It's now 12 weeks since my accident and 11 weeks since my hip surgery. Week 12 is a bit of magic mark as I'm now allowed to begin to place my foot on the ground when I walk in my crutches. The notion is as follows:
Week 12 - begin to place my foot on the ground as a I walk
Week 13 - start out applying 10 pounds of pressure as I walk. Each day increase 10 pounds up to a max of 50 pounds
Week 14 - keep increasing by 10 pounds per day, up to 100 pounds
Week 15 - give 'er!
Back when I had my hip surgery and Dr. Smith told me that I needed to wait 12 weeks before I'd be allowed to walk, I had a picture in my mind of week 12 coming to an end, me being stood up by a physiotherapist (without my crutches) and being pushed like a bird out of a nest. So I was more than a little disappointed the last time I visited Dr. Smith and he outlined his 4 week plan for me.
So, I continue to count down the weeks. When I got back to work four weeks ago I was telling myself it was "only" four weeks until I'd be able to walk. Now it's yet another 3 or so. I'll get there one day, it feels like forever though.
At this point I can understand why they want you to take 4 weeks to build up to walking. When I first started putting my foot on the ground, it felt incredibly good. All of a sudden nerves and muscles that had been doing nothing for the past 3 months were glad to have something to do. However, my gait is ridiculously bad. As my left leg tries to move through a stride, my hip ends up doing a ton of the work. The more I walk the better it gets though. Hopefully next week as I begin to put weight onto my left leg things will begin to get a little better.
Putting my foot down, even if it's with very little pressure does really make my hip feel better. My physiotherapist mentioned that beginning to apply weight would stimulate my hip bones to recover even more and it definitely seems to be helping. My hip is beginning to feel really solid these days. Now that the muscles in my lower back no longer have to hold up my dangling left leg, they're starting to feel a lot better as well.
One of the things that also complicates my ability to walk is the fact that I still can't really dorsiflex my left ankle. I'm able to lift my toes and half my foot pretty well; however, I still can't raise my entire foot. So when I walk I've gotta take it pretty slow to ensure that I don't trip over my foot. I am starting to feel more of the muscles in my left shin, so things seem to be moving in the right direction. I just need to continue to be patient and wait for my nerve damage to recover.