It's hard to believe it's been one whole month since I went under the knife! Much has happened in the last two weeks with my recovery.
Three weeks post-surgery I had my first official post-op appointment at OHSU. My bulky splint finally came off and I got to see and touch my foot and lower leg. After being stuck in the splint for three weeks the skin on my leg was dry and scaly and my calf had atrophied quite a bit, which was all to be expected. There was some dulled sensation in my lower leg due to minor nerve damage. Apparently this should resolve completely in several months.
To both my and my doctor's surprise, there was almost no swelling or bruising in my foot and ankle! This is good for two main reasons: 1) less swelling usually means less pain, and 2) less swelling means stitches heal better. Having no swelling with major foot surgery is highly unusual. I chalk this up to keeping the foot elevated most of the time and possibly my continuation of bromelain and curcumin supplements - both anti-inflammatories.
The stitches on my lateral ankle and top of my 1st metatarsal had healed well enough that I got them removed during the appointment - 11 stitches total. Not too bad for a major surgery! After the stitches were removed I went into a pretty comfortable CAM boot which I will wear for another 9 weeks. As this was week 3, I still have to be non-weightbearing for a while longer.
I had my first post-op physical therapy appointment this week as well. This doctor also remarked in all her years of practice she has never seen so little swelling after foot surgery. With my foot out of the boot, I did some ankle dorsiflexion exercises with her, which I have to continue 3x/day for the next three weeks. My ankle feels very stiff and weak but I'm sure if I do the exercises regularly mobility will improve.
One of the week's most exciting developments is finding a way to do cardio at the gym. I have been lifting weights 3x/week but miss getting my heart rate up more - plus, I want to stay in decent aerobic shape until I can get back in the pool or on a stationary bike again (3 more weeks!). The rowing machine at the gym was the ticket. I simply placed a platform next to the machine and rested my boot on the platform. I took care to not place any weight through the foot as I pivoted lightly on the heel. The current plan is to incorporate the rowing machine into my gym routine 3x/week.