Home  >  Carol LeBeau  >  Carol's Health Journal |04. April 2010

Get Back in the Game with P.T.

04. April 2010

They say foot surgery is the worst. I don’t know whether that’s true, but I can tell you it’s no picnic. After two years of treating a persistent, painful running injury with every non-invasive procedure known to man, I finally had to accept the fact that surgery was the next step.

I found a wonderful foot surgeon… underwent a successful procedure last summer and began the months-long recovery process. I won’t sugar-coat it. It’s been tough. And I’ve had several major setbacks along the way. (The problem with feet is you eventually have to put weight on them!)

Fortunately, through it all, I’ve had support. My husband took over the household duties. My friends sent funny cards, cooked meals and brought me great beach books to help pass the time. But when the healing process took a few unexpected turns, my physical therapists were there with encouragement and expert advice to weather each storm.

I learned the hard way healing from surgery is not always a straight line. Kate, Ryan and the great staff at Kate Grace Physical Therapy worked with me and wouldn’t let me give in to despair when the healing process stalled.

With my surgeon’s blessing, I began a program of post-op treatment designed to help regain the strength I’d lost while recuperating and get me back to my daily activities. Depending on the injury, surgery and individual patient, post-op rehab requires a few to several weeks of PT visits, persistence on the part of the patient (I am a persistent bugger!) and the patience, dedication and know-how on the part of the physical therapist. I got it all, and then some.

I was surprised to learn not all doctors and surgeons recommend physical therapy. And in some cases it may not be indicated. But if you’re facing surgery, be sure and ask whether physical therapy may be right for you. You may be a candidate for pre-op therapy. Check it out with your doctor. The success of your surgery may depend on it. For me, the healing continues, but my knowledgeable therapists were just the cheerleaders I needed to get back in the game.

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.