Monday, April 21, 2008

Looking Back

Here is a question that came into the home office about my ankle injury:

With the injury/surgery that you had, will you be limited on the type of dancing you can do long term or will you be able to do the turns, jumps, balances after rehab?

The short answer is no, I shouldn't be limited in what I can do after the rehab from this surgery is over. It's also true, though, that no one can ever completely guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt the outcome of an injury. There's an added element of the unknown in my case right now because my surgeon had not only never seen an injury exactly like this one, but he did some research and still couldn't find any reports of a similar case. So.... I have the very dubious honor of a case study on my ankle repair. This is not exactly how I wanted to leave my mark in history.

The prognosis is very good, despite the unknowns. The structure that was damaged (a band of fascia had torn away from the bone it is supposed to be anchored to) is not one that is relied upon to create movement in my foot, and is less load-bearing than a tendon or ligament would be. And since it is now secured in place with pins, it's probably stronger than before. Or it will be, as time passes and the hardware anchors down into the bone. I still can't help but worry and fret, of course, since the state my foot is in right now is so, so far removed from its normal level of strength and flexibility. Simply standing on my right leg is hard. I can't even imagine standing on pointe, or jumping off that leg. So I don't try to imagine it just yet, I just think about starting small and building one layer of strength at a time. Right now I just want to do a tendu.

Someone reminded me today, however, to be sure to look backwards periodically to see how far I've come, instead of always looking forward at the long, dry road ahead. And speaking of dry roads, today it turned out that the muscle tone I had thought was a mirage was in fact real. Ah.

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