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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

[QUOTE=charlie0783;5138713].... any suggestions how I could get my life back?[/QUOTE]

I have a different perspective on this one. I don't see the situation as "Live with it." You have three possible situations here.

The first is your commitment.
With a broken leg you just wait it out while your body heals itself. With your calcaneus an enormous amount of effort and discipline is required. The healing follows a progression with requisite steps. You have to have adequate blood flow to the foot. You have to work it a lot. If that's too tough at first then make up the difference with leg exercises. (You'll be getting to them anyway.) If you're limited on that, then any physical exertion you can manage will be called for. That's not just a few minutes a day but several times, then longer and/or more each day.
Next is flexibility of the foot. It will only bend so far as you make it. Have you ever done push-ups? The most you can do on the first day is doubled within a few days just because your body gets the hang of it. You can double that again quickly as you add strength. With your foot your range of motion is going to be limited to where you leave it. Put your foot through every motion on its own and using your hands to assist. Again it's frequently.
The foot and leg will have weakened and stayed so due to disuse. You have to raise yourself up on your toes. Do it over and over. If you can't manage that yet get a "theraband" at any pharmacy and work with it religiously. And you have to do leg lifts. From on your stomach and on your back get your toes up there towards the ceiling. Do more than you want to.
Now your gait. You must commit to only walking properly. A limp will hurt your foot, ruin your knee and make your hip feel broken. You must step off your toes and land on your heel. Make your injured foot do exactly as much as the other. Pay strict attention. Take LONG slow and deliberate steps. You not only have to have been doing the earlier stated items to succeed, you have to keep doing them. There's a lot of work involved.
You won't see any change from day to day. But after a week and month you should get dividends. Being sore the same day and even the next is expected. Sometimes there's even a 'step backwards' but that's expected to happen.

The next thing is medical follow-up.
There are a multitude of possibilities. Tendons could be torn or loose. A bone could be misshapen. A joint could have been damaged. There are nerves or other tissues that are still being irritated. Doctors read x-rays and do exams but a big part is your input. For starters you have to inform them that you still have problems. With any injury the average works out as expected then some fair far better or worse. You have to let them know your situation. But, you must be prepared to provide sufficient and succinct information. Start by keeping a record. When does it hurt: time of day, following which activities, wearing which footwear. What alleviates the pain. Where exactly is the pain sensation. What does it feel like. Doctors understand and can interpret OBJECTIVE terms such as: 'dull', 'sharp' ,'burning'. They cannot work with: "I hate it." and "just awful". And how it affects your quality of life is a big factor. Again specifics and brevity are required. Examples would be "When walking outdoors the bottom of my heel burns after five minutes and I start limping." "I have to stand at work and after two hours my ankle has a dull ache that prevents me from concentrating and it affects my work." You do not want to say "I can't do anything" if you have fed and dressed yourself. Any reason you go is a valid one. Not being able to run might seem a minor complaint to some but anything that is important to you is important to bring up. But do start with the most urgent or vital problems.
If you have presented your situation properly the doctor will provide the best treatment options. While you can ASK whether specific drugs, surgery or other steps could help or not I recommend against telling a doc how to do their job. On the other side of that I have found docs that were either not proficient or interested enough to make progress with me. While you have to be optimistic and trusting, second opinions are sometimes called for.

Finally, there's the 'bell curve'.
How well and how quickly we Heelies recover is so variable. Your average Heelie is reminded of the injury every day - can't wear heels, or like me go barefoot - and some days really suck. For a small percentage on one extreme the complications seem endless. On the other people have returned to hiking, competitive skiing and the like. I've discoursed with other Heelies for 15 years (even before there were great guys like Zerk around to help). While some of the best and worst outcomes where dependent of the severity of the initial injury, I am convinced as big a role is often played by the persons determination to overcome it.


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