It’s been about 10 weeks since I have had the surgery and everything is still going well. I am still making progress but have shifted gears from rapid change/rapid results to a more slow and steady pace. Let’s just say at this point the rehab process is also a great lesson in patience.
My hamstrings are lagging behind the rest of my muscles and my physical therapist and I suspect that it may be mental as well as physical. I rely on my quads to do a lot movement that should be driven by my hamstrings. The electrical muscle stimulation is helping but I still find that I fall back to the old pattern of relying on my quads. I like to think that I can overcome this eventually but only time will tell. Apparently, it’s not that easy to reprogram decades of muscle memory!
I am still working on increasing my endurance so that I can walk for longer distances without my feet starting to drag (this happens when I get tired). Another thing I have noticed as I have become more active is that I sometimes have muscle spasms at night while I am sleeping. The muscle spasms are brief but they are strong enough to wake me up. I thought I was going to get away without having to deal with the muscle spasms but they caught up with me in the end.
For the next 4 weeks my PT and I have set the following goals:
1. Increase my hamstring strength to assist with clearance during the swing phase of walking.
2. Increase hip strength to try and balance out my gait on both sides
3. Increase my endurance so that I can maintain a fluid gait.
Obviously, I still have a lot of work to do but I do not want to leave with the impression that I feel as though things are not going well. The change in my quality of life has been great and my footwear will have a much longer lifespan, which is great for my wallet. Below is a picture of a pair of sneakers I wore before the SDR that were about 8 weeks old – I had to stop wearing them for obvious reasons. On the right are the sneakers I wore for a couple of weeks before the operation and everyday since then – about 12 weeks total. The difference speaks for itself!
Thanks for the blog post – following you from London, England.
Taking my son for SDR in 6 weeks time.
HI Gareth, hopefully all goes well for your son. I will be back in St. Louis for my 4 month follow-up mid June so there may be some overlap in our time there.
Hi Frantz, I can relate to the trainers wearing in places. Matt has that on one shoe and we get through a lot of shoes. How did you choose your PT ? Are they especially aware of the SDR? It’s good that they can really pin point the areas you need to work on. Thanks for the update. BTW Matt decided to get his A level exams out of the way before he takes SDR on and besides his doctors are not being helpful at all. In short his GP told him he should be happy that he can do what he does-be thankful! 😦
That is how it was with me too – I always burned through one shoe. With respect to my PT she is actually a pediatric physical therapist who works with a lot of kids that have various forms of CP. She is really excellent and did a lot of research on the procedure before I started seeing her. She knows all the bad CP side effects and is working with me to break all the bad habits. I was referred to her by another PT.
With respect to Matt’s doctors not being helpful I have been around that block many times. If I had a penny for every doctor that told me be happy the way you are/you’re quality of life is pretty good – I would be rich. They can all go……. as far as I am concerned.
I really like your P.T. Frantz! She has established great goals for you and I applaud her willingness to do the research and work with an adult patient! As a pediatric therapist it can be difficult to make that transition 🙂
I really like her too Deanna, she is great and is constantly pushing me (and putting up with my incessant questioning!). Her knowledge is also great. She rotates back to pediatrics in July..that I am not looking forward to.