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Chris Hope

I had TPF surgery with plate and 5 screws end of August. Then 6 weeks NWB, before being allowed to begin full WB October 9th. Even though I was to begin FWB then, I had so much pain in my foot that it took almost 3 weeks in the pool before I could walk with one crutch without pain. The last 3 weeks I have focused on getting ROM and strength as well as walking with a cane. I have not had any pain, and I have full ROM and OK strength. Walking on treadmill for 10 minutes 3 days a week in PT has felt great.

So I saw surgeon this past week, showed him what I could do as far as balancing on the one leg, squats etc. The surgeon discharged me saying I can return to work next week light duty/half days for a week, and then ease into full duty the following week. Ironically I am a physical therapist. So I have to be on my feet most of the day, as well have good stability to prevent my geriatric patients from falling.

So I have begun walking more and more, and I am having a lot of swelling-I haven’t had this much swelling since the initial TPF injury. The swelling in the foot/ankle is so great that it really increases my limp and decreases my stability. Is this a normal reaction to increasing my walking? I was so excited to finally get the go ahead to return to work after 3 and a half months, so maybe I have been overdoing it. My employer is willing to work with me, knowing I won’t be 100% for a while. But I can’t do much if I’m limping because of the increased swelling. I was so psyched just a few days ago, and now I’m a bit bummed that I won’t be able to do my job.

Elevating my leg and ice helps return my leg to almost normal. I also got a compression stocking today which should help. I have been getting better and better each week since being FWB. And I felt really strong as I left the surgeon’s office. But now I feel I’ve taken a step back. I just wanted to post here to learn if this is pretty typical, how others have dealt with the sudden increase in swelling. I didn’t have any swelling in weight bearing until the last week. Is it all due to increased time on my feet? Is there anything else I should be doing to help control the swelling? Does the swelling get less and less quickly or should I expect severe swelling for many months?
Thanks in advance for any input.
Chris in Virginia Beach