T Nation

Rehabbing After Injury to Midfoot, Looking for Suggestions

The Story:

Almost a year ago, I caught my foot and took a pretty bad fall - one that resulted in a severe ankle sprain, close-to-joint and between-joint (intra-articular) fractures to my cuboid and navicular bones in my left foot, bruised bones, and neuro-related trauma (varying degrees of sensation issues, balance issues, plus mild uncontrollable muscle weakness and spasming).

I didn’t need surgery owing to the lack of dislocation (there was a bit of shifting, but it was mild and so the doctors opted for non-op conservative measures), but my bones took over 9 months to heal and that was 9 months booted and mostly non-weightbearing owing to both protection and pain issues.

I’ve done physical therapy which sorted out the worst of the issues related to getting back on my feet, but now that that’s done with, it’s still pretty bad in terms of me being able to amble about properly… much less amble about painlessly (impossible; and, the doctor says it may never be possible, depending).

Given that jogging and running - even on the elliptical/low-impact machines - is kind of out of the question for me (pain and the fact that I occasionally feel like tripping), I’m hoping that maybe I can head for the weights again.

Problem is, because I’m still having problems with the foot, I’m not sure how best to approach weightlifting and gym-related exercises.

Being that this was a work-related injury, getting help re: rehab through the WC system has been worse than pulling wisdom teeth so I was hoping that maybe, I could kickstart my own rehab with some guidance from fellow gym-goers.

The situation:

Standing straight isn’t too bad; mostly fine until I shift my weight too much or until I stand too much. No discomfort at initial standing.

Immediate discomfort upon walking. Toeing off properly hurts the worst and the worst of the pain is around the joint space between the first/big and second toe and the navicular bone area in general.

Discomfort becomes pain at around 10-15 minutes. I usually have to sit down at this point/keep my weight off of it for a few to continue. Pain becomes level 5 and above (scale of 1-10) at around the 30-45 minutes mark with 1 hour being the absolute most I have tolerated.

Limping - not good for my gait or posture or pain elsewhere - is bad, but if I limp, I can go further. But obviously, quality over quantity.

Related to the gym in particular, squats (did them for PT) are horrible; painful and imbalanced and even precarious because I have minor weakness in my left leg now from residual neuro-related trauma and so I can’t completely ‘feel’ what’s going in my foot or leg. Push it too much and it has a moment where it kind of ‘gives out’. This really sucks because I used to love to do squats and wall-sits.

All that said… any ideas?