Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ankle Arthroscopy (Physical Therapy overview)

Another rain soaked day has given me the opportunity to reflect on the physical therapy portion of my ankle surgery and the fact that this will probably be my last post about the subject sans an occasional update on the overall status of my recovery.

My therapist, “David” explained my situation in great detail and answered every single one of my uninformed questions.

Part and parcel to my ankle surgery is the fact that David showed me that my arch has fallen as well, which is something else I will need to focus on with strengthening the muscles to help support the area and make it stronger which has been the goal all along…(To get stronger).

My experience with physical therapy has been an excellent one, but in all honesty I see the therapist as a sort of guide who pointed me in the right direction with strengthening and range of motion exercises and now it’s up to me to continue the program at home.

The biggest hurtle with all of this, the surgery, physical therapy, and my overall health is the fact that it’s hard to be active and then sustain an injury that sidelines you. (Yes I realize there are considerably more significant surgeries than ankle arthroscopy).

The trick is to remain positive throughout an experience like this and find humor in the small idiosyncrasies that occur during recovery (like falling down in the bathroom)

Another way to stay “up” is to have goals;

I keep telling myself that I will run “50” at 50, which means that I’m going to run a 50 miler for my 50th birthday…The big 5-0 is quite a few years away, but I see it as one hell of a motivator to recover.

The (A.T.) “Appalachian Trail” will also be there waiting for me at retirement, all 2,175 miles of it.

I see that particular goal as a celebration of surviving 25 or so years on the job, which again, is quite some time in the future.

Right now in the short term the goal is to get this damn boot off my foot and get back on my bike, or go running, or for a hike…

And as this post has evolved over the course of several days, my physical therapist has given me the “go ahead” to ride the single speed on mellow terrain, which is awesome.

Aside from my personal experiences with the surgery, this is what you may expect during your own recovery and physical therapy;

-They will probably take measurements to gauge your range of motion.

-They may measure the affected area to gauge any swelling

-They will give you light range of motion exercises to move your ankle both lateral and horizontal to your body. (this will probably be done with resistance bands)

-As you progress you will begin “weight bearing” exercises like machine assisted squats and range of motion exercises like riding a stationary bike.

-*I received several arch specific exercises that included standing in a particular manner and arch lifts and calf raises as well.