Four Weeks After My Ankle Replacement and I’m 100% Weight-bearing!

100% Weight-bearing after Surgery! 
Here I am in my office only four weeks after ankle replacement surgery and I'm 100% weight-bearing.

Two Weeks of Physical Therapy and I Lose the Crutches.

It’s been two weeks now of PT and four since my ankle replacement surgery and I’m 100% weight-bearing! It’s been a cautious fourteen days with a gradual increase every two days of the amount of weight I put on my new ankle replacement.

I’m very happy. I couldn’t have anticipated how easily everything has gone. I have religiously been doing the exercises Matt, my physical therapist at GTO Therapy is giving me. He recommended my exercising three times a day. I’ve done my best but found that along with the icing afterward, it takes well over an hour for each session. But then, what else do I have to do?

I’ve also been very diligent in the way I do the exercises. I constantly do my best to take things slowly, making sure the stretches and manipulations are done as carefully and fully as possible.

I see Matt every two to three days and the confidence I’ve gained in my ankle replacement has grown each day. Getting up and down the stairs to the loft and my office on crutches gets easier as I put more and more weight on my booted foot. I descend and ascend the exterior stairs with relative ease and no pain. However, I’m ever vigilant against a slip, trip or fall.

A Possible Infection Sets In

Several days ago I did have a bit of a scare. Concerned because the 1/2 inch bit of the incision that hadn’t closed appeared a bit inflamed, Matt emailed Dr. Clanton a cell phone photo of my foot. Within the hour, Terie, Dr. Clanton’s PA, called to tell me they wanted to see me in person without fail the next morning. And no, I couldn’t wait until the next week when we would again be in Vail. The possibility of infection is something they take very seriously.

I called Thelma, our friend we’d stayed with for the first two weeks following ankle replacement surgery, to see if we could come up that night. As always she was welcoming.

We made the drive, spent the night and went to The Steadman Clinic early the next morning. Dr. Clanton examined me and thankfully declared everything fine. He gave me some petroleum dressings to aid in the healing along with additional soft bandages and sent me on my way.

I’m grateful to be shown such concern especially when infection could be a grave, unwelcome consequence.

Doing My Exercises

Every morning I do my exercises while watching a program on Curiosity Stream. I can’t recommend the documentaries on Curiosity Stream enough especially for the price! Three dollars a month gets you unlimited access to hundreds of excellent documentaries on every subject imaginable.

The programs are by production companies from around the world. Translated into English, their state of the art computer generated imaging gives you a front row seat to the most awesome dinosaurs and creatures imaginable. The life-like creatures and the stories told are based upon the latest research. And that’s just the dinosaurs. There’s so much else on science, geology, history, psychology, botany etc. etc..

In the evenings I exercise while watching a movie, icing my foot and ankle several times before going to bed. Watching movies and documentaries while exercising reduces the boredom of frequent exercise and keeps things fresh.

Sleep is still fitful. Discomfort from the boot, not being able to sleep on my stomach, getting the boot wrapped up in the blanket etc., wakes me several times each night. It doesn’t help that I keep my foot elevated with pillows either. I think I’m developing the dreaded “restless leg syndrome” as advertised in the endless “drugs in search of a medical condition” commercials.

Morning Coffee With Ice

Every morning after waking I make our coffee and ice my ankle while reading the news on my phone. Something I come to regret is not purchasing from Matt the ice pack he uses. 

I use a large baggie of ice inside another baggie because they inevitably melt through a single baggie and get everything wet. The one Matt uses on me is a pack of artificial ice that wraps fully around my ankle and foot. Much more efficient and effective and I gotta say, colder!

I’m still not able to drive. Wearing the boot even though fully weight-bearing is a hazard. Matt told me that if I got in an accident I’d be at fault and insurance probably wouldn’t cover it. Might even be arrested. That’s fine. Yolanda can drive me to PT.

According to the recovery protocol the next step is to wean myself away from the boot and into a sturdy shoe or hiking boot. Again, it’s a two or four week process as I increase the amount of time each day I wear the shoe. Once again I’m in no hurry. Proper recovery from my ankle replacement surgery is what’s most important.

By Dennis Jones/Dreamcatcher Imaging