View Full Version : Sorry if this is a stupid question...

01-18-2008, 09:02 PM
At what point after surgery did you start walking normally again? I still take smaller steps than I used to and I feel like I am plodding along like a little old lady! I actually feel like I am almost waddling or tottering along much like when a baby is first learning how to walk. You know that sort of side to side thing they do when they are still unsure of their balance? Thats what I think it feels like. It sure is getting old and I am really impatient for a normal stride again. So...when does your normal stride return?

01-19-2008, 07:25 AM
Geish--I know just what you're talking about because I did it for a long time -- probably at least 5-6 months. It's one of the things my physical therapist had me work on... I was tipping forward from the hip (my guess is because I had been doing my walking on a trail at my place in the country, that goes through a little woodsy area, etc., and is full of mole and ground squirrel runs) and had gotten used to looking down as I walk... plus my strides were very small and meek (my thought with that word)--like I was afraid of the whole endeavor. He caused me to be aware of my walking posture plus we worked on stride length on the treadmill. That helped a lot to give me the feel of a natural stride. It didn't take real long to get the hang of it, but did feel really weird at first to take such big steps! I think (but it's hard to tell with yourself!) I'm walking much more normally now. When we first worked on it, he had me look in the mirror to see how I was looking (bent over) and practice just standing straight so I could get the feel of it. Then carry that through with the walking. I think my PT thought I was doing fine--it wasn't anything he gave me to work on now that I'm done going there. My suggestion is just to work on a longer stride and a relaxing feeling gait, keeping your body in good posture. If there's any way to use a treadmill, I'd suggest that for a couple of reasons. You can hold on to the handles while you walk which will give you security and you don't have to worry about any obstacles in your path. For added security, if the treadmill has one, youcan slip the emergency stop mechanism bracelet thing over your wrist. But at a slow speed you shouldn't have any problem. You can set it for an easy walk, somewhere between 1.0 and 1.8, (1.8 is what I ended up at--a comfortable, leisurely walk like you would do) and be able to let your one leg get fairly far behind you before you pick it up, etc., so that your stride length is longer. If you can't get access to a treadmill then just try doing that at home somewhere where you'll feel comfortable, even if it's just strolling across the living room or something. I think the waddling/tottering part will ease off when you get to feeling comfortable with the walking. Best wishes!!!

01-19-2008, 09:36 AM
Thanks for the advice! I'm going to hop on my treadmill today! I'll let you know how it works out. And yes, meek is the proper word, very timid steps. :D

01-21-2008, 12:03 PM
I was walking "funny"/stiffly for months after surgery - people have just recently (5 1/2 mo. post-op) told me they notice I am walking more naturally. My balance was different after surgery, and I was in a pretty constant protection-mode of moving, not wanting to fall, and not feeling comfortable with my arms and shoulders swinging like they used to!

I think it is something you need to consciously work on, in front of a mirror or with feedback from someone - baby steps back to normal steps!

01-21-2008, 07:08 PM
It took me around 7 months before I could walk normal and feel stable on my feet. At your stage in recovery I felt like I was never going to walk normal again. It gets better, push yourself to walk.