I had my 6-week appointment at the hospital today (6 weeks since I had it operated on). I’m on schedule and have moved from a cast to an aircast boot. Looking at my leg today it has definitely shrunk in terms of muscle, but it will be fine to put back on when I get more active again. I was expecting a bit more progress than I got at this stage, but the prognosis from the consultant is to be very cautious.
I had the cast removed and asked the doctor if I’d be OK to return to work now I have this boot. He said no, I needed to stay off for the next 6 weeks whilst I’m still recovering, but I asked him to add to the sicknote that I can work from home on a laptop, so that is what I’ll be doing from next week. He said that mobility wise I’m not going to be able to get to and from work, and get around whilst I’m there. On a positive note he said the stitches are healing/have healed well, and then the plaster technician fitted the boot with 3 wedges initially, removing one every two weeks. In terms of partial weight bearing, which I can now do, the doctor said that I can put 10-15% weight on my foot when I’m up and it’s in the boot – but I have no idea how much this is in real terms so I’ll see how I get on over the next few days.
I then went to see the physiotherapist for the first time – this is where I thought there would be more to do. But she said at this stage post-operation it is still very sensitive and risk of re-rupture is very high if I try to do too much – and she kept pushing the point that I must take it easy. She told me to wiggle my toes daily and bring them forwards and backwards (but not too much), curl my toes inwards and outwards, and slowly bring my ankle up and down too so that it doesn’t stiffen up. This needs to be in very short motions and doesn’t feel like much, but I’m going to do what I’m told as I REALLY don’t want to mess it up.
I can have it out of the boot if I’m sitting down with my foot up, which is nice to let some air get to it and not have the heavy weight on my leg (the boot is heavier than all of the casts I’ve had!). I’m not sure what they said about showering – I think I can shower it now but I’m going to call them tomorrow to check. I would need to sit down in the shower – would be interested to hear what everyone else has been doing. I don’t have a shower over the bath, we’ve got a separate shower. I’ve had a bath every day for 7 weeks with my foot in a black bag, and it’s getting a bit tedious now to be honest. As you can see from the photos above, my foot is pretty dry after 7 weeks in a cast. That’s going to take some cleaning!
The other photo is of my Robocop boot – the little blue pump is what you can use to inflate/deflate the boot to make it fit more/less tightly as you wish. From early experience, I don’t think I’m going to have it inflated too much. The doctor said that every time I move I must have the boot again – and similar to the physiotherapist, he was very forceful with this point. If I fall on it, game over.
It feels like a lifetime so far but the doctor pointed out that in the scheme of things, I’m halfway through what is a 12-week rehabilitation, with physio carrying on after that for some time probably.
I have another appointment in two weeks with the doctor to have a wedge removed from the boot and wounds checked, and another appointment the day after with the physios in the hospital gym. I’m hoping the physio will be stepped up quite a bit at that point, but they seem to be taking it particularly cautiously at the moment. I’m just going to do what I’m told as I don’t want to make it worse. The physio said to just look at it as a series of steps and don’t look beyond the next appointment, and it will make things a lot easier.