Fracture Recovery Part 12: Healing and Big Steps Forward

Read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4part 5 part 6,  part 7part 8part 9part 10 and part 11.

At the end of last week, I made a few huge steps forward in recovery. I was able to walk for the first time without crutches and I put my foot on the ground out of the boot to stand assisted.

Both of these milestones put me closer to a full recovery. I am only a few days away from my 12 week fracture clinic appointment and being able to minimize my time on both crutches, and have some time without crutches at all have made me far more mobile than I have been for the last three months. This means that I am closer to walking again, and also means that I am able to revisit the movement that has always been so helpful for my mental health.

Walking in The Boot is definitely different than walking in shoes. It changes the height of your hips which changes the way that you walk when you’re not using crutches. It’s awkward, but certainly less awkward than using crutches.

Recovery from a major injury is anything but linear. I’ve been lucky in my recovery to have an amazing team of physios to keep me on track, but even then, there are times when I backslide a bit and there are definitely weeks where we make very little progress, but there are also weeks, like this one, where it feels like we move forward by leaps and bounds. At the end of a treatment, I often feel the best I do at any point in the week. We usually see huge changes at the end of each treatment, and they’re things I can see visually and feel in my body.

before-after

I’m at a point where I constantly have to remind myself that recovery is never linear, and that I’m recovering well, even when it feels like I’m not, but it’s made a whole lot easier by the resources I have available right now. It’s hard to imagine what it’s like recovering from this kind of surgery without a team of experts that care behind you. Knowing you have someone who can answer your questions and can make sure you’re progressing as you should be, and who can reassure you that your small step back isn’t the end of the world, keeps you on track both physically and mentally. You just don’t get the same support from a fracture clinic that you can get from a physio you’re seeing regularly.

Everybody is different, and we all heal at different rates, but a great physio can always help to speed it up. If you don’t know what to look for in a great physio, take a look at the bonus post I put up last week, which has a list of some of the things you can look for.

Overall, I’m getting better, and I’m looking forward to getting out of The Boot so that I can get back to my normal life soon. That’s the goal for the next couple of weeks. As of my fracture clinic appointment yesterday, I am officially cleared to start getting out of The Boot, and eventually off the crutches as well. The bone is officially healed, so now it’s a matter of getting the tissue in my ankle back to normal and getting comfortable with movement.

The next steps are going to be hard. Re-learning to walk on my own is definitely going to be hard, but it will be so worth it. Now it’s a matter of the work I put in more than waiting until my body is ready, so it’s time to find the perfect balance between pushing and stopping myself from going too far in over excitement, but I’m really looking forward to getting back into the gym, and also just being able to go for a walk and grocery shopping. That last one might seem odd, but it’s kind of funny the things you miss most when you’re restricted. I miss being able to take my time picking out my food for the week and having that time to myself each week. The good news, though, is that it shouldn’t be too much longer until that’s back to being a reality of my life.

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