The Recovery RV is reporting in! Jim got the cast off Wednesday. It was an interesting process. A Stryker cast cutter was used to cut the fiberglass. The blade vibrates up and down (and heats up). There is a vacuum attached to it which cleans up most of the fiberglass. An attached guard limits how far the blade penetrates the cast, so that the human is not opened up as well.
She cuts up one side, and then the other.
A tool is used to pry the cast apart, along the previously made cut.
And voila - the leg is freed from the cast.
The surgeon is pleased with the healing of the incision, and he said the tendon felt good. Jim is now allowed to shower it and get the ankle wet. He also said it could go into a hot tub if desired. Given the experiences of one of our friends and his post surgical excursion into a hot tub, followed by a terrible staph infection, we may take a pass on the hot tub for a few more weeks.
Now for too much information. Jim's leg has been in the cast, and not washed for three weeks. One of the things washing does is removal of dead skin cells. There's a three week accumulation to deal with. I will have to vacuum the carpet to pick up the flakes of skin. This should be gone soon with vigorous scrubbing, and mass quantities of lotion.
Jim is now in a moon boot. In some ways it's worse than the cast. We have two boots, because he is now putting his foot on the ground. There is one for in and one for out. Changing the boot is a pain. Getting dressed is sort of a pain. Pants will not pass over it, so changing to go out requires that the inside boot come off and then back on; once at the door the inside boot comes off and then the outside boot goes on. He's not weight bearing at this point, the left foot moves with the crutches and is on the ground, but his weight is on his hands.
At two weeks out, he'll progress to one crutch in the right hand and partial weight bearing.
At four weeks out, he drops the crutches, but still wears the boot for all walking. The boot is really uncomfortable. There is no arch support, it's a flat platform. When I had the boot(s) it was really miserable.
It's progress, but according to the surgeon 14 weeks is the magic date when real physical therapy can begin. Apparently it takes that long for good scar formation to occur. He can do light stretching and mobility work, but that's it. Fourteen weeks is February 19, not that anyone is watching the calendar.
It's still cold here. I've been bringing the hummingbird feeder in at night so it doesn't freeze. At 7:30 (which is early for me) I take it out, climb the ladder and put it back. There's nothing worse than a frozen hummingbird feeder.
We would not want him to be disappointed, would we. So that's it. Not much else is happening, we're sort of in wait state.