Long ago (1988) I moved to Berkeley and started sending a monthly "newsletter" to my Boston friends. When I returned to Boston (1993), I continued the tradition for about five more years (or until I had kids). Looking back, I realize that I was actually blogging. Each newsletter contained anywhere from a few to several blog posts. Having been silent for the past decade or so, I've decided to resume these activities. Don't expect anything profound -- I tend to focus on what I find entertaining or amusing and perhaps sometimes informative. We shall see!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ankle Rehab: Finishing up Week 3

So, what does it feel like to be three weeks off crutches? My mobility is quite good -- most of the time I can walk normally, although when I first stand up after sitting for a long time or after a long stint on my feet I do limp. What causes the limp? There are two things: first there is now a fairly constant pain on the outside of the ankle. The PT says this is pretty normal, and she didn't find anything wrong. Second, the ankle still swells a lot. After standing for a reasonable length of time, it will look like someone glued a clementine to my ankle. That swelling causes restricted mobiity and also stretches the skin and makes my heel hurt.

Speaking of heels -- this whole episode seems to have triggered plantar fasciitis in both feet. On the left (injured) side, the sprain causes muscle tightness in the achilles and calf, which in turn puts strain on the plantar fascia. On the right side, it's less clear. I think that the strain of being one-footed and hopping around a lot put undue stress on the right foot and triggered some inflammation. At this point, I don't see the right side doing any extra work, but I can tell you I'm worried about plantar fasciitis on that side.

PT sessions are both challenging and enjoyable. I spend 5 minutes warming up on a stationary bike and then do a variety of strengthening and balance exercises.

Some of the more entertaining ones:
  1. Stand on the weak leg and do resisted movements in all four directions with the good leg.
  2. Stand on the weak leg with a tilted trampoline about six feet away to my left (weak) side. Now play catch with a 2-pound medicine ball, bouncing it off the trampoline.
  3. Do squats on a rocker board (this is kind of cool -- the board just rocks like mad even if I'm feeling kind of balanced).
  4. Stand on rocker board and play catch with a 2-pound medicine ball.

After all that I do some stretching and then ice the ankle for ten minutes. Up until this week, we were also doing estim with the icing, but that doesn't really seem to be having an effect, so she stopped doing the estim. From what I can tell, I'm about to plateau -- it's clear that I've got good range of motion, but there is still a fair bit of strengthening to go. I think this is about the time when the going is about to get rough, but we'll see.

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