Conditions + Treatments
I am a nationally licensed Athletic Trainer and have been for the past 46 years. So you could say my knowledge on how to recover and get better from a surgery is at the top of the charts. Going back to my college years, when I was a sophomore, some friends and I made a "slip’n slide" and I accidentally slid into a brick wall and hurt my foot.
I rested for a few days and went back to classes as any college student would. I had summer jobs that required me to use my feet a lot and walk. I was a golf caddy. Over the years, my once-injured-foot has never really bothered me. However, once COVID hit, I had to stop going out to do yoga and exercise at the fitness center.
Near the end of COVID, I started walking a lot. About 2 years ago, my right foot (the one I hurt in college) started to hurt. I saw Dr. Daniel Smith and Dr. Norman Waldrop and they both determined I had a chronic dislocation of the metatarsal. About 1 1/2 years ago, I had surgery on my foot.
Since I am an Athletic Trainer, I have always been aggressive with the athletes I see in helping them get better. I was also aggressive with myself too. Since I was going to rehab and doing all the therapy, my right side became my stronger side. Dr. Waldrop released me and I got my balance back.
I had been doing some light bench press and walking but I noticed a funny feeling in my hip. I went back to see Dr. Smith and he determined I had bursitis that turned into arthritis in my hip. He said I would need a hip replacement soon. I told him my wife and I were doing some projects around the house and I could wait 15 months and then get around to doing it. My wife said I needed to go ahead and do it.
That is when I saw Dr. James Flanagan in April of this year. Because I had gotten a cortisone shot from Dr. Smith in March, I had to wait a little longer to have the surgery. I had the surgery done June 21st of this year. Before surgery, I went to a wellness and physical therapy center in the county I live in. I knew I couldn’t hyperextend my leg so I focused my pre-rehab with 20 minutes on the bike and 6-8 laps doing backstroke in the pool. This really helped me strengthen my hip.
I did a couple of weeks of in house physical therapy religiously. With my Athletic Trainer background, I am used to telling others how they can heal. With my physical therapy, I had to sit back and let them tell me how to do it. I had to have a lot of patience! Right around the 4th of July, I did outpatient physical therapy at the Bibb County Wellness Center. I worked on strengthening my quadriceps and continuing to walk.
This past Wednesday, I walked with the cane pain free and as a warm up, I like to get on the bike. This past Thursday, Dr. Flanagan said I was improving and didn’t need to see me anymore. His PA, Eve told me I can slowly do away with the cane and start walking and get up to 2 miles. I want back to the wellness center this weekend and did 1 mile on Friday, swimming on Saturday, 1 mile on the outdoor track on Sunday and 1 mile on Monday. This past Wednesday was my last physical therapy day and Monday, August 8th is my evaluation day.
I really enjoyed physical activity when I was young and even now. I work in Sports Medicine so it is right up my alley! I now work as a PRN at DCH Encore in Tuscaloosa, AL. I enjoy what I do and I want to continue to build strength so I can get back to normal. I work each day to walk further and further. Going through physical therapy rehab taught me to not be in a hurry and that pre-rehab allowed me to progress at a nice pace and get stronger.
Andrews and Dr. Flanagan have been great! I definitely give them a thumbs up for everything. It is funny that their slogan is “Aggressively Pursuing Victory Over Injury” because I myself strive to do that everyday. It has been a long but enjoyable experience. I am glad I went through this because it made me stronger and taught me how to keep going but being patient as well. I am glad I can share and help people with my Athletic Trainer background because I can help them prepare for their surgery in the right way.