More Physical Therapy Progress

by Mary on February 3, 2017

PT instructions

PT instructions for microdiscectomy/microdecompression recovery

My physical therapist Valerie said, “I see a lot of ab work in your future.” And she drew up a list of exercises. Doesn’t she have nice handwriting?

As I’ve worked these exercises, it’s been fascinating to see my strength come back faster than I could possibly train it. When I started the side-lying leg raises, I could only do five on the left side, with no weight. A month later I could do three sets of twenty with a three-pound weight.

There’s no way you can progress that quickly through training alone. Clearly the nerve has been healing. The left foot’s better too. While I haven’t tripped over it walking in ages, not that long ago I would still occasionally miss a step with it. That hasn’t happened in over a month.

A few weeks ago my physiatrist re-evaluated me and gave me excellent news. He said the strength in my left foot was now so close to the right that if he were seeing me for the first time, he’s not sure he would have even called it a neurological deficit. He says he won’t need to see me again for this injury.

Yesterday Valerie re-evaluated me as well. She rated both feet as having normal strength, 5/5. The left is a bit weaker and has less stamina, but with the way it’s been continuously improving, I feel optimistic about it improving more. The left hip is also weak relative to the right but within the normal range.

I’m looking forward to seeing Dr. C. next week and being cleared for full activity. I brought him a thank-you card at my six-week visit and he seemed touched. He deserved that and more for giving me a second chance at so many things.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy February 4, 2017 at 11:40 am

How nice that you’re making such great progress! I agree, there’s no way you would have improved so much without your PT. She sounds amazing!
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Mary February 4, 2017 at 10:51 pm

True I’ve been keeping up on my PT, doing what I can, but also true that I wouldn’t have been able to recover without my surgeon. I was doing PT before my surgery and could do very little. I’m glad to have had all kinds of good help, I wish everyone had access to all the help that I have had.


Michelle February 4, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Sounds like your hard work is paying off. Nicely done!
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Mary February 4, 2017 at 10:53 pm

Thanks Michelle. I’m glad to have had such a good team helping me.


Eva at Eva Bakes February 4, 2017 at 9:40 pm

This is fantastic news, Mary! Way to go at keeping up with your PT exercises. I am happy that you are now stronger than ever.
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Mary February 4, 2017 at 10:54 pm

Thanks Eva, it’s a great relief to be getting that strength back.


Marcia February 5, 2017 at 12:58 am

Great news Mary! You’ve worked so hard and with the right help now, you’ve made amazing progress. Can’t wait for you to get back on the ice. : )
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Mary February 5, 2017 at 5:04 am

Aw, thanks Marcia for sharing my joy!


Jo February 5, 2017 at 5:27 pm

That is fantastic to hear that all your hard work (because this kind of recovery doesn’t happen without your working hard at it) is paying off. Having folks sign off on your therapy is definitely a good sign. I really love your PT’s handwriting AND those sketches! It’s a work of art and your body will be one too after all those exercises. I’m sure you are feeling the difference in your skating too. Thanks for sharing your inspiring progress.
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Mary February 11, 2017 at 1:35 am

Thanks Jo! Yes, skating is definitely getting easier and more stable, though still not where it was (yet). Thanks for the very nice comment!


Melissa February 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Way to go, Mary! I hope with all this work that you will come back to the ice and all your other activities better than ever. The list of exercises makes me tired just reading them! Congrats on the progress, and I am so happy that the surgery was a success.


Mary February 11, 2017 at 1:34 am

Thanks, Melissa! I rarely do all of those exercises at one session. My PT thinks it’s fine for me to work for about an hour, and I can’t do them all in that time.


George A. February 10, 2017 at 4:50 pm

I have nothing to add that others above haven’t already better said. It’sw wonderful to hear of your progress!


Mary February 11, 2017 at 1:33 am

Thanks, George!


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