I am about two weeks away from getting the cast taken off my left foot, which I broke 4 weeks ago. Has anyone else had this happen, and if so, how long did it take before you could use your left foot to pedal? This was a “Jones fracture” in two places on my fifth metatarsal. I would imagine that an ankle fracture would take longer to heal. What kind of physiotherapy was the most effective?
I would think that once the cast comes off that means the bones are sufficiently mended that it should be safe to play. If there is pain or lack of motion that is a very individual thing so can vary, but if you can physically do it when the cast comes off then go for it.
This is, of course, a good reminder why it is always good to have a lever harp laying around. Never know when you might need it to keep in practice ;^)
Oh Dear Elizabeth ,i feel very sorry for you since i heard about you, that is really hard and difficult, but please dont force your leg , let it have a good rest, my cousine broke her leg and she kept walking on it ,she is not musicien , and now she is suffering of many pains, you may use it gradually step by step after taking the cast off.
my best wishies of a good health and recover very soon.
Elizabeth- Sorry for the break. I think there are two problems that occur any time a limb is in a cast for several weeks. One is that the muscles waste away at an alarming rate and have to be used to get back to normal muscle tone. The other is that the tendons shorten and have to be stretched out again.
I broke my wrist about 15 years ago and was in a cast for 5 weeks. When the cast came off my lower arm looked like it had come off a cadaver. I also had very limited range of motion in the wrist and had to do several weeks of physical therapy to get that range of motion back. You’re just going to have to wait and see how things are when the cast comes off. If you’ve got engagements coming up, or the start of the new symphony season shortly after the cast comes off, I think you should have a replacement ready until you are completely comfortable using that foot again.
I hope this doesn’t sound like overstating the obvious, but be certain that your therapist knows that you are a harpist and how your foot needs to move in order to play.
Most therapists will be eager to accomodate specific needs and after going through the injury and all of the doctoring it’s easy to be thinking about other things.
Also, many physical therapists specialize- you might be well suited to someone who worked with injured football place kickers :).
Finally, check around and see if there’s a therapy site accesible to you that specializes in therapy for artists and musicians. There’s a great place in NYC and at least one other that I’ve heard of somewhere in California. I think there’s actually some connection between the one in NY and Juilliard.
I broke my finger once and the dr. told me that after the little splint was off (4 weeks) I had to soak my finger in warm water every day for about 5 minutes over the next few months so that the tendons could get back to normal. Maybe that will help? I think at least that soaking your foot for 5 minutes wouldn’t hurt it.
I had bone surgery on both feet simultaneously (!) two years ago, and got the go-ahead from the doc to pedal as soon as I felt up to it, which in my case was as soon as I got the casts off. His opinion was that if the bones were strong enough to walk on, then they were tough enough to pedal with. Having said that, if you have had the cast on for a while you will find that your muscles may get tired faster and you may not be as fast as you were just prior to the injury. You’ll need to build up some stamina again. My physical therapist actually thought the pedaling was great therapy to increase flexibility and stamina in my legs and feet after the surgery. So I be you’re back in the saddle very soon.
Thanks, everyone! All good advice! The cast came off today, but now I have to wear a walking cast boot for the next 3 weeks, and only put 25% of my weight on the foot. So it hasn’t completely healed in the 6 weeks! Symphony season starts at the end of the 3 weeks. If this experience teaches me anything of value to the forum, I’ll keep you posted.
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