My muscles are still getting used to being used again and my body is creaking and groaning in ways that I didn't know were even possible, but I'm determined as ever to keep going and working hard to regain muscle and be healthy again!

I've had a noticeable increase in swelling this week, more than likely from the increased use of my foot. I've been keeping the swelling under control with my ice pack, and resting when needed.

I worked on my physio exercises in the pool on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this week. It seems like a lot, but I am pacing myself and taking nice relaxing breaks in between stretching and working my muscles - gradually working up or down the repetitions as needed. My hubby wanted me to try the exercise bike this week but I wasn't feeling ready and continued with my water physio. I'm hoping to progress and get into the gym in week nine.

That's it for my surgery update for now. I will keep you posted on how it goes from here. I am starting to feel stronger as each day passes, but I know this is only the beginning of my journey. I am determined to stay focused and motivated on achieving my goal of reaching the top of the old hill we used to climb weekly in the grounds of Carton Estate. With persistence and a little bit of luck, hopefully I can achieve that before Christmas.

Finally, I just wanted to say thank you for all your well wishes and messages of encouragement during my recovery so far, it has really meant the world to me.
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  1. I am so pleased your healing well you have had to come so far to get here

    1. Thank you darling <3 I hope you are recovering well too xxxx So happy you have finally gotten somewhere!