Ankle Surgery Part 3: 2-5 weeks Post Op

It appears a lot of folks found my blog when I started posting about my surgery and now recovery process. This seems to be a need, just to hear from others about how their process went. I know for me it is always helpful to google an injury and see real stories of the journey. So part 1 and part 2 are there feel free to check them out.

In week 3 I began Physical therapy for my ankle. Now the surgeon’s assistant said it was not necessary but being an ultra runner I knew I wanted to give my ankle the best chance at a full recovery. I know physical therapy is the best way to do this based upon my past injury experiences. I reached out to my local She Runs This Town group on Facebook and this is why I love the internet! I was connected with a physical therapist the next town over who is also a runner. I felt at ease!!!!

Week 3 was good I started to be a bit more mobil as the pain was decreasing. I felt more comfortable using the knee scooter and getting around the house. The weather here started to improve so I started to wheel out to our deck and spend time in the sunshine. I honestly began to feel less pain and was managing with ice and occasional tylenol and advil. I could not believe how much less pain I was in.

Getting into physical therapy also got me motivated to start weight lifting again and use the rowing machine more. I could row and leave the broken ankle off the machine to the side. I began to finally feel a little more like myself. There really is no other safe exercise besides rowing that I could think of with a broken ankle. Especially after surgery and not being able to submerge your ankle in water for 6-8 weeks until the wound is full closed.

Speaking of wound. I was kind of in shock at how big the incision was and the length of time it is taking to heal. I found I had to keep it covered in gauze if I went out anywhere in my boot. The pressure of the boot pressed on the wound too much and caused pain. I honestly thought once the stitches dissolved and they took the butterfly bandages off at my 2 week post op visit that I would be all closed up within a few days. Nope!

There is a part of the incision that scabs over and then breaks open, over and over again. Even at the 5 week mark it was still not fully closed. The doctor said this was normal but I am very impatient….

Some of the things I found most helpful in these weeks is the knee scooter. Being able to get around my kitchen and rooms made it easier to chase kids. I even managed to make it outside for short walks. Books, I dove into more reading than I have ever done in the past few years that was not a text book required for a graduate class, it was kind of nice. Friends and my sister, having my people come visit me and entertain my kids, help with light house things made things much easier for me. My sport swing crutches, I found them at walmart.com but they are also on amazon. The feet are so much more stable than those silver crutches they give you at the hospitals. They are also comfortable under your arms and have a strap that makes them attach together ‘hugging’ behind your back.

Those mobile carts at Target and the grocery stores also were very helpful. It helped to get out so I did not go too stir crazy.

And, 4 weeks post op I was able to row a half marathon!!!!! This was amazing. It is hard sitting on the sidelines watching everyone training for their races, knowing you had big summer plans. But, rowing! I started to really get into it and rank myself on the Concept 2 site, I was inspired to just train and started rowing 5k-7k during the week and 10k on weekends. One day I was sitting there and I said, what if I just keep going? So I did 15k and realized I could easily get up to the marathon distance….. SO that is my current focus. Get stronger at rowing, I did the half marathon with some ease and really look forward to a marathon attempt in a few weeks!

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