After 3 weeks and 1 day, I was officially given the approval to wean off the crutches from PT. They told me I could go down to one crutch for a few days and then to no crutches, but I wound up skipping the one crutch phase. I tried it for a few hours around the house and it just felt awkward. I felt better just slowly walking normally, so that's what I did. PT had me doing "gait training" where I would walk backwards, side step, and make sure that I was walking without a limp. They told me to take my crutches with me outside or if I went anywhere such as the store. I was comfortable walking in the house, but being out in the world without the crutches felt like too much too soon, so I was happy to follow that advice. I continued going for my crutch walks this week, but I was getting a cold and feeling a little run down, so I only "walked" 3 days for approximately 5 miles.
On my second full day off crutches I walked normally around the house, drove myself home to get my mail, did some laundry at home, and then at the end of the day that big tendon that runs down the inside of my leg was little sore. I used The Stick on it and that felt good. The joint itself felt fine, but tendonitis is supposedly a common side effect from this surgery, so I'm trying to be really aware of that and stop and take care of small issues before they become big problems. I was just so happy to be able to carry my own coffee cup (or beer!) around the house again.
|You have to treat yourself to good beer during recovery!|
On Saturday it was so nice outside and my walking felt that it was progressing well enough indoors to go for a VERY short jaunt outside without the crutches. It was probably not much more than 1/10 of a mile. It was slightly scary and my leg felt clunky and heavy, but I walked about 4 houses down the street and then back. (Normal suburbia type neighborhood.) It didn't hurt, but I wasn't trying to push anything. I was walking very slowly at this point. I just couldn't move very quickly and I had to concentrate on each footstep. The dog and I had a good time sitting on the deck in the sunshine later that day after my big outing.
|It's a hard life.|
This week was the first week I was able to put my own socks on. I would sit low (think toilet) and take the foot of my operated leg and place it near the opposite leg's knee. It was still a bit of a struggle, but I was able to do it. It was easier for someone else to tie my shoe on that foot, but I could have done it if needed. Every day seemed a little easier and every day I woke up with slightly more range of motion and less pain than before. If I moved in a weird way or twisted wrong, I would get a little jolt of pain, but over all I didn't have pain in my daily motions.