‘Jane from Staffordshire’ writes personally for patients about the last part of her staged foot surgery. We have found that large amounts of surgery can impede progress. Her account is realistic but reassuring. The emphasis of our work at Spire Little Aston Hospital is maintaining healthy mobility and an healthy mind.
As I prepared for my 3rd foot surgery with my consultant David, I thought of it as the first step towards being fitter, more active and healthier. It helped to think about what I could and should do to be active every day and not what I couldn’t or didn’t want to do because of pain. My long-term goal was to be able to walk my dog as far as I wanted, as often as I wanted, for as longer as I wanted, without pain. Thanks, Jane.
I used my ‘feet up’ time in the first days after surgery to research low impact activities I could complete during my 6 week recovery. (Fitnessblender.com, a website with hundreds of fitness sessions for all levels of ability, became my favourite viewing!) Upper body light work outs while I was sitting down meant walking with crutches was less stressful on my shoulders and arms in the first weeks.
I purchased a pedal exerciser that I could use for short periods of time from ‘day one’ after my surgery to help reduce my risk of DVT and make me feel as though my new regime had begun. These things helped me to be much more positive during this period of recovery after my surgery than I had been before. I’m sure it also contributed to the speed of my recovery: my physiotherapist (at Spire Little Aston Hospital) was pleased with the amount of movement and lack of swelling from my first appointment and my subsequent rate of recovery.
As I got the all clear to begin walking, a ‘Fitbit’ pedometer measured every little bit of progress I made on a daily basis. It also reminded me, the reason I had the surgery was to enable me to get moving and be active.
Back to work – My employer thankfully allowed me a phased return to work, as my job involves being on my feet and walking about for most of the day. This meant I could build up strength , suppleness and stamina in my foot gradually.
Fully Fit! – By the time David discharged me after 12 weeks, I was able to complete up to 7,500 healthy, pain-free steps almost every day; (although my foot was still a little stiff and prone to swelling if I did too much!). Not only had I met my goal, but I had exceeded it.
Now…4 months later
I still treat my feet with respect so as not to undo the good work David has done;
· ‘sensible’ choices of shoes as appropriate
· keeping active – think ‘use it or lose it!’
· giving myself an occasional, soothing foot massage
· resting my feet after busy days
· keeping to lower impact activities to avoid too much stress on joints and pins
· my average daily step count is 10,000 steps PAIN FREE every week.
David’s surgery has really given me the freedom to be active and more healthier than in previous years
PS Lola, my dog, has never been fitter! J