Before my surgery, I tried wearing my boot to see if it would help my arthritis. At the time, it was extremely painful to get in the boot, extremely painful to wear it, and even more painful when I got out of the boot.
Since last Thursday, I have not experienced pain like that, which is great. I don't feel or hear grinding noises (yet) from my ankle. These are all good signs.
Unfortunately, having undergone this type of recovery and physical therapy twice before in the last two years does not make the third time any easier. It definitely hurts. Tendons, ligaments, everything has atrophied, contracted, and stiffened up. However, reading what I was going through this time last year helps put things into perspective.
So far, I don't think I've felt any arthritic pain. I'm taking Celebrex daily, which makes it easier to cope with the process of waking up my foot and ankle.
I have, however, felt some spots in my ankle, particularly on the anterior lateral side, that might end up becoming arthritic sites. This is the area of my ankle I had the most pain before the surgery. Dr. Jeng specifically removed bone spurs in that area of my ankle to address it.
I'm still holding out judgement until after I finish physical therapy. We see Dr. Jeng next Friday to get x-rays.
Here's what my ankle looked like in December 2010, a few weeks into physical therapy. You can see that there isn't much joint space left. I'm hoping we see some improved joint space next week. The flouroscopic images from last week's surgery looked promising -- but I'm afraid I was too optimistic (and drugged) when I created the "enhanced" image to help show the new space.
I'll keep you guys updated. This is the part of the recovery that blows.
A friend of mine complained that there weren't enough gross pictures on my blog.
My leg has not been washed since August 15th, 2011. Take a big whiff. Be careful, though. Even over the Internet, the stench can make you faint.