Returned to the Treadmill: Talus Recovery (7 Months)

I felt very defeated at the end of the year with the fact that my injury still required daily maintenance, I readjusted my expectations, put my big girl pants on, and was determined through the month of January.

I had no idea how quickly I’d be making progress in my physical recovery!

Within a few weeks I surprised myself with a new found gains: running on a trampoline (high knee steps) and running on the ground.

I had done some of my exercises in physical therapy for the morning, and my ankle felt pretty limber, so I decided to try to bend my knee over my ankle against the leg of one of the tables. I was expecting to still be a few inches away, but my knee was able to completely touch with my foot remaining flat on the table. My PT had transitioned towards his next patient because I was about to start cool down. I scanned the room for him, and caught him looking up in my direction, I pointed down at my knee/ankle excitedly and he smiled, thumbs up’d back!

The next few weeks I continued to make similar gains in PT, I was never able to limber my ankle enough to bend it over my knee to touch the wall outside of PT, but each day in PT I was able to maintain this progress.

I returned to dance using dance tennis shoes, so much more supportive for my feet/arches at this point in my recovery. I felt slow most days as the teacher was now different and I wasn’t used to her style/pace yet. More and more I found that my body remembered some things and I felt like a ballerina again. One of the first days as I was rediscovering my ballet groove I woke up the following morning with muscle soreness, to the point that it hurt to put full weight on that ankle. I was able to walk around at a park later that day, but it scared me a bit.

After a check in visit with my surgeon he decided go order me an MRI to continue to assess the damage and check against necrosis. The x ray scans show that the bone is completely healed.

The MRI was an interesting experience, I laid on a table for what felt like forever listening to the various tones of humming as the machine ran and obtained various images. You never realize how hard it is to lay still until these moments. My right leg felt stuck in such an uncomfortable position, but I didn’t want to move myself and have to start all over again.

Right after my MRI I had physical therapy. I began through the normal exercises for about the first half of the appointment. Then, my physical therapist surprises me by moving us towards the treadmill. I was skeptical that my ankle would cooperate to this level, but I knew he wouldn’t suggest it unless I was ready. We started out at a fast walk, then he tells me to move the speed up to 5.5/6. Well whenever I jogged on the treadmill previously it was never that fast. I bargained with him as I moved it up, 4.5? Him: how about 5? Well…okay….

You guys! I ran on the treadmill 4 times for about a minute each time at a speed of 5!! Despite the fact that my chest was dying from the cardio the rest of me felt amazing. I have a love/hate relationship with running, but I was so humbled to be able to try and succeed at something that I’d have no idea if I’d ever be able to run again.

This reassured me that its okay to work harder at dance and be able to participate in the show in May. Epppp!