14 July-Going down heel !...fast

So today I am going down heel, and it is a good thing I guess.

No I am not (yet) riding the Tour de France, and I am not talking about descending the Pyrenees (today they are cycling from Saint Girons to Foix). But I am talking about my boot (remember the one I got a week ago).

As the orthopedist, ordered, I need to remove one layer of the wedge heel every Friday for the next 3 weeks. Reading through other people blog, it seems to be pretty aggressive.

Well I had a slow start, as it took 10 days to get the correct diagnostic, then 4 weeks of cast non weight bearing. But since then it is moving along relatively quick, as I went straight, well it took a couple of hours, to non-weight bearing to full-weight bearing. Also it isn't really full weight as I am in a boot with the wedge heel. I can tell between the boot frame and the incline of the foot, there isn't the full weight of my body that sits on that tendon, but it isn't a competition and the good thing is to regain freedom as I don't have to use the crutches. The only time I use one crutch, it is when I go outdoor but it is more for being comfortable and hence be able to walk longer than anything else.

I am doing my exercises 3 times a day. The first time it felt really awkward, I was almost not able to move my foot inwards, without moving the whole leg. Now I have added some exercises of my own:

  • Turning the foot gently clockwise and anticlockwise, I think it helps a lot with ankle mobility. I found that my ankle was getting stiff after 4 weeks in a cast and now the boot. I wonder what for those people who spend 8 to 12 weeks with the foot completely immobilized; all ankle flexibility must be gone by then.   
  • Rolling gently a golf ball, under the foot. Again, I found that there was a bit of crackling noise down under the plantar fascia when I was doing the exercises ordered by the orthopedist.  So while I am sitting, I gently roll my bare foot over a golf ball, just putting a tiny bit of pressure on the fascia without stretching the tendon. It feels really good.
  • Using an elastic band with the boot on. For that one I am lying on my back to exercise the quadriceps (band above both knees, and you move the bent leg outwards) and the hamstring (pulling the leg, with the band around your foot). 
  • I also think that after exercising I should put some ice and elevate the foot for 10 minutes, I should try this soon and see if it helps.
I don't really know why doctors don't ask more people to do the above, there could be a reason and maybe I am completely wrong, and I soon will regret it. However right now, for me it seems to help, the foot and leg aren't as stiffed, you fight boredom so it is good for the morale. And for me it is a natural extension of the the aggressive plan ordered by the orthopedist. I, not the orthopedist, use the word aggressive, as I make a comparison with what I have read on other blogs: 8 to 12 weeks with the foot completely immobilized, partial weight bearing for few weeks, full weight bearing and removing the wedge heel every 2 weeks rather than every week.

Anyway back to the title of this blog, today I removed one layer on the wedge heel within the boot. Below you will see the picture, with 3 and then with 2 layers. Putting back the boot I can feel the whole ankle,and not just the back, is a bit stretched; but so far it feels good. I will keep you posted with the progress over the next few days.

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