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!