Next Up: Physical Therapy

I returned to my Orthopedic Surgeon this past Friday to have the cast removed from my leg.  It had been 15 days since I broke my leg, and ankle, on a morning run, and 11 days since my ankle was operated on.  From both a mental, and emotional standpoint, I was really looking forward to having the cast removed.

I arrived at the office, was shuttled back into the office pretty quickly, and a Medical Tech had the cast off in no time.

Wait, staples?  I knew there would be stitches, but not staples.  And surely not 16 of them.  You can't see them all here - but on the lateral side of my ankle is what looks like big zipper.  I'll come back to that later.  In the meantime I checked out the old ankle and it didn't look as bad as I had anticipated.  There was some bruising, but nothing that made it look like a prop from a bad horror movie.  And the swelling was no worse than the day I went in for the surgery.  Next it was off to X-Ray for a scan:

Very cool indeed!  A plate, 2 screws, faint shadows where the doc drilled through both bones, and "buttons" where the bone sutures were anchored.  My Orthopedist said everything looked great and we were moving on to next steps.

Initially, physical therapy will be non-weight bearing for the first week.  The focus will be on stretching and flexibility.  Week two will then introduce weight bearing exercises to start building up strength.  The really good news is that I can start swimming and water walking as soon as I'm ready.  That was quite exciting to hear.

My obvious first question for the Orthopedist: "So, am I swimming with these staples, or is something else going to happen here?" 

Yes, the staples were removed
Once we begin to introduce weight bearing exercises I can get back on my bike trainer and spin with minimal resistance.  The flexing of the ankle will be good and I'll start to use my calf muscles again.  However, like everything that's good for you, moderation is key.  If the ankle swells up and becomes painful, well, I'll need to pull things back a notch or two.

I'm set to head back to the Orthopedist in 4 weeks for a follow up consult.  At that time he'll decide how much longer I need to keep the boot on.  Maybe an additional two weeks - it all depends on how quickly things progress in physical therapy.

So, I'm making headway.  Things feel better every day, and I was quite happy to sleep without a cast or walking boot last night.  I'm well past feeling sorry for myself.  Not that I don't long to be outside running or cycling, but things are moving along quicker than I expected.  Tomorrow I'll schedule my physical therapy and start getting the strength and flexibility back. 

Not knowing anyone who has gone through something like this, I'm dealing with the learning curve of this adventure with no real knowledge base.  However, just this morning I discovered an individual who went through a very similar experience.  After reading about her injury, and how she worked through it, Cortney certainly registers as pretty tough in my book.  The recovery bar has been set pretty high.