This is the hardest time for recovery!


Forget all the drama of learning to put weight on the foot, leaning to walk and to roll again, even to run. That was easy, because it was so clear. This is the hardest time. I still need to work at it if I am going to get back everything (or almost everything) I had, but things keep, legitimately, getting in the way. Last weekend we hosted a seminar, so I spent several days helping take the teacher all over the city, (which involved a lot of walking) as well as working out for several hours a day. I enjoyed it a lot, but it meant that I skipped the gym. The good news was that I was able to do the entire seminar, with a little break to ice the foot, and short naps during breaks. The not-so-good was that the foot hurt where the screw is, especially when I pivoted. And, of course, my legs got really tired, so that walking up the stairs was a chore. Today I should go riding or to the gym, but I don’t know if I will, because I have errands to run.

Part of the problem is that before I retired, I had a schedule. Now I don’t. So I know what I have to do. Re-establish a schedule and follow it. Maybe next week….

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21 comments so far

  1. joseph on

    have you looked into osteopathy to help? I know they’ve done wonders for my ankle mobility recently and I didn’t even know I had messed up ankles!

    • fractralfoot on

      What made you go, if you didn’t know?

    • fractralfoot on

      I think it is so neat that you read my blog!

      On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 10:18 AM, chris Jordan wrote:

      > What made you go, if you didn’t know? > >

  2. Emma on

    Hi Everyone,
    I’m fairly new to this, but I have a significant fracture & Lisfranc injury……. I did it on April 3rd & am still none weight bearing although in an aircast boot now.
    My diagnosis following Xray was a fracture of the medial corner of the 1st metatarsal, fracture at the base of the 2nd & 3rd metatarsals, fractured lateral cuneiform & a split in the base of the 4th metatarsal. Subluxation (partial dislocation) of the 2nd TNT joint & the 3rd TMT joint was significantly fragmented. Other spider fractures in the surrounding bones were evident…..
    I had an op on April 15th which consisted of a fusion (with bone graft) of the 3rd TMT joint, open reduction of the 2nd metatarsal with fixation & further closed reductions of the 1st, 2nd & 4th metatarsals with fixation.
    I have started writing a blog too, I posted my xrays etc, you can see it on

    http://lisfranci.blogspot.com

    Can I ask you, how long it took you to walk without crutches, once you were out of the boot ?
    I’ve had my K wire removed but have to have another op next month to remove some plates & screws before I can start to fully weight bear. I have no idea how long after then it will be before I will be able to walk without my crutches.

    Emma.

    • fractralfoot on

      Hi, Emma, welcome to the Lisfranc community, such as it is! Thank you for putting me on your blog roll. I will add you to mine.

      It’s hard to remember exactly when I was walking independently, because it was very gradual, but I know that in mid-July I was using still using crutches. By mid-August, I was walking with a cane, at least in the house, and by the end of August, I was using a cane outside. My surgeon and therapist were quite conservative, so I may have stayed with the crutches a bit longer than necessary. Certainly, the boot could have come off (when I wasn’t walking) significantly earlier.

  3. Emma on

    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for your reply & comment you posted on my blog. It has been tough to keep myself positive, my consultant said at the start that I wouldn’t make a full recovery, but that we would work towards the best possible recovery. At present he will not commit to a long term prognosis, which is fair I guess, as all of us “Lisfrancs” are individual 🙂 But I do worry & wonder what kind of mobility I’ll be left with. I do sail competitively & had most of my Summer booked for racing with various crews, but obviously had to withdraw & let them all know I’m out for this year.
    After researching & googling Lisfranc experiences, I would like to say that your blog is one of the more positive stories I have read, as well as being the nearest similar injury to mine that I’ve managed to find.
    I’m still none weight bearing & will remain so until the next appointment & Xrays, on the 28th June. I will keep in touch if that’s OK ? Oh & if anyone else reads this & is currently going through Lisfranc recovery I’d love to hear from them too 🙂

    • fractralfoot on

      Please do keep in touch! And don’t limit yourself to the idea that you will see all the recovery you are going to get at the end of one year (what is what most doctors say). I am at the end of year two, and my foot is still getting stronger!

  4. Sissie on

    Let’s see, I was off my foot totally from Thanksgiving until Easter. I’ve had six weeks of physical therapy. My foot is ok, but my knee is killing me. I don’t keep my foot straight when I walk which tweeks my knee. I’ve got most of my range of motion, but can’t seem to get the straight on up and down ankle movement to improve. Any ideas?
    Emma, I too agree with you. This is the only place with a positive, can do outlook I’ve found online. It has really encouraged me.

    • fractralfoot on

      I checked my blog, and I do see that my ankle was still very stiff after 6 weeks of PT. My toes were stiff, too, which made it hard to go down stairs properly. Do you find there are any issues with the toes, because that might affect your walking..I remember that we did lunges to help with the ankle flexibility. I also used a board that was mounted on a hemisphere and had to rotate it with my foot. But frankly, I would try to get some more pt or bodywork from a good practitioner, even if it’s just a one-time visit to have their assessment of what is going on! You don’t need a knee problem after all that work! I did get some extra pt after the insurance ran out, but stopped, and later realized that I should have continued with them. If the foot is turning in or out, you might have some muscle inbalance, but you really need a professional opinion.

      I am really glad people are finding the blog useful!

  5. Sissie on

    Good to know about the ankle stuff. Since then I have found I have Morton’s neuroma — new interesting pain. But using ice and anti-inflammatory seems to help. I keep working on keeping my foot straight — it feels like I’m walking pigeoned toed. I look down and my foot is straight. What do you mean by bodywork? Did you get those new shoes yet? Thanks for all you do.

    • fractralfoot on

      Hi! yes, I got the shoes and I’m doing very light running. By suggesting bodywork, I mean something like pilates, feldenkais, etc…therapies that work with strength and alignment. I haven’t done much with them, but friends have found them very helpful. I can’t suggest which one, but a physical therapist usually is familiar with at least a few types and could make a suggestion. I always suggest talking to a doctor or therapist making a decision…

  6. Sissie on

    Thanks. I looked up bodywork and found cars 🙂
    Hopefully I will be back to physical therapy soon. I;m so glad you are running, light or otherwise. Your like the poster child of recovery. I think it makes me feel like with hard work, I can determine my destiny — not a silly trip in the driveway. Happy summer!

  7. Nucklehead on

    Hi, I am also a Lisfranc victim and am happy to have found this site. One evening I was playing badminton. I sprinted for a drop shot, planted my right foot to stop, then rolled over it. I went to the ER right away, but the attending told me it was just a sprain. I walked on it for almost three weeks before seeing a podiatrist who got an orthopedic surgeon to diagnose my Lisfranc.

    I had a 5mm dislocation and fracture of the second and third TMT. It required ORIF and two screws. I am starting my 9th week and began physio and weight bearing exercises two weeks ago. The first few days were brutal. The bottom of my foot was sensitive to everything I touched. My toes did not sit flat on the floor and my foot was still swollen. My ankles were stiff and weak and it hurt to put weight on it, especially my big toe. My advice is if you can, go into a pool to begin your routine and have a trained physiotherapist teach you exercises you can do in the water. Hopefully the pool will have a hot tub because it can do wonders for stiff joints if your stretch in warm water. For two weeks, I treated this like a full time job, physio, gym, pool, and whirlpool. I am now able to walk (slowly) without my crutches around the house and in my gym. My surgeon saw me yesterday and was pretty impressed at my progress. Being the cynic I am, I told him I was really depressed and was expecting more. He said these injuries take a long time to recover.

    The hardest part for me is the anxiety and depression that comes with this injury. If somebody has any advice on how to deal with this, I’m all ears. I am 39 with three kids. I used to be quite athletic and the thought of not running or playing with my kids, or not being able to walk with them on vacation is crushing me. I have fears of walking with a limp or walking with constant pain. I am a typical male – fix things and bottle up your feelings. When I read some of the stories in this blog, I felt connected to them. I am amazed at how much stronger women are at dealing with this injury than men. I hope everybody is doing well. Encouragement and positivity is crucial.

    • fractralfoot on

      If you are walking, albeit slowly, after 9 weeks, it seems pretty amazing to me! The advice about working out in a pool make a lot of sense. I wish I could have done that. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember the anxiety and depression. I was lucky to have a therapist who had a really positive outlook about the body’s healing capacity. You keep in mind that you mainly get the horror stories on the net. There are people who heal and don’t worry about it any more!

      By the way, I have just started a running program that I hope to write a post about soon…and I am working out regularly on the mat, so there is really hope of recovery. I bet your kids won’t let you do anything else! Best of luck with it, and don’t be shy to write and complain, or let us know your “new skills.” We all need to encourage each other!

      • Nucklehead on

        I find that I am internalizing all my frustration and just having a conversation (even if its through a blog) is therapeutic. Thank you for that. Way to go on the running program. I cant wait to read it.

  8. Emma on

    I haven’t been on here for a while……………….. I went through a very tough stage, it was around weeks 8-11. I started to become very withdrawn, I started to not return phone calls to friends etc, just couldn’t face it. I think it was just because everyone around me seemed to be getting on with their lives, they all had so much going on & lots to talk about. Whereas me, I just felt like someone had pressed pause in my life & all I had to talk about was “The foot”. I also felt very sorry for myself & yet again angry & frustrated.
    I’m on here this morning because of the lovely comments I’ve received on my blog from Nucklehead & Sissie………………..

    So today, I have been home on my own for 1 week & making the move proved to be the positive boost that I needed. I have just started 50% weight bearing, in the boot & on crutches & would like to say to Nucklehead, if you are walking after 9 weeks, you are doing brilliantly !

    Sissie- don’t give up, hang in there girl ! I’m following you, as I’m a bit behind you in the recovery process, keep in touch & maybe we can help each other along. Although I seem to be doing OK at the moment according to my consultant, I am extremely daunted by what may lay ahead following removal of some of the plates & screws in a couple of weeks.

    Fractalfoot- You have written a great, encouraging & positive blog ! As well as explaining your excellent recovery very well, your responses to comments etc are well written & positive, keep it up !

    • Nucklehead on

      Thanks for the positive comments. I still cant push off with my bad foot really well. When I do, I experience some pain and it scares the living daylights out of me. That’s the toughest part of this whole process. I am always scared, depressed and angry. Today, my daughter asked my wife to teach her how to ride a bike. She didn’t even bother to ask me knowing full well I wasn’t able to. I just continued eating dinner and held back my tears. I am trying to stay positive, just like the rest of you. Nobody really understands this process. I still need crutches on long walks. Yesterday, some old lady just walked past me and bumped me without blinking an eye. If you or anybody else want to email me about anything, please feel free to at nuckleheads@hotmail.com. I pray we all recover.

  9. Sissie on

    Nucklehead, you are doing great! At nine weeks I was still in a cast with no weight bearing. I seem to be moving slower during recovery, but my doctor is very conservative and I’m old LOL. I totally understand your depression. When I first went online looking for info on lisfranc and what I could expect I found the dark side. And my doctor was straight up with me about what I would and would not be able to do. When I rebelled and said no way on some things, he told me to think of it as a personal challenge and he would be happy to be proved wrong.
    Then I found this blog. And if you all can do it, then I can too. I am faithful to my physical therapy exercises, and I know now to keep working at it. I’m still waiting for the next set of 12 sessions.. I’m also considering joining a gym.
    I’ve had problems with my knee that is slowing me down, but things are getting better. I’m learning how to judge what I can do in a day and what I can’t.
    I get afraid, too. I’m scared I might fall and break something else or reinjure my foot. So I allow myself to take my time. Allow myself to enjoy being out in the sunshine. I also look back. I’ve been non weight bearing for 9+ weeks. After 5 months of non weight bearing (I had surgery 3 1/2 weeks after the break because of insurance crud). Now I’m facing some nerve problem, but ice and anti infammatories seem to be work. Thank God.
    This week I went up and down 7 stairs — doesn’t sound like much, but that’s what started my knee pain. I could feel a big smile on my face, no one could understand how I was feeling. I couldn’t drive for 5 months, so I do feel a lot freer now.
    But I’ve moved from being wheelchair dependent to a walker and now a cane. And I can walk around the house now, Mostly limping, but not always. So my advice is to celebrate the little things — being able to make yourself a sandwich, get your own water, get from one place to another under your own power.
    When I look back and notice, wow, I’ve only been using a cane for 3 weeks. Hey, I can go to the grocery store and push the cart myself. I give myself a pat on the back. I believe I will get better — I won’t run any marathons, skydive, or rock climb but I didn’t do that before. I will get better.
    Wow, I guess I had more to say than I thought. But bottom line, hang in there.

    • Nucklehead on

      Hi Sissie,

      Thank you for your encouragement. Your strength and perseverance gives me hope. I will hang in there. My surgeon was not as conservative. He basically wanted me to transition to a stiff soled shoe as soon as possible. I couldn’t wear the boot because my surgical wound didn’t heal properly. At six weeks I was supposed to be partial weight bearing with the boot, but the boot tension on the straps kept on reopening my wound. So I got fed up and asked the doctor if I could wear MBT sandals instead of the boot. He agreed, so at the seventh week I was using crutches and my sandals. I did this for a week and then my wound was good enough for an MBT shoe. I was very scared that I wasn’t following protocol but my surgeon OK’d it, so I had to trust him. I guess he wanted me to go partial weight bearing as soon as possible because it was critical to the healing. I tried to go back to the boot, but it impeded on my gait. When I saw my surgeon last week, he said that its fine to wear the MBTs. I believe that this has helped me transition faster, but always in the back of my mind I was worried it caused more damage. I guess its difficult to trust your doctor. I am being really careful with my PT and training. Every time I get a little pain, I am terrified. I will try to enjoy the little things. If you have any questions about physio therapy please let me know. Thank-you and keep us posted.

    • fractralfoot on

      Hello, Knucklehead, this discussion is bringing back a lot of memories! I re-sheduled an my two-month appointment with the surgeon (making it a week later) because I misunderstood something he said, then worried mightily that I had messed up my recovery and would have to return to work later, etc. etc. Looking back, it seems silly, but at the time…I got really afraid when there was an enormous thunderstorm and my husband was away for the weekend. Since I live on the fifth floor, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to get out if the building were hit by lightning. I think it’s really normal to get at least a bit upset or depressed when one trashes a part of the body. The good thing is that you are doing the physical therapy anyway and are making great progress!

      By the way, pressing off with the hurt (not bad!) foot is one of the last skills I was able to regain. I have to be able to do that to do forward rolls, and for ages I just couldn’t manage it. Now I can do forward and back rolls, so that’s something I would suggest not worrying about at this point. I am willing to bet that the exercise you are already doing,,walking on the toes, will probably help.

      Your daughter sounds like a neat kid. She has the graciousness not to ask her dad to do something she knows he can’t easily do right now. It doesn’t mean she won’t ask you to help her learn to swim crawl next week (if she can’t already do it) or to rock climb next year!

      Keep up the good work….Chris

      • Nucklehead on

        Hi Chris. Your comments made me feel a lot better. I have been getting a lot of anxiety attacks lately, so I understand what you went through. The fear overwhelms you and takes over. I have been grinding my teeth from stress and now my jaw joint is killing me. I am going to see a TMJ specialist this week to see what they can do. My wife has never seen me like this – I am the rock of this family. I explained to her that my fears are very real, even though they do not line up with her perception of the injury. She has been very supportive and understanding. It has really been difficult, but your comments and the comments of others are helping me to cope better. The good thing is that I have been working out about 2-3 hours a day on top of seeing physio twice a week. It has made a difference, both physically and mentally. Today, I walked on my toes in the pool while holding two kickboards stacked together – baby steps, one step at a time. The bike workouts release endorphins that make me feel better. I also find that eating smaller meals more frequently balances my blood sugar and helps to control the lows a bit better. I’ve also tried to re-establish my routine of house chores, cooking, bathing the kids, reading to them etc, etc. Today, we went to a park and I left my crutches in the car for the first time and walked to the playground. Mind you, it was a short distance, but the triumph was more pyschological. For a brief moment, I ventured to walk without those damn crutches. Sissie told me to enjoy the wins of little battles, so I will focus on what I did well today. I really hope whoever reads my highs and lows will benefit from it like I did with your stories and advice. All of you have made a huge difference in my life already. Thank you for that.

        Jim


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