If you have been following our Austin Runner’s & Heel Pain blog for anytime, you know that we are big proponents of prevention and recovery. It doesn’t matter if you have had a physical injury, are recovering from surgery, or dealing with a constant ache. Your body has a step wise approach to healing the damaged tissue and returning you to you to proper function. We’d like to walk you through some of these steps and the importance of physical therapy to get you back on your feet.
The first thing that is noticeable after injury or surgery is swelling and inflammation. This is your body’s first response. By causing your blood vessels to become ‘leaky’, your body allowing all the cellular components involved in removing damaged tissue and promoting new growth to easily reach the site of injury. This reaction is crucial to the early stages of healing. When it comes to your feet and ankles, the amount of swelling can often be too much. This is where icing and elevation are important to prevent secondary damage due to excessive swelling.
Once the swelling begins to recede, the tissues can begin to heal. The dermal and epidermal skin layers come together and the underlying structures begin to remodel. This stage of healing can last several weeks or months before moving onto the last stage of maturation that can last months to years.
Every person and injury is different, but in a healthy individual skin should heal in approximately 2 to 3 weeks. For injuries of the tendon, especially the Achilles, the healing time is extended and may require a few months. Your podiatrist will help you assess your healing progress and decide when it is appropriate to begin physical therapy. Based on your surgery or type of injury the time you begin therapy will differ. In the case of bunion surgery, your Austin podiatrist may have you begin simple movements or exercises while keeping off your foot. When sufficient healing has taken place, our associates at Three Lakes Physical Therapy and Wellness will help you to continue your recovery. A focused therapy on returning you to pre-surgery or pre-injury health is the goal. When it comes to your foot and ankle, we offer the best in physical therapy modalities!