Proximal Tibiofibular Syndesmosis – Arthrex TightRope Post Surgery Recovery Update #3

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At Dworshak Reservoir-going down boat ramp
At Dworshak Reservoir-going down boat ramp

Pictured at the Beautiful Dworshak ReservoirCamping, Boating, Swimming and a lot of walking up and down hills. A sense of great accomplishment at 10 weeks of recovery since my surgery. Now I will continue with my story starting at the 7 week post surgical date of July 2, 2013 which was a day of tremendous accomplishment at physical therapy. Yeah I’m finally walking!  I produced these 3 videos. The first two videos show my Postural Restoration Institute(PRI) style exercises narrated by my physical therapist, Mark Bengtson, MPT co-owner of Pinnacle Physical Therapy and the third video is a summation of my progress and my first good day of walking since starting to walk only one week earlier following a prior 6 weeks of non-weight bearing. For updates until this time, please see my prior update blog #2. For my entire Proximal Tibiofibular story from the beginning of diagnosis through surgery and then recovery click here:

July 9-23, 2013 – I diligently continued my exercises at home. In addition I swam and exercised in my pool as many days as possible  and would see Mark once a week during this time. I was on my horse 2 more times.
July 23, 2013 – Dr. PZ Pearce, Champion Sports Medicine was pleased with my progress and my pain at the medial knee was gone. No need for any cortisone injection. See prior blog update #2 for story behind the medial knee pain. I’m feeling much more confident and I appreciate his encouragement along the road of recovery.
July 26-28th, 2013 – a weekend of camping and boating at the Dworshak Resevoir above Orofino, Idaho. Here is a picture of me standing on the long boat ramp. I had to walk up and down this many times over the weekend.  It helped to keep my leg wrapped in the Ace wrap for support and compression against swelling. I had some swelling and tightness up the anterior/lateral muscles of my leg, but most of my residual pain was still isolated around my chronic ankle issues. All I know at this moment is suspected Sinus Tarsi Syndrome of my ankle with further diagnostics and workup in progress. I will write on that subject in near future.

As this point, I still cannot walk on the side of a hill due to feeling like I would sprain my left lateral ankle. But straight up and down was no additional pain, and in fact, I felt better behind my surgically fixated left tib-fib joint than my right leg tib-fib joint when going up the hill.  There was such a sense of stability and strength not seen for several years before the surgery. I was so pleasingly surprised and I rejoiced that this proximal tibiofibular issue is now well on the mend and I was experiencing a better time now than the prior several years of coming each summer to the lake. I wasn’t quite ready for water skiing but hopefully next summer.

Since we were in a developed camping area, I had a portable microwave to warm up my rice heat packs. These always feel soothing to tight muscles. I like to wrap one around my ankle and lay the other one down my shin. The second night I was feeling  very irritable in my ankle/foot so with the help of 2.5mg of Diazepam I could get some better sleep. However, I was not having any throbbing in my proximal tib-fib joint region like the years before. I also brought my exercise ball to the camp and did regular stretching over it for my back.  I felt great and no Sacroiliac Joint pain. A little tightness in the buttocks from all the hill climbing and again the warm rice packs strapped around me after I rubbed essential oils in worked great for that too. While swimming in the lake, I just floated with my water ski vest on and did constant water leg exercises twice a day for at least 45 minutes each time. I have so much more proprioceptive connection and physical feeling from my hip to mid-lower left leg after both the SI Surgery and this Arthrex TightRope Fixation Surgery. I have struggled for years with swimming face down and kicking my legs behind me. I’ve always had a feeling of why could I not control my left leg like my right leg. Not anymore, I am on the upswing.

Click here for  the next update blog.







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Dr. Trumble, My Upper Extremity Surgeon, at Bellevue Hand Surgery