Update 6 months after the surgery

Alright, it's mid September, 6 months since my tibias surgery, about 5 since the femurs, and about 3 months since I've stopped lengthening. Time to post an update.

Progress

I've been able to walk unassisted for more than a month, and... I went to Burning Man. Crazy, I know. Walked 2+ miles every day, got a blister, damaged my ankles and needed ~10 days for the ankle pain to go away, but - I survived Burning Man. To understand how large Burning Man is, those dots are cars and the longer ones are RVs:

Burning_Man_aerial

I can climb stairs unassisted easily, and also go down stairs, albeit slowly.

This week, I became able to squat unassisted, but it's painful in the right knee. It's also surprisingly tiring: after 10 lightly assisted squats (one hand on the back of a chair), my heart rate was around 100.

Limitations

  1. I still can't jog, let alone run.
  2. My gait is a bit wobbly (unless I really pay attention to walking correctly), and about half my pre-op speed
  3. Flexibility is poor: I can do maybe 90 degree splits (vs. the ~150 before), and when bending down with my knees locked, I can only come about ~20cm from the floor.

I shouldn't complain though, because I didn't spend much time in the gym or stretching. Progress in mobility and strength has been rather random. I expected that after walking a lot at Burning Man, I'd make great progress, but no - the ankle pain set me back by about a month. Then within a week, I became able to squat... go figure. What I did in that week that might have any connection to leg strength or mobility was one 13-minute session on the StairMaster (climbing neverending stairs, like an escalator). Whether progress is delayed by so many days that it's hard to establish cause & effect, or whether what really advances the recovery is time and sleep, I can't quite tell. Anyway, if you have time, do stretch and walk and bike.

Also, I've been on TV (ABC Australia). It's satirical piece on heightism, and my segment starts a 2:52.