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Ankle Surgery Rehabilitation | The Physio Movement

Posted on: Jun 10th, 2021 by thephysiomovement | Categories: Sports Medicine & Nutrition

Road to Rehab with Physiotherapist Connor McKay

 

In November 2020, I had reconstructive foot surgery, which consisted of a 1st metatarsal valgising osteotomy and a calcaneal osteotomy. Basically what this entails is cutting my heel in half, and shifting it across to allow my Achilles tendon to function better, and cutting a piece out of my 1st metatarsal to shift it into a more flattened position. I’d had chronic foot pain and a number of injuries on my right side, so this was a good chance for me to get my issues sorted and get back to racing comfortably, with no issues as I got older.

The first two weeks were spent in Brisbane, as the surgery was done by specialist foot surgeon Dr. Ben Forster. I was in a cast, unable to weight bear, stuck in an inner-city apartment trying to rest. From the start, the pain was pretty good, to the point where I thought “has he actually done anything, or is there just a cast here for the show?” Anyways, I’d come to terms with the surgery before the operation, to the point where I completely blew it up with a 33km run a few days beforehand, knowing that I could start from scratch and begin my rehab following. So that I did, doing as much as I could with that leg, my other leg, and my upper body, with no gym facilities. This was until the two-week mark, where I got my cast off and was able to go into a moon boot – still no weight bearing for another 4 weeks.

 

 

On the return to Townsville I was allowed to swim for very short periods now that the stitches were out. It was important to keep my foot in dorsiflexion to allow the surgery to work, so I was only allowed to swim for 15mins at a time, and only allowed to take my boot off to shower otherwise. So you can bet that 15mins was made the hardest 15min swim of my life! Outside this, Scott (Senior Physio at TPM) helped me to start my rehabilitation, giving me a gym program that I could do with my boot on. At the 5-week mark, I was allowed to cycle with my boot on.

 

 

 

At the 6-week mark, I was finally allowed to put some weight on my foot. With the help of Senior Physios Scott & Stent, I began with 25%, and progressed 25% each week until I could fully weightbear. I used the pool to help get my normal walking pattern back (without the boot), and increased my swimming and cycling. The big focus strength-wise was my calf, which had completely wasted away from 12 weeks of not walking. At 12 weeks, I had a review and was finally allowed to take the boot off. Scott had been working on getting the mobility in my ankle and foot, and I had about 8cm more dorsiflexion than prior to the surgery, which was a massive win.

 

 

After my review, where I was able to be out of the boot full time, I began working on my return to run plan with Scott + Stent. At the 4-month mark I was allowed to start on the Alter G – building up each week until 5 months where I took my first steps on the road. All the while I had been working on my calf strength, balance, mobility and lower limb strength to support the foot. The first run back felt like a dream! All the hard work eventually pays off. I have had a small setback now, but luckily I am surrounded by a great team of physios that will have me back on deck ASAP! For all your post-operative and return to run needs, I am happy to recommend my own team (and I’m not biased!)

 

 

Learn more about post operative care and rehabilitation at TPM

Phone: 1300 876 348 or email info@thephysiomovement.com.au to schedule an appointment.

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Contact

     517 Flinders Street
Townsville City Qld 4810
     1300 TPM FIT or 4740 4516
     info@thephysiomovement.com.au
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