Wow, what a difference a week makes! I am frankly shocked at the progress I've made in just two weeks, and that's not to toot my own horn, but rather toot the horn of my surgeon, Dr. Peter Maiers at Methodist Sports Indianapolis, and his team, including my physical therapists Jimmy, Melissa, and Brad. They have all done a great job and I felt less pain and discomfort after this operation than just about all of the rest. As I've already established in previous posts, I am/have been injured a lot. This was my 7th surgery. One thing I've learned is that you need to follow the instructions from your doctors and PTs about as literal as possible. If they tell you to take it easy, sit your butt down in a chair and take it easy! The boredom and the lack of activity sucks, but if I'm bored out of my mind for two weeks (I was) and that gets me back sooner, or even on schedule, than that's what I'm doing. Pushing yourself after a major injury will undoubtedly lead to a repeat injury, or your body will adapt to your current limitations by overcompensating somewhere else, which can and probably will result in another injury. CASE IN POINT: I had a foot/ankle surgery in 2011, and I moved across the country about a month afterwords, didn't follow up with the surgeon or do any PT due to relocation, changed jobs that required me to be on my feet all day way before I should have been, and just grinded it out for a year. Without question, this is what pushed my hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quads out of whack, and eventually shredded my hip. So here's where I'm at:
The first time I went on crutches was 1997; I had broken my ankle in the middle of a wrestling match the day before leaving on a cruise for spring break (still won BTW). That was a very difficult place to be with a broken leg and on crutches, and I was ill-prepared. This was back with the old wooden ones that were fairly flimsy, and extremely uncomfortable. Being that I was young and stupid (as opposed to a little older and stupid now), I once walked over a mile and a half on them. That sucked.
The second time I went on crutches was in 2003 for just a few weeks when I had a partial tear in my MCL. I don't recall any long walks, but remember crutches being a real pain. The third time, in 2011, I made some discoveries in how to really maximize your self-sufficiency, safety, comfort, and sanity while being on these damn things! Now that I'm on my fourth go-round with crutches, I'm an old pro, and it's never been easier for me to get around with them.
Here's my list of the top 5 things you need to have when you're on crutches, from an expert: