Resistance. Assistance. Persistance.
There is no doubt in my mind that without these 3 things my recovery from severe injury would not have been achieved as successfully.
The “Resistance and Assistance” of the Apparatus springs, and the persistance to use them regularly.
February1st, 2008 I had a debilitating ski accident. My left leg was 180* rotated below the knee. My tibial plateau had imploded, there was a spiral fracture down the rest of the tibia and my Fibula was in pieces , when asked how many pieces the surgeon told me “ I stopped counting at 18”. I had also developed Acute Compartment syndrome. After 4 operations I flew home. We were told it would take me 9-12 months to walk again and I would have a permanent limp.
I refused to believe this, and I was determined to prove the doctors wrong. I knew it would be a tough recovery but I felt it was possible with with enough support, effort and Pilates.
For the first 6 weeks, I couldn’t wash, get dressed or even get out of bed on my own.
I had a leg brace rather than a cast because of the enormous skin grafts as a result of the Compartment Syndrome and fasciotemies. Learning to care not only for the broken bones but for the skin grafts was physically, emotionally and mentally draining. Without my Husband and my mothers consistent love and support it would have been a long bleak journey.
My Reformer/Tower was moved into the spare room next to our bedroom so I only had to go a short distance to complete my exercises. It was incredible how much I could do on the apparatus without having to bear any weight through my "Compromised" limb. The rest of my body was kept working while my leg recovered.
Every day I did my rehab. At the beginning it was the simplest things, excruciating but I was determined to prove the doctors wrong. Every time it hurt I knew I was one step closer to it not hurting.
My physio and I used to talk about the benefits of going to the gym and pushing " dead"weights against the benefits of working on the Pilates apparatus with spring tension. I would go to the gym for my sessions with him but I was certain that once I was able to use my apparatus to its full capacity the springs would do their job. And they did.
By August I was walking again…without a limp.
The following year, June 2009 I had further surgery to correct the alignment between my femur and my tibia. This involved a bone graft from my left pelvic crest and an osteotomy. The original titanium plate was removed and replaced.
Post surgery I was unable to weight bear and needed re-hab. Not as extensive as the previous year but all too familiar for us. Again , I trusted my physio and my Pilates apparatus to ensure a full and complete recovery.
I try to practice Pilates every day, not so easy now I have small children. I have pushed and pulled the springs, I have used the resistance of the springs and I have been assisted by the springs. I know that without using the apparatus regularly my knee will become painful. It needs the mobility coupled with the strength and stability of the joint.
The final part of this story took place on Friday 25th November 2016. My titanium plate and most of the pins were removed as they had begun to work their way loose and were in danger of rupturing through the skin.
Unsure of what would happen once the metal was removed from my leg, my surgeon warned the recovery could be anything from 8 weeks to 3 months, depending on the bone and what he found once the plate was removed..
I came round and was told I would be able to ‘FULLY weight bear” on crutches as the bone density was so good. My recovery took weeks rather than months and by New Years Eve I was walking unaided. 5 weeks from operation to recovery.
Sitting here now, knowing that I had a swift recovery due to the quality of the bone in my leg. A leg that has been through so much trauma, I can firmly say that “Pilates works”.
Be "Spring Powered!"