My Ankle Update: The One Year Edition
A few weeks ago I posted about my ankle’s willingness to let me resume my status as a running fool, which is extremely exciting to be sure, but I didn’t give any details about how my ankle is doing in general, now that I have successfully survived my first year following peroneal tendon repair surgery. So for all you people out there with an ankle that currently looks like Gumby’s, here’s my eagerly anticipated, highly celebrated, one-year update.
Functionality? My ankle functions marvelously compared to how it used to, but not so great compared to my other foot. It’s much sturdier and more stable than it has been in years but still a little on the unpredictable side. I can now pretty much do anything on it I want, however, that doesn’t mean it won’t complain. My ability to do whatever I desire, not it’s whining, is what concerns me most though, so I’m pretty content with its current performance. I still have to wear my brace for the next couple of months while doing physical activities; I am very curious about how lefty will do when it doesn’t have the brace anymore for support and stabilization. I guess I’ll see in 8 weeks.
Mobility? My ankle’s mobility has improved greatly over the last 12 months but it’s definitely not as flexible as it was before surgery. There’s a limit to how much I can twist and angle it before I start feeling that unnatural tug of the tendon and its unwillingness to stretch any further. It’s not bad though, I don’t notice this inflexibility during most normal daily activities.
Swelling? Still swollen, though less so than a few months ago. But, since the doctor told me to expect some swelling for a year or two, I haven’t been anticipating much progress on that front just yet.
Stiffness and Achiness? Unfortunately, my ankle is still a little cranky. Every morning when I take my first few steps out of bed I can feel it resisting the movement. Some days it will hurt persistently for no apparent reason, which makes me feel like an old lady who can tell in her bones when a storm is approaching. But, although it is prone to fits of moodiness, most days it behaves relatively well. However, I am in no danger of ever confusing my good ankle with my reconstructed one.
Heels? Yes! I don’t don my highest heels much anymore but I can wear 2-3 inchers without any noticeable issues. So don’t worry ladies, you won’t have that sadly limited shoe selection forever.
In conclusion, my ankle is doing well. I don’t know if I can ever expect it to feel exactly like my normal one, probably not. For lefty, I suspect life will permanently be a little tricky. I’m sure it will continue to improve over the next few years but it will most likely always have some complaints. Honestly though, who cares? Now I can run, I can bike, I can board – I can do all the things I love. If that means having to put up with my ankle’s occasional temper tantrums that’s alright by me. So for all of you out there in your first year of recovery from ankle surgery, there is hope at the end of those initial terrible months. Maybe a perfectly blissful ankle doesn’t await you at the end of that road but, if you are like me, a pretty darn good one seems practically just as fantastic.