Good luck with recoveryTBIKE
Why hamstring stretch? It has nothing to do with ballerina foot.
You should hire a physio in your home city. If you can't afford, do calf stretches like the downward looking dog yoga position, and other calf and achilles stretches
The hamstrings and gastroc/Achilles are inter-connected by nerves and fasciae. Everything works together. Some call it "muscle interdependence", some call it the "Kinetic Chain"http://breakingmuscle.com/au/mobility-recovery/everything-is-connected-fix-weak-links-to-prevent-injuryhttp://www.runnersworld.com/training-video/inside-the-doctors-office-strengthen-your-kinetic-chain
This is why working on just the calf muscle in isolation is not enough. It's why stretching the gastroc/Achilles while seated is not enough. With moderate (or severe) equinus conrtracture, when you stretch out the lower leg muscles, it can cause the knee to bend in response (more below).
WalkingTall: I agree TIBIKE2002 hire physio. Physio is really important to recover soon. Get off BF is a long time process according to my roommate. He get off BF 5 cm around 5 months and he hire physio 2 times per week.
These guys are right about the help a legit PT can provide. I go twice a week now, down from 3x/week when I first got home. But you already know from the time in India that it's not all about the time you spend with PTs. A LOT of the work you have to do on your own, pretty much every day, if not multiple times per day.
You mentioned you handled ballerina pretty well. Can you tell me how you handled? How long did it take for you to remove ballerina completely?
how long you were walking with crutches?
LOL, I've been meaning to write about this forever. I guess you're finally egging me to do it...and I'll just copy/paste into my diary LOL. This is not a simple question, especially since equinus can be so aggressive and persistent.
The first part, I'm sure you did with Harry: the pressing down on your knees while seated, right?:
Once I got my heels down to the floor consistently, I rolled up a towel under my foot to get a bit of dorsiflexion:
Remember I said Harry used to use hot wax:
...which we all though was pretty pointless and way too time-consuming. It only warmed up the skin. Soaking in hot water was much more helpful. When I soaked while seated, I put weights on my knees to press down:
But as I said, my knees (esp. the R, which had worse BF) would want to bend when the heels were pressed down to the floor (or toes pulled up, while lying down). So standing is really important. I wasn't quite ready to stand on a step (and the hotel didn't have railings close enough to hold both sides, so I used the towel again while standing:
I spent a LOT of time standing like this. When my arms got tired, I just bent over the walker and let my torso hold me up:
But now that you're home you could buy or build something like this:
...especially if you don't have a step that works for stretching.
But you can only do so much on your feet in a day...and your arms can only hold you up for so long. Probably the MOST important thing I did in India was press my heels against the wall...well, specifically, the headboard:
See the knee bend? That's why I started piling weights on my knees:
And then added the towel roll:
LOL. I bought the Monopoly to play with fellow patients in the guest house. We never played once. I do remember one night playing poker, using pizza seasoning packets as "chips", though.
I would set up this crazy position, put on some good music, and literally lie there for HOURS! I remember I used to fall asleep and our caretaker Sukesh, the PTs or (once) Dr. Sringari would wake me up and I was still in this position.WHEN I GOT HOME:
OK, the persistence part: I got my heels to the floor and a bit of dorsiflexion while in India. Once I was home, I was so busy catching up with work, trying to re-connect with fiancé/family/friends, and I couldn't get an appointment at a PT center for almost two weeks. I was too lax stretching on my own. So by the time I started with the PTs in the US, I was feeling the Ballerina had regressed partly and I lost some of the flexibility I had gained the month before. I definitely remember because my PT said I "walked in on my toes" when she met me.
So once I got back to fully-stocked gyms in the US, I added calf stretching on the leg press machine, about every other day:
Probably the best thing about PT at home was starting on the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill:
If you've never heard of it, it's a NASA-designed machine that has an air bubble which lifts you and helps you walk or run without putting your full body weight on your legs. You can see it in most of my US videos. I would walk for up to an hour, at 40-70% of my body weight, at the maximum incline, at a veeeery slow pace (like 0.7 MPH). Remember how Harry would stretch the calves for a couple minutes by pressing the balls of your feet toward you? This is the same idea, except using your body weight, and much more slowly. I just looked and there a ton of AlterGs in the New York area, but if you can't get to one (or don't want to pay), you could always walk on a regular treadmill and hold yourself with your arms. This is pretty strenuous after 10 minutes, though. Especially, in initial recovery, when you're not allowed to put much weight on your legs.
With regular stretching, I would say most of the equinus was handled in the first 3 months after frame removal. I had good dorsiflexion soon after that, but my ankle issues have always complicated things. And mornings are STILL tough to this day. In the morning, when everything is stiff, it still takes a couple minutes for my heels to come down. It probably will be easier for you, since you're younger...and don't have bone fragments floating in your ankle.
Crutches were pretty much my adopted body parts for much of the last 2 years. I had enough callus in the R leg to only need one crutch by August 2014 (4 months post-FR). But you know I had non-union, so I was on one crutch ( and sometimes two again) until November of 2015. And then I had 2 surgeries this year, so back on them again for a few weeks in February and May. Like I said, my damn crutches were pretty much attached to me.
Hope some of this helps you. There's probably more, but that's all I can remember right now. Good luck!