Some news from our trainee, Justin Clifford…

Dear all,

Thank you very much for those who have been in touch asking how things are going post my operation on the 9th August. It is really humbling to get your messages they are very much appreciated. Some of you have known me now for coming up to 3 years and know that I am someone who does “nothing” not very well! My recovery is very much testing this attribute that seems to have been left out of my DNA – However I am doing what the Doctor ordered!

My surgery was just over 3 hours in length and am advised that it was a bit of a stitching, breaking and sewing exercise for my surgeon. There is very little to play with at the lower end of the body as you will appreciate. My left foot has been completely detached and reattached moving tendons from toes to heel was just one aspect of the surgery as was completely re building and shaping my heel bone – we really are blessed with world leading surgeons in retrospect.

From what I can remember in the recovery room and on rounds my surgeon was very pleased with how things from his perspective have gone – very reassuring indeed. He is 80-85% sure I will get back to running but has explained that my ultra distance running may be part of my history. Not good news but taking the positives that does mean I should be back running at some point. Projected plan is to be running at 6 months.

I have already been back to hospital since my op and have seen the surgeon who is very impressed with how well I am recovering from a clinical perspective. I have also seen the physio and he concords with the surgeon also.

I am now out of the traditional “pot” and have been put in a state of the art adjustable plastic boot (looks like a ski boot). My foot until a couple of days ago was set at 30 degrees but has been increased by 10 degrees given my progress. I am still on sticks and none/part weight bearing. I need to get my foot to 90 degrees before the physio can get to work on me. That should take another 4-6 weeks if all goes well.

Thereafter it is hoped that I will be able to weight bear on the boot without the very contemporary sticks I’ve been given (I’m sure one of you could make these into a useful tool for me once I’m done with them!!!!!!). The sticks and boot definitely look like the past and future of medicine and rehab.

Prior to the surgery Richard advised me that I may also be able to access rehab services with Help for Hero’s as a veteran. I am in the process of submitting this as I know the military rehab will be far better than what the NHS can offer given the pressure on them; Richard…….many thanks for the advice.

It goes without saying I missing you all and missing the banter but am keeping a watchful eye on the website which is keeping me sane. My girlfriend may disagree – in fact she most definitely would do. She gave me the task of sitting on the grass the other day to paint a metal garden chair all day. Not the biggest highlight in my life but it was employment at least.

Well I will sign off for now and open up my new book entitled “A guide to Dry Stone Walling by Andy Radford” which will hopefully keep me inspired from the comfort of my sofa!

Onwards and upwards


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