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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Fantastic news!

 
Today I had my 24 week surgical follow up and my surgeon’s exact words were:

“The bones in your foot are completely healed and fused together, exactly like they should be.”

x-ray showing complete healing 24 weeks after lisfranc surgery

All of my fractures are healed, my joints are aligned and my lisfranc joint is fused.  I couldn’t be happier with my healing and progress!!!

lisfranc healing 24 weeks after surgery

He went on to review with me my x-rays from before my surgery, at my 2 week check, 6 week check, 12 week check and today’s 24 week check. 

 
Lisfranc injury before surgery
lisfranc joint completely healed 24 weeks after surgery

 

My surgeon noted that my foot still has some slight swelling and discoloration and I filled him in on my continued pain when walking, especially when I try to walk fast.  I also told him I was unable to run, jog or jump and he said that was normal at this stage, and realistically it would take another 6 months to fully and completely recover. 

He also said that if I was an athlete it was time to have the discussion about hardware removal, and I laughed and told him my goal has always been to walk down our steep driveway and get the mail, and I can do that now!   He smiled, and continued to say that a lot of women want the hardware removed in order to be able to wear cute shoes again.  Of course that got my attention, especially after wearing neon green and pink sneakers for the last couple of months! 

I showed him the top of my foot and traced the area with my finger where I thought the hardware was and he affirmed that it was indeed the plates I was feeling under my skin.  I also asked if hardware removal would help with the itching in that same area and he said it definitely would stop the irritation.  Removing the plates and screws may even help with the cramping I have been getting in the arch of my foot.  (Although the cramping most likely is related to my muscles re-building.)

Removing the plates and screws is a simple procedure, and the incision would be along the same line as my lisfranc incision.  I would be full weight bearing right after the surgery with stitches removed at 2 weeks and full recovery at 3 weeks.  So, I decided to have my plates and screws removed and scheduled surgery for Jan 8th 2014.  (Hardware removal should be done within 1 year of original surgery.)

I am not at all discouraged, though, since I know my bones are healed, my muscles are continuing to develop properly  and my lisfranc recovery journey is on the right path.

After healing for 24 weeks from lisfranc surgery, I am finally able to walk DOWN the steep hill of our driveway!!!!!!




For weeks my ultimate goal has been to be able to walk both up and DOWN our driveway to get our mail which  not only emcompasses a very steep hill, it is 2/10 of a mile round trip!

Today I accomplished my goal!!!!!!!  My recovering foot ached a little going down, but I have to say it was more tender than painful.  Going up was not too hard at all!

With the help of my husband, I also planted 90 tulips, and did several other outside tasks.  When my foot said it was time to quit, I happily elevated and iced, knowing I am now doing things I haven’t been able to do in over 7 months!!!!!

There is a pot of gold at the end of lisfranc recovery and today I took back a few more missing pieces of my life…..


 
 

 Today I officially “graduated” from physical therapy!!!  Plus, my therapist said it was time to retire my cane permanently!!!! I am absolutely ready to start my “real life” and slowly begin my “normal” activities once again.

 
 
Good – Bye cane!  (24 weeks post lisfranc surgery)

My PT measured my range of motion and compared it to my non injured foot and announced that I now have my full range of motion once again.  When he measured my foot strength, I almost pushed him off his chair!!  He actually laughed and said my foot is now full strength.  No more atrophy!!!

 
24 weeks after lisfranc surgery image

 
My actual recovery test score came in at a disappointing 70% but that is because I cannot run, jog or walk very far yet.  That will take more time. But I can walk slowly, and I am absolutely thrilled with my progress!
 
 
24 weeks after lisfranc surgery picture
right side view
 
My instructions moving forward are pretty simple.  “Listen to my foot.”   I can resume going to the club and use the stationery bike, the elliptical machine and also the leg press, (In addition to my treadmill at home.) He also said to go ahead and do the balancing exercises and stretches to keep my range of motion and flexibility.
 
24 weeks post lisfranc surgery
left side view
 
 
 
When it came time to actually say “good-bye” it was much harder than I ever imagined.  How do you say “good-bye” to the man who taught you to walk again?  There are not the right words to express the depth of my gratitude for what he helped me accomplish.  He gave me my life back! So, after a huge hug and a few tears (on my part), I rushed to my car consoling myself with the fact that today is most likely his last day before he goes out on paternity leave.  His wife is due to have their baby boy any minute, so I wouldn’t have had him for another PT session anyway.
 
24 weeks post lisfranc surgery scar

The next milestone for me will be my 24 week post surgical follow up which is next Tuesday.  Hopefully that will result in good news as well!!!!!

 
 

 

 

The first snowflakes of the season are falling today in the Twin Cities and not the pretty fluffy kind. This snow is more like ice pellets.

 

I cannot believe my lisfranc recovery summer is over and winter is edging near.  My lisfranc injury occurred on March 9th 2013 and my lisfranc surgery took place on May 10th, 2013.  At that time, I never dreamed I would still be thinking constantly about my foot and my ability to walk as the Minnesota snow season officially starts once again.

 

 

 

 

23 weeks post lisfranc surgery image

 

 

I now have the ability to stop quickly and even maneuver at a moments notice to get out of someone’s way. Even though I cannot do quick actions pain free, this new ability has come in handy in crowded situations.

 

Not every step I take is painless, but I have worked hard to reach my goal of “normal walking” and celebrate each step that is pain free  as I march towards the finish line.

 

23 weeks post lisfranc surgery scar image

 

I still measure how many steps it takes to get from one place to another, but the scope has greatly increased!  For example, instead of judging the actual step count from my chair to the kitchen, I now measure how long I will be on my feet happily walking around Nordstroms or the grocery store.  I know I have a limited amount of pain free steps, so I try to space out my errands so I can accomplish a little pain free walking each day.

 

 

23 weeks lisfranc surgery image right side view

 

I am really looking forward to my 24 week surgical follow up with my surgeon next week. I am hoping my x-rays will show a full recovery.

 

 

23 weeks after lisfranc surgery image left side view

 Friday, I will have my 28th and final physical therapy appointment and hope to hear I am 90% recovered!

 

After 23 weeks of healing after my lisfranc surgery, I am finally able to wear “real shoes.”

OK, so their not “cute shoes,” but they are not ugly!!!

 

23 weeks after lisfranc surgery and finally wearing real shoes

 


For weeks I  have been searching for comfortable flats that wouldn’t put pressure along my incision or press on the big toe area that is still numb.  In other words, I was looking for a shoe that fit like a sneaker, but looked like a real shoe.


I was just about to give up when I found out that I would need to attend a funeral of a dear friend.  I just couldn’t imagine wearing either pair of my neon sneakers to such a somber and formal affair.  So off to Nordstroms I went.  The salesman I had was fantastic and after explaining my situation, brought out these shoes:



Comfortable shoes after lisfranc surgery

 

 

 These shoes have a zipper on both sides for an easy, painless entry.  The leather is soft and flexible, virtually putting little to no pressure on the top of my foot when I take a step.

 

Double zippers make these shoes comfortable after lisfranc surgery

 

 The inside of the shoe has a nice arch support with removable soles in case my surgeon decides I will need to have orthotics.


When I wore my new shoes to church today, I was bubbling over with happiness.  I had to resist the urge to tell everyone, including  complete strangers, that I was wearing real shoes for the first time since March 9th, 2013!!! 


Instead I settled with smiling widely as I proudly walked down the isle to my seat. I felt my heart racing and it was hard to contain my elation at this momentous occasion. 


My friends, who asked me how my foot was doing,  were met with me excitedly pointing at my feet and announcing that I was wearing my first pair of real shoes. I received more than my share of hugs today!!!!!

A comfortable shoe brand to wear after lisfranc surgery

 

In case you want to check out my shoes, the brand name is Munro. They are not cheap, but not nearly as expensive as Manalo Blahik’s.

I am celebrating today!  
 
Ever since I had lisfranc surgery  my mantra has been, 
“I am just a middle class housewife who wants to be able to walk down her driveway and get her mail.”
 
This dream doesn’t sound unattainable until you realize our driveway is not a short driveway with a mailbox at the end.  Nope.   Our mailbox is located exactly 1/10 of a mile from our garage door and our house is perched on top of an immensely steep hill, which makes it perfect for sledding in the winter. 
 
walking a hill after lisfranc surgery
 
 
My physical therapist and I discussed the possibility that I may be ready to take on “the driveway challenge” and he ultimately gave me permission to try walking up our driveway and see how that goes, before trying the harder challenge of walking down the driveway.
Walking up a hill during lisfranc recovery
 
 
So, after coming home from church today, I had my husband drop me off at our mailbox so that I could make my first attempt at my driveway dream.  I knew that if I ran into trouble, my husband would come down and pick me up.  My taxi ride may be on his John Deere instead of in a car, but at least I knew I had a ride if need be.
 
 
 
Pain free while climbing a hill 22 weeks after lisfranc surgery
 
 
I was apprehensive, wondering if my foot was physically able to make the climb, and I was also curious if scaling the hill would cause pain.
 
22 weeks post lisfranc surgery and walking up a hill

 

After managing the steepest part of the journey, I knew I was going to make it all the way to the top AND I made it 
PAIN FREE!!!

Next challenge—walking down my driveway!

Before I ever heard of a lisfranc fracture I took my feet and my ability to walk for granted.
Normal feet before a lisfranc injury

I was diagnosed with a lisfranc fracture of my first two metatarsals  with ligature rupture and joint displacement and on May 10th, 2013, I had this titanium plate inserted into my foot.

 
 
 

Lisfranc fracture repair X-Ray
 
 
 
Lisfranc fracture repair X-Ray 

2 weeks after surgery, I had my cast removed.

 
 
2 weeks after lisfranc fracture surgery
Today, 22 weeks after my lisfranc surgery, my foot is almost healed!  I am approximately 75% – 80% of the way to the finish line!
 
During my 27th physical therapy appointment, my therapist was astounded at my progress just in this past week.  I was able to get through my exercises with little to no pain, even when he decided to make them harder and more challenging.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
22 weeks post lisfranc surgery
 
In the midst of my weekly foot massage and manipulation, I was mortified that my therapist noticed I was beginning to get callous’ on my recovering foot. ( I had made sure I received a pedicure before my appointment, so that my feet would look acceptable. ) He laughed when he saw how horrified I was and quickly explained that callous’ were a good thing and showed him I was healing. Callous’ mean that I am walking more and that my skin is starting to toughen up just as it is supposed to.
 
I shared a story with my therapist about how I woke up during the night, thinking I had a spider crawling on my big toe, which is still partially numb.  After snapping on the light and assuring myself I was not in bed with a spider, I realized what I felt was the sheet on my big toe!  Finally, after 22 weeks, I can feel a sheet sliding on the top of my foot!!!!!!  
 
 
 
lisfranc surgery image 22 weeks post op, right hand side
 
During my appointment my therapist worked with me on activities I can start to do at the health club ON MY OWN!!!  
 
At home, I can now be on my treadmill for 10 minutes a day.  (Forward, backward and sideway walking.)  I have permission to increase the amount of time slightly each week, because I promised to listen to any type of foot discomfort.
 
 

lisfranc surgery image week 22 left side view
It helps that my therapist is encouraging, patient, kind and is also my biggest cheerleader.  I am absolutely thrilled with my ability to walk forwards, backwards, sideways and with my strength to balance on my toes.  
 

 
But there is sadness to this process too.  I will soon be saying “good-bye” to the man who gave me back my ability to walk again.  Countless times he calmed my fears and patiently explained to me, in detail, what was going on during my recovery. Picking the right lisfranc surgeon is crucial, but having the right physical therapist is indispensable! 
 
 
22 weeks post lisfranc surgery image

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