Miraculous–A Dream Come True!
After living 13 years of compromised walking and its devastating effects on my body, I now have no more Gastroc/Soleus Equinus and no more short leg syndrome complications. I can really walk and enjoy the walk for the first time since before my L5-S1 Herniation rooted in SI Dysfunction caused an altered gait in the year 2002. From my Sacroiliac Joints down to my feet, the last 4 years of surgery have now all worked together for my good and full credit goes to My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Great Physician for His divine leading to my earthly surgeons. Thank you Dr. Gent, DPM of Kitsap Foot and Ankle Clinic in Bremerton, WA for giving me your best and last minimally invasive Endoscopic Gastroc/Soleus Recession Surgery back on 12-30-14.
I will pick up my story from my last blog which ended at 6 weeks post op. During my 7th week post op of Feb 16th-22, 2014, I completed the Iontophoresis Treatment as discussed in my last blog. By Saturday 2/21 I was able to walk 1/2 mile with less pain on the medial side of my ankle. Then the next day my friend and I left for Seattle/Bremerton. After traveling almost 6 hours, we enjoyed a stop at the North Bend Outlet Mall. I had a heavy ace wrap up my leg to help with any swelling with sitting in the car. As we walked, I found the Clark’s Shoe Store Outlet and they were having a good sale on tall boots. With tired legs, I found a pair of black boots that fit very well over my ace wrapped leg and they felt so good. Needless to say, I walked out of the store in the boots and wore them the rest of the day. A birthday present to myself. They have served me well these past two weeks as another choice of foot wear instead of tennis shoes.
February 23rd, 2015 -This day my friend and I enjoyed a 40 minute non-stop walk with some stretching along the way in my favorite area nature preserve next door to the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel, in Silverdale, WA. After that my friend and I both had followup appointments with Dr. Gent, DPM. She was now 5 months since her surgery with Dr. Gent and I was now 8 weeks. Dr. Gent was so pleased to see how well I was doing and he could already see a significant improvement in my walking gait.
Julian Henslee, a clinical rep from ABI Extracorporeal Autologous BioSolutions, was waiting at Dr. Gent’s office to draw my blood for another round of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections to my Achilles. He prepares the platelet injection for Dr. Gent. Dr. Gent and I reviewed my prior 9/6/13 MRI(3T) to confirm where there was any suspicion of Pre-Achilles Tendinitis which did correlate also with where he then palpated the sore tight spots on my Achilles. He injected 1/2 of the concentrated platelets at the lateral insertion of my Achilles into my Calcaneus bone and the other 1/2 into the lateral portion of my musculotendinous junction area of my Achilles which was about a hands width above the insertion point at my heel. By this time the medial side of my ankle had calmed way down and I was only left with these lateral tight spots. Dr. Gent’s assistant sprays a numbing spray at the same time he is putting the Lidocaine injection in which helps to lessen the feel of that needle. Then he administers the PRP injection and I did not feel anything sharp or painful, just some pressure from the volume of blood inserted.
While I relaxed and adjusted to the initial pressure pain of the injection, Dr. Gent took care of my friend. He then came back and talked with me further and advised taking it easy for two weeks. What did taking it easy mean? Lay off of heavy pushing in Physical Therapy. Simply walking and easy stretching(not full bore weight bearing stretching). I was able to walk as tolerated with the use of crutches and my walking boot and transition back to my tennis shoes when able. Our goal was to provide my Achilles with the PRP to help nourish the tendon in hopes to reduce the pain of tightness while I continued to stretch. Patients that have tears would have to be in a boot/cast for sure and a more strict protocol as they would want the tendon to scar and heal.
Needless to say, I was so miserable in the back of my heel and as soon as I got back to the hotel, off with the boot. The crutches were my friend instead of the boot. No anti-inflammatory medications allowed with PRP injections; however, 1000 MG of Tylenol and 5mg of Diazepam to go to sleep and my bi-valved cast to rest and support my leg. I had the next day to rest and take it easy and by dinner time I felt like going out of hotel. In lieu of the boot, I padded the back of my foot/ankle and wrapped the entire leg in my ace wrap and used my crutches to walk and only put weight through the foot as tolerated.
February 25th, 2015 – Another beautiful day of traveling as our weather here in the Pacific Northwest has certainly not been winter conditions. There was no snow at Snoqualmie Pass whatsoever. By the time I got back home to Lewiston, the exhaustion of travel hit me with momentary depression. My birthday was the next day and I was feeling sad that I couldn’t walk very well after the injection even though I was glad to have gotten it.
February 26th, 2015 – My Lewiston physical therapist came and did some leg therapy on me and this helped tremendously. With my ace-wrapped leg, I was able to walk this day without the crutches in my tall leather boots with a small heel. A month earlier it was my birthday wish and goal to be able to dance on my birthday and be taken back to a time of fond memories of the Disco Dance Days of my youth. The wish did come true and I was able to dance to a few tunes of the late 70’s with a lady friend that shared the same passion. My leg did fine and no negative after effects the next day. The day ended with such joy and hopefulness in this long physical journey that I’ve been on.
Each day showed signs of improvement from the post injection pain and on 3/2/15 I was able to get on my horse almost completely by myself and enjoy a half hour ride.
March 4th, 2015 -9th week– I had another light physical therapy session and I did walk on a treadmill for 14 minutes. Afterwords I practiced walking backwards in a pool along with other pool exercise then followed up with the hot tub.
March 7th, 2015 – By this day, the post injection pain was almost gone and I walked 9/10 mile to my neighbor’s house. Took a little rest and walked back to my house 9/10 of a mile. I cleaned my horse stall and later in the evening I walked another 6/10 of mile.
March 8th, 2015 – The first time for me to wear a pair of dress heel shoes to church since my surgery. It felt good to do this, but after church, I came back home to my tennis shoes and boots. Wearing heels makes my calf have to tighten up just like doing a heel raise exercise. I am now able to do both leg heel raises together and hold them up longer. I’m certainly not ready yet for single leg heel raises on my left post surgery leg.
Please review my video discussions and demonstrations of my walking. I ask all my YouTube and website blog subscribers to celebrate and rejoice with me in completing this quest of restoring my walking gait. And to new readers that may have come by this blog, please see my entire medical journey thus far posted on my homepage.
This video celebration discussion and demonstration of walking in boots.
This video discussing my heel lifts. My source for buying my heel lift: GW Heel Lifts
This video showing my walking in New Balance 1540 motion control tennis shoes without any orthotics only my 4mm of foot lift in left shoe. I rotate between using these shoes and my Asics Neutral/non motion control tennis shoes with Power Step OTC Orthotics.
I’ve worked hard this day to put these blogs together in order for Dr. Gent to see them before my next phone consult with him. This new week will begin more physical therapy strength training of my entire lower extremities now that I’m 80-95% calmed down in pain from my surgery 10 weeks ago. In reality I have no pain compared to all the pain I use to live with in my left leg. I’m looking so forward to getting beyond just post surgery rehab protocols and pressing forward to rebalancing all my leg/glute/and back muscles once and for all. My physical therapists stand in awe of the transformation that I have achieved in the last 2 years since starting with my SI Fixation Surgery on 1-17-13 and ending with this last surgery.
The other benefits of achieving a balanced walking gait: the torsion is diminishing from my back, no more piriformis syndrome, no myofascial burning nerve pain in legs, no more neck pain. I really am a new woman and I describe it as Humpty Dumpty put back together again. Malalignment Syndrome is gone in regards to any symptoms and later this year I’ll see what another set of full spine objective x-rays have to say. I just had Dr. Sheldon, DC tell me there was nothing to adjust in my back the other day. I tell you what that is good news to be shouted out from the hilltop! I love the chiropractic profession, but I’m glad to not have to go for pain relief anymore on a regular basis.
I will have to take a break for awhile from blog writing. With apprehension and heartache, I have to face another journey which started in November 2014 regarding my left wrist. I have gotten a TFCC tear and ulnar sided wrist pain as a result of too much wrist pressure when doing yoga that I need to focus my attention on. I will write about that journey too in the future when I am able. Also these past 4 years, I have simultaneously been working to resolve my TMJ pain with Adult Orthodontics and Neuromusclar Dentistry (which is just about finished too and with great success) that will be written about here in the future.
I close this blog with saying I have finally completed the journey (just some more icing to put on the cake) that started with my SI Fixation and the launching my my blog/website and Facebook Page: SI-Instability.com I’m grateful to all my blog subscribers as you give me motivation to continue to write my story. And most importantly the desire to reach other new patients through the internet with my blogs is the most rewarding benefit I receive in this life. I hope I’ve been a voice of inspiration. I’ve added a new section called Patient Endorsements Corner. I’d like to hear from fellow patients that have been inspired by my website or helped by calling me. To the Medical Professionals that my read my blog, please share your comments on the Medical Professionals Corner.
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