Yesterday was my first physical therapy appointment. I woke up at 5:00am anticipating the beginning of the 3rd and final part of my lisfranc recovery journey.
When we started talking about my continual big toe aching and ongoing numbness I found out that during lisfranc open reduction/fixation surgery my big toe was held down in an awkward position throughout the entire surgery. Now I know why it still hurts so much and I am no longer worried that something is wrong.
When she asked me to stand in my stocking feet and put all of my weight on my recovering foot I broke out into a cold sweat and started to shake all over. I told her that as motivated as I was to get my life back, I didn’t think my foot was ready yet. I honestly thought the pain would be too great.
My therapist said a lot of the recovery from lisfranc surgery is psychological. We talked several minutes about the fear if re-injury and how tough the last 6 weeks have been. I shared with her that even the thought of having to go through this experience again terrifies me. She reassured me that my bones have done all the healing they can and that there was no way I was going to re-injure myself with the exercises she was going to ask me to do.
She then took my hands and I slowly lifted up my good foot and eased into putting my entire weight on my recovering foot. Did it hurt? Absolutely! Was it worth it? Without a doubt! After holding the position for 20 seconds, I was so happy I couldn’t stop smiling. I looked up at her and she was beaming too.
She showed me 4 other exercises she wanted me to do which were all painful at first. But as my muscles started to wake up again, it got easier and less painful with each movement.
Next she brought me over to a recumbent stationery bike and told me I was going to pedal for 7 minutes. I couldn’t believe it!!! I looked at her in shock and said, “really?” She had me grab the handle bars which showed my pulse at 130. That was how scared I was to try peddling a bike! At first she let me use my left leg to do all the work while my right leg went along for the ride. But after a few revolutions, my right leg was able to join in. As the pain lessened, my pulse dropped down to 72 and I was able to go faster and faster. I was so pleased with myself that I went 10 minutes and 1 3/4 miles before she came and pulled me off the bike. I was out of breath and ecstatic! I actually used my foot to pedal a bike.
Now I was ready for the final part of my first physical therapy session. She was going to teach me how to walk again! Very slowly I took my fist step: Heel down, rotate weight to toes, follow through with bending the arch. I had to take it slower than a 2 year old, but I managed several steps in a row and all without the boot!!!!!
We finished the session with the most wonderful ice machine which wrapped my foot in ice and massaged it at the same time.
I was sent home with 6 exercises to do twice a day and was also instructed to practice walking a few steps several times a day while repeating my new mantra, heel, toe, follow through!!