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Old 08-07-2011, 06:51 AM   #1
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Foot size, Physical therapy

Hi,
I just got in a walking boot, and am supposed to start to bear weight next week, after a heel fracture.

I checked some of the posts here, and some were doing physical therapy right as they started walking, things like water therapy...I haven't started any...can or should I initiate this, or should I wait for my surgeon to mention it? I would like to get in the best shape as possible...but, it's still early days.

Also, now that I can see my foot more regularly, I notice it is huge...I'm at about 8 weeks...is that the size my foot will be from now on? I am not sure about socks and footwear...

Finally, I have to change the dressing on my foot for a week or so...my incision is nearly healed, just a small spot that is not. I went in on a Friday at 4:00 to the surgeons', so everyone was ready to go home, and I left and realized no one explained to me how to change the dressing...I can call on Monday, but has anyone done this before.

I apologize, too, for all my complaining early on...a good friend of mine (an adopted mother, in some ways) has had about 5 eye surgeries this past year...she told my ex-wife, the way he is worrying about this surgery is not helping him...(yes, I am best friends with my ex-wife..but that's another story).

Thank you for your encouragement...I appreciate it...this group has been great...although, I wish I could have beaten back the bad feelings early on..the summer needn't have been so long if I studied and worked...or did something useful...

4 weeks to go, I think...then I'll be at 12 weeks...

Michael (alotofmath)

 
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:05 AM   #2
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Re: Foot size, Physical therapy

Hi Alotofmath,

Congrats on your progress!!

When I got my cast off, I couldn't fit my foot into any of my existing shoes and had to be re-fitted for new ones. Now, even as the swelling has gone down, I still have doubts my new foot will fit into anything I have. It seems to be much wider than it used to be.

I didn't have to ask my surgeon for PT, he felt how weak I was and offered it. They said walking is therapy enough most of the time. But since I couldn't get in to see anyone for PT for 3 weeks, I had a chance to gently work it myself without pushing with their perscribed exercises. I felt much more "ready" to tackle it when the time came.

I don't know about dressings. After 8 weeks, they didn't say to keep mine covered or anything. Just let the scabs fall off on their own and don't "soak" it like swimming or a bath. That's all.

Hang in there! Sounds like you are doing well!!!
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:10 PM   #3
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Re: Foot size, Physical therapy

I hate to spoil the surprise but how painful was walking at first? Did you stop when it hurt, or did you bear a little pain to progress?

Thanks! I think my body will tell me but I deal with pain quite well...and wasnt given much guidance...

 
Old 08-08-2011, 03:02 AM   #4
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Re: Foot size, Physical therapy

My post-cast instructions were to ditch all walkers/crutches after 1 week after getting out of the cast. They said to go back on painkillers if you must but walk, just walk and do it heal-toe. They said it would be so painful you'll think something is wrong, but they said the more you walk, the quicker your recovery. Of course, the Dr. saw my x-rays and cleared me for full weight bearing, so I knew I was structurally ok. It was just soft tissue pain. But pain, yes. Wicked. It actually took me 2 weeks to ditch my walker. The walker was allowing me to cheat...I could look like I was walking, but wasn't putting all my weight on it (which hurt!). I gave my walker to my husband and made him walk across the room with it and I made myself walk to get it. I was in tears it hurt soooooo bad. (The painkillers made me ill, so I was doing this without them). But the more I walked, the less pain there was. The 2nd week after my cast was off, I tried to walk as much as I could without the walker, but it was really a blend. And to my amazement, the swelling went down, too. Eventually, the walker just felt like it was in the way, so I didn't go back to it and I was good. (Still hurt, but I had enough strength and balance so I didn't NEED the walker any longer.) Today is 19 weeks post-op and the pain isn't nearly what it was. I only have a tiny limp these days and PT is going well.

Everyone's instructions for this surgery seem to be just a little different, so do what your Dr. instructs. They have been there and done that with many folks and they have seen what works.

Hang in there!!
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:24 AM   #5
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Re: Foot size, Physical therapy

I started ROM exercises around 6 weeks. I had to ask at the end of an appointment.

There is going to be swelling. But my foot is bigger, not the same size. Some stuff I wear normal width, some wide. I wore wide shoes the first year for comfort. Now I try to wear normal width, cause my other side is normal. When I buy new pair of boots, I work the ankle and heel area with my hands to loosen it up.

My dressing stayed on until my wounds were healed, which took 11-12 weeks. I did whirlpool for about 6 weeks on my foot. Which most places don't do anymore, its labor intensive, with the clean up. But it helped. I had lots of blisters and cuts. As far as changing it I just wrapped and taped it. Some wrap is better, less stick.

Some people start partial weight bearing before 12 weeks, but alot don't.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:28 AM   #6
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Re: Foot size, Physical therapy

Your foot hasn't had much contact the last few weeks. Its good to touch it. It can be sensitive to the touch. I wore and still do shoes around the house. But at first you will need to do it for everything. I wore old tennis shoes that were laced loose, that I could slide on. Good socks help alot.

First time I stood on it, I felt nothing really. Pain will come with how much you do. I suspect you will now when to stop, but you got to push through some of it IMO, or you will never get anywhere.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #7
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Re: Foot size, Physical therapy

I have been weight bearing a little this week; Im not putting much pressure on the foot, but I'm going through the motions of walking with the bad leg...

I notice that muscle is coming back in my bad leg. As an experiment I tried to put on a sock and it nearly fit...

The only thing I'm worried about is wound healing..there are two small spots that haven't healed...

I didn't really have instructions for weight bearing so am going with what makes sense.

Oh and I have a job interview in September...hopefully won't have to go on crutches.

Thanks for reading.

 
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