Weekly Progress Update

Physical therapy was great last week.   There is a noticeable increase in my strength.  The big achievement is that I am now able to do straight leg raises, which I was unable to do just a week before.  Since things are going well my therapist (Kristin) has given me a new home program and we will move on to more ‘advanced’ stuff in PT.

There are a few things that have become apparent in PT that need work:

  • My hamstrings are very weak.  The right leg in particular.  I cannot perform hamstring curls with the right leg
  • Core strength
  • I do not shift my weight to my left leg when walking

Yesterday I went out for a long walk.  Since I love tracking results I downloaded RunKeeper for my phone to track the distance. I walked 1.8 miles (with the walker).  I have nothing to benchmark that against but I am happy with these results.  I woke up this morning expecting my muscles to be a little achy today since that is the most exercise I have done since the operation but everything was fine and I did my home therapy program this morning with no issues.

Like many people who have Cerebral Palsy I have one leg that is slightly longer than the other.  This can be an expensive to contend with — you either have a shoe maker build a lift into the sole of each pair of shoes or sneakers that you own ($60 per shoe) or have an insert ($75) made that you slide into your footwear.  The downside of the latter option is that I have to buy shoes that are too big for me in order for the insert to fit.  My leg length difference is about 1 cm (there is some controversy on the exact measurement) and I am going to an orthotist today to get fitted for a custom shoe insert.  The hope is that the custom insert will balance out my legs and have a noticeable impact on my gait.

I am now a little over 3 weeks post op and so far I have absolutely no regrets.  I am progressing faster than we projected and any pain or discomfort I have experienced is far outweighed by the gains I have experienced so far.  This makes me feel great because all of my doctors strongly advised me against having the rhizotomy.

I took some video on Friday but it’s messed up and I cannot upload it. In lieu of video of me check out this video I found on YouTube that gives you a glimpse of the how Dr. Park performs the operation. Jump to the 3:10 marker in the video for the relevant segment.  When you see how the nerve testing is performed it’s pretty amazing.

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