AeroPilates® To The Rescue!
I tore my right-foot/ankle/heel Achilles tendon and ligament in an accident (unrelated to Pilates, at a gym), and I required major surgery on August 4, 2005. I was in a non-walking, full foot-to-knee cast for two months. My foot was repositioned twice, and each time required a different cast. My recovery and healing process changed--it really began when the last cast came off, and I was put into a non-walking boot, still relying on crutches to get around.
I began physical therapy right after the boot came on, and only was massaged and gently given stim. treatment for 10 days. I had to be in the boot and on crutches for the remaining hours of the day, until I went to bed. After two weeks of physical therapy, I was given the go-ahead by my ortho doctor to start weight bearing and stretching exercises in physical therapy.
Additionally, I returned to my new AeroPilates, using no resistance at first, and being very careful. It sped my recovery and healing time, no doubt! In fact, my doctor said he never expected me to fully recover the use of my foot because the injuries were so severe, and he had to repair the tendon, the ligament, remove bone spurs, bone fragments embedded into tissue and muscle, which had all pulled away from my heel bone; he had to shave part of my heel away, and used a titanium anchor and staples as well as stitches to help the repaired surgical site and force adherence to the heel bone.
I didn't know how horrendous the injuries were until he told me in January 2006 just exactly what had been required when he said in amazement, "It was a horrible mess, just the worst possible, and I cannot believe you've recovered as you have, so quickly, because I've never had a patient with the extent of your injuries recover, fully." I told him it was because of his expertise, his post-surgical orders that I followed faithfully, the physical therapy, and the biggest factor was my using AeroPilates daily.
I continued to use my AeroPilates® and returned to using the cardio board again, daily. I was released from physical therapy in mid-January 2006. I joined a bowling league with my fiancée February 2006. I bought a ball, but the ball was drilled wrong by the former pro-shop owner. Shortly after beginning bowling, I had so much pain in my left elbow that I consulted with my ortho doctor again. I also consulted the new bowling pro-shop owner (a former pro-bowler) and that is when I learned my ball had been drilled wrong by the former owners of the pro-shop--they'd drilled it for a right hander--I'm a lefty!!!
I had surgery May 11th to remove a bone spur, bone chips, and repair a tendon. The surgery was a success, and I was out of my cast very quickly. My ortho doctor said I wouldn't even need physical therapy, and gave me the o.k. to return to initial working out and approved of me going back to my teaching job.
On June 7th, I stopped into a 7-11 market at 1:52 p.m. to buy a drink before going to a 2 p.m. doctor appointment, to check on my progress. I am just heartbroken to tell you that I am recovering from a slip and fall accident in that market, where an employee mopped the floor but the supervisor didn't put out any signs, cones, or warnings to alert customers of this fact. I fell face forward, breaking my left elbow (yes, the same one that had just had surgery), my left wrist both sides, left thumb joint, two bones in my left ankle, and my knees were badly bruised.
I felt like Quasimodo, the bell ringer of Notre Dame! I couldn't use crutches, I couldn't work as a teacher and finish the school year, I couldn't finish my coursework to complete my Masters Program in Special Education--I felt the sky was falling on me. I felt awful, and looked even worse for wear! I saw my ortho doctor twice a week, each time he removed casts and x-rayed everything. I had a cat scan of my left wrist and thumb performed.
Now I have some thrilling news! Today, I learned that I have completely clean fractures, no other damage to tendons, muscles, and tissues--I will not need surgery. I am wearing a splint on my left-arm and wrist, separating my thumb in another splint, and am splinted on the left ankle, both sides of it. The right ankle was badly sprained, but didn't require splinting. No more casts! He said I could begin exercising, such as swimming and a recumbent bike, but to go very slowly. I also told him I was returning to my Pilates, and would go very gently, of course.
Now, we will see each other in two weeks, July 7th. And I bet he will be surprised and delighted to see the progress I will have made because of using my AeroPilates (wisely using it).
After I'm recovered (which my doctor said would be six months or more, including physical therapy at the very least), I will send you photos of before and after, so you can also join me in celebration of my fitness and health. I expect that because my AeroPilates I will have an accelerated recovery and healing process. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find myself using the cardio board within a week's time.
Marie (MT) Terese Lyons
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