About a month ago was the first anniversary of my “hardware removal” surgery. The stainless steel cannulated screws that were holding my Lisfranc ligament together were removed, and I gradually eased off of crutches and out of the cyborg boot I had been wearing and making stinky for the previous six months.
About a week after the screw removal, I graduated from college, and walked across the stage with a pronounced limp. I felt like I’d be gimpy for the rest of my life. I thought that the paranoia about using my foot, breaking my screws, reinjuring myself, would follow me forever, and I’d never really be able to hurl myself fully into athletics as I once had.
And then over the next year, everything got better.
Since then I have trekked in the Himalayas for hours at a time, days in a row. I’ve climbed rocks, both real and the plastic kind you get at climbing gyms. I have played tag, jumped fences and full on sprinted.
A few people have emailed/commented me, asking for advice or encouragement in dealing with their own Lisfranc injuries. This blog started out as a way for me to share the story of a sucky part of my life with people. I would love if it turned into an encouraging success story for other people in the midst of Lisfranc injury woes.
So here’s my advice!
1. If a doctor tells you to get the surgery. Get the surgery. I read about what happens with Lisfranc injuries if you don’t. Summary: You are eternally F@$ed. Get the surgery.
2. Do physical therapy immediately after, (and possibly during) the time when you have hardware in your foot. Maintaining the muscles in the leg you can’t use will make the transition off of crutches easier.
3. Talk to people. Keep a blog. I got wicked depressed about halfway through my crutch sentence, and people helped me keep my head up.
4. Keep your head up! All of my dire predictions about how I’d be a useless lump forever because of the Lisfranc injury turned out to be not true. A few days after my final surgery I went to Florida for a 3 week marine biology course. Snorkeled every day. It was awesome. Life goes on.
This will probably be my last post on this blog. I want to give it the happy ending it deserves. The Lisfranc injury sucks, but it isn’t the end of the world.
Comment or email me with any questions, or if you just need to complain to someone who has been there.
Also, if you want to check out the amazing adventures I have had since recovering from the Lisfranc injury, peep my new blog, The Kathmandu Diet, about my life as an NGO volunteer in Nepal.