July 19th, 2014 – Glad to be back home after my ankle surgery and a long week of travel. My left ankle tibiofibular joint (tib-fib) surgery corrected my chronic high ankle sprain/instability. The Arthrex TightRope Fixation Surgery is very minimally invasive but requires 5-6 weeks of non-weight bearing for proper healing. My last blog was written on my PRP Injections and 5 day post surgery check at Dr. Gent’s Office at Kitsap Foot and Ankle Clinic, Bremerton, WA an 8 hour trip from my home. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Silverdale Beach, WA under the circumstances. Now that I was home, I knew I would not struggle with the actual post surgical healing as this time around it would be much easier than my prior surgery. I could be a little more mobile with the use of a knee walker; whereas, I was in a wheelchair the month of April after the Proximal (lateral knee) and Distal (right high ankle) Tibiofibular Joint Arthrex TightRope Fixation Surgery. Entertaining myself has always been the challenge in dealing with rehabilitation after a surgery. This day was a special day because I wanted to honor my horse “Jewels” as she had been born on my property 10 years ago. I couldn’t do much except go out on my deck and feed her some carrots.
July 20th, 2014 – How to enjoy hot weather and get into the pool Idaho Style is what this day brought forth. See my fun video of me getting into the pool with my splinted leg protected by my DryPro Waterproof Cast Cover purchased through www.castcoverz.com Creativity is the key to keeping your sanity when you can’t walk. I trusted my well experienced husband driving the tractor. I just couldn’t sit in my house and do nothing and this was the only way to get in the pool when I could not walk up the pool ladder.
July 22nd, 2014 – Here is a photo of my left ankle 11 days since the surgery. (Click on the photo to enlarge) The incision only had 2 stitches on the surface. I didn’t have too much bruising, but my fibula bone was sore to touch. Non-weight bearing is not easy on my body. After all the travels and having my hip hiked up on the knee walker, I went through a D-day moment of several of my lumbar facet joints getting fixated. Since I was staying at home for 10 days straight and not traveling, I spent this entire week working on my low back recovery with 3 times to my chiropractor and 3 massage appointments along with stretching over my ball to re-stabilize my lumbar spine. I simply had over done it. I was 90% better by the end of the week.
July 29th, 2014 – I saw Mark Bengtson, MPT Pinnacle Physical Therapy for the first time since surgery and he did the typical modalities of heat, massage of the soft tissues and gentle PROM exercise and Game Ready Icing. Later in the day, I saw Dr. PZ Pearce, my sports medicine doctor and he removed the stitches. On this day I also had a follow-up phone call with my surgeon, Dr. Gent.
August 2nd, 2014 – I was bored while my husband was outside doing ranch chores. My entertainment was looking at the music I use to love in the late 70’s on YouTube. I decided to stand with my left knee on the scooter and get a little exercise dancing with my upper torso to the groove of ” Le Freak” by Chic. My back was finally feeling so much better and it felt good to move it while enjoying music that took me back to good memories of my dancing era of life. For the younger generation that would not know this song, here is a Youtube video. I attach it herein for fun. As I said, you have to make the most of what could be a mentally challenging time of rehab. Believe me when I say, I’ve been challenged in this journey. But the good news is soon I’ll be walking, then watch out I’ll be dancing again!
This evening my husband was home and we went out to the River Dance Lodge Dining to join my physical therapist and his children for dinner. His children were a pleasure to have conversation with and when I asked them if they’d like to be mentioned in a blog, they found that exciting. For 3 years I’ve been driving 4 hours one way to his office and now he was finally down in our vicinity enjoying a weekend at this Idaho Outdoor Adventure Resort. (Click on photos to enlarge)
August 5th, 2014 – I was able to see Mark again for physical therapy. This day he was able to motion my ankle more than the prior week. However, this entire time my leg has been in a posterior splint with ace wraps. Dr. Gent had wanted me to be conservative with this ankle and not get aggressive with it myself nor in P/T. Getting range of motion has never been my concern as I achieve it very quickly. It was important for my ligaments to tighten up. Each time I’ve had physical therapy, it moves me forward in the healing process along with my weekly medical massage therapy at my home. The highlight of this day, my sister, Marilyn, from Ohio flew into Spokane, WA. I hadn’t seen her in almost 2 years because I’ve spent the last 2 years in medical travel and could not see my family in Ohio at all.
August 6th, 2014 – We my sister’s help, life was so much easier for getting in and out of the car with the knee walker. My sister and I enjoyed shopping together for several hours. At this point I’ve been pain free for 2 weeks. I was tired of unwrapping my leg in order to massage my Young Living Essential Therapeutic Oils into my ankle and re-wrapping it every day. Therefore, I decided to get a walking boot on. I found one that was light weight and low profile in the foot bed. The Ovation Medical Pneumatic Tall Walker at www.thebraceshop.com I was going to need it anyhow when I’d finally be able to walk on it. Not all walking boots feel the same. I’ve had experience with two prior models, and now I like this one so much better. We’ve had 100+ temperatures and the boot is not too warm in my opinion.
August 7th, 2014 – At 4 weeks from surgery, I was feeling very positive and I had slept the night before with nothing on my ankle for the first time. I got up and massaged my ankle, did some office work and then my day went upside down. I hadn’t put the boot back on my leg yet. I got up from my office chair and went to put my knee on the walker and in an instant I was laying on my living room floor screaming. I really don’t know what happened. I’m guessing I overshot the position of my knee on the knee rest while the handle was slightly turned. The whole walker tipped over and launched my head into my TV stand and my left foot got caught under the metal frame. I had an immediate hyper-extension of my 4th-5th metatarsals (toes) of my left foot and a strong pull right across my talofibular ligament that I was trying to heal after it was injected 7-16-14 by Dr. Gent with my PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). If I had the boot on, I possibly could have torqued my left knee worse but may have spared my foot and ankle. As it was, I was bruised around my knee, banged my left shoulder/elbow, slight whiplash to my neck. The good news is my natural flexibility spared me from breaking something. The only thing broken was any scar tissue forming in my ankle ligaments. My ankle/foot hurt horribly, but I knew the surgical fixations were okay, just a sprain to the ligaments. Not what I needed as I’m trying to heal my ligaments. My local foot doctor, Dr. Alm, checked it over for me that afternoon and said: “Mild sprain”.
I am here pictured stretching over my ball which always helps my back (lumbar facets) and rib attachments to my spine after sitting too long. I have been faithfully stretching for 2 weeks and I am maintaining so much better than before the D-day. I’m also using my back brace for support temporarily till I’m walking again. I want to re-iterate there is a difference between lumbar facet jamming and SI joint pain. I don’t have SI Joint Pain nor do I have real pain of the facets. Just a muscle tightening feeling that I overcome with the stretching. Besides laying over the ball as pictured, I also lay each of my sides over the ball too.
August 9th, 2014 – A beautiful time at a friend’s wedding with my husband, sister and my daughter. When the evening dance music started, I would have been out on the dance floor in times gone past with every song and I was feeling so frustrated at still being non-weight bearing with a boot on my leg. So I had to have a moment with one song, dancing with my upper body only out there on the knee walker. People were applauding my tenacity to dance even with my physical restrictions.
August 10th-12th, 2014 – I was at my ranch home enjoying 3 straight days of the pool. This time around my physical therapist said I could walk on the foot in the pool in preparation for weight bearing on land. I enjoyed spending over an hour each day moving my legs and exercising in the water. Water exercise is the best for rehabilitation especially on a hot, sunny 100 degree day.
August 13th, 2014 – My sister and I left this morning for vacationing on the Olympic Peninsula and follow up appointments with Dr. Gent. After a long day of travel, my sister went out and enjoyed the walking trails while I sat and wrote this blog looking out my window and enjoying once again the beautiful view of the inlet waters here at Silverdale Beach, WA. I’m looking forward to seeing Dr. Gent. I know I’ve made progress in my post surgical healing; but, I’m also so disappointed at the fall I had taken. However, I am thankful that I didn’t break anything and my body is doing better after chiropractic treatment and massage. I do have some pain inferior to the distal fibula bone over the talofibular ligament area. I’ll see what Dr. Gent has to say in the morning.
Stay tuned for my next recovery update blog. Comment or Like SI-Instability on this Facebook.com link.