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 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!!!!!

 
 
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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!

21 weeks post lisfranc surgery

 
 
 
 
 
After 21 weeks of lisfranc surgery recovery I can now easily stand on my tip toes AND keep my balance without hanging on to the counter.
 
21 weeks after lisfranc surgery

My physical therapist told me I was about 65% – 70% of the way to full recovery.  I resisted the urge to hug him when I heard this news.  
 

 
21 weeks post lisfranc surgery left side view

 
In physical therapy this week, my therapist tied both my legs together with a band and had me walking sideways.  This action put a lot of pressure on the inside of my recovering foot which is where most of my pain still resides.
I was pleased this new exercise didn’t cause any additional pain, but rather gave me new confidence in being able to side step.
 
lisfranc surgery scar week 21
 
 
I can now walk not only forwards and backwards, I can walk sideways pain free.  This new ability came in handy when my husband and I went to a movie and had to crawl over people by side stepping  to our seats.
 
21 weeks post lisfranc surgery right side view
 
Having gained confidence in my ability to move in any direction, I am experimenting with leaving my cane in the car.
 
 
To remain pain free, I have to walk slowly but I can now maneuver out of the way if need be.  I am continually amazed at how fast everyone walks and wonder why everyone always seems to be in a hurry.  It is like I am moving in slow motion and everyone else in fast forward. 
 
If I try to speed up, pain takes over, so for now, I will be content to watch the blur of people darting past me.
 
21 weeks post lisfranc surgery
 
 
 

20 Weeks post lisfranc surgery

 
20 weeks post lisfranc surgery

After my setback last week it feels incredible to arrive at 20 weeks post lisfranc surgery with very little ongoing pain.

 
This week my physical therapist had me try walking backward on the treadmill!!!  I was apprehensive, wondering if walking backward was something I also had to re-learn.  He assured me that my muscle memory would take over and I would do just fine.  So at .8 MPH and while holding on to the treadmill side handles, I walked backward for 2 whole minutes.  I have to admit, I was super proud of my accomplishment.  My therapist even shouted out, “that’s my girl!”  
20 weeks post lisfranc surgery scar
 
With that success under my belt,  my physical therapist then had me try walking sideways.  I couldn’t believe my foot was ready for new adventures in walking, but it was!  Walking sideways was a little tender and my foot felt a little tight, but it was not painful.
 
20 Weeks post lisfranc surgery
 
 
I have also experimented with leaving my treasured cane in my car during activities that don’t require a lot of walking.  (like short errands, dining at restaurants etc.)   I thought leaving my cane behind would be hard because my foot may start to hurt and I wouldn’t have anything to lean on.  But that has not been the case.  I have been able to walk reasonably pain free as long as I walk slowly and carefully.
 
But, being cane free has led me to discover something quite unexpected.  Walking slowly causes people around me to become impatient, even though I am carefully trying to stay out of everyone’s way. I have even had a few people bump into me!  For 20 weeks I have been used to people giving me a wide birth and without my cane announcing that there is something going on with my mobility, people naturally assume all is well.  No one suspects that even a little shove can throw me off balance, causing sharp pain while I regain my footing.
 
 
20 weeks post lisfranc surgery
 
I have been longing for the next step of my recovery, which would be to get rid of the cane. But, after a few attempts being in public without any signal to the world that I am recovering from a foot injury, I am no longer in a hurry to give up my cherished cane…..at least not quite yet.
19 weeks after lisfranc surgery scar

This week has been a rough, painful week.  Every step I took, even in sneakers, caused a sharp, shooting pain in my mid-foot.  What bothered me the most was that my foot continued to have intermittent shooting pain even when at rest.

 
I know my tendency  is to overwork my foot, so I cut out HydroWorx water therapy.  I was not able to do my home therapy exercises and painfully made it through necessary daily activities.
 
I was really looking forward to my physical therapy appointment so that I could discuss the possibility that I may have sustained a stress fracture. During my appointment my therapist compared my recovering foot’s flexibility with my “normal foot.” As he manipulated my recovering foot he noted my muscles in my foot were very stiff and not as flexible as last week.  
 
While pressing on various parts of my foot he and I discussed at length the type of pain I was having making me clarify exactly where I was having pain.  He made me differentiate between aching, shooting pain and just being stiff.  When he forcefully pressed his thumbs underneath my foot, tears sprung to my eyes. 
 
 I looked up at him and he said, “I guess that hurt, right?”  
 
I said, “You have never hurt me before, so it took me by surprise.”
 
As he continued to test areas of my foot for amount of pain, I learned to be a little more vocal about the pain level number I was experiencing while he pressed.  
 
After a few minutes he took both his hands and squeezed my foot, scrunching all my toes together.  I realized he wasn’t looking at my foot anymore and was watching me carefully for my reaction. 
 
I smiled at him and said, “now that doesn’t hurt at all.”
 
He smiled back and said, “good, that means you do not have a stress fracture.” 
 
 He went on to say that if I did have a stress fracture, I would have probably kicked him when he squeezed my foot with that amount of pressure.   I assured him I would never kick him, but he did make his point.  I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from me.  
 
 
lisfranc physical therapy
 
Together as we talked, we discovered the pain I was experiencing was a lot like when you get a charlie horse in your calf, only mine was in my mid-foot.  That is why my pain continued intermittently even at rest.  I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  What I was experienceing was overworking of the muscles in my foot which is a normal part of walking again!!!  

19 Weeks post lisfranc surgery

 

19 Weeks post lisfranc surgery image right side

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