Overdue Cast Removal

After the surgery, I was in a cast a total of four weeks, which turned out to be about one week too many. I had the second cast removed yesterday, 30 days after the operation. A few days prior to removal, I started to experience severe itching and irritation, caused by hair regrowing around the surgical site. The day before the cast removal, it transitioned from itching to pain, and I started to worry about infection or something more serious. By that point, I was counting down the minutes until the cast came off.

When it did, the sight wasn’t pretty. I had a giant blister, about the size of a quarter, on the inside of my heel. The area around my incision was very red and covered in much small blisters and bumps. The incision itself looked alright, although it was definitely more irritated than it should have been at this stage.

My excitement about getting the cast removed had faded when I saw the state of my leg. It felt a little like a setback, and was disappointing for a couple of reasons. First, it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been in the cast for so long. It seems that others have transitioned to a boot at two or three weeks, and I wish my doctor wasn’t quite so conservative about that timeline. Second, it’s frustrating because it is partly my fault. I made it worse by rubbing my leg against the inside of my cast to scratch my itch, and by beginning partial weight bearing in the cast, even though the doctor recommended no weight bearing at that stage.

The doctor didn’t seem to think it looked infected (in his two-minute evaluation). My main concern now is making sure it stays that way.

9 Responses to “Overdue Cast Removal”

  1. Hey achillias,

    Glad you are not in the cast anymore. Looks like you and me are in the same boat as far as timeline goes. Are you in a boot now? Is your foot at 90 degrees and did you have any issues getting into it? Whats your foot mobility?


  2. Yeah, I’m in a boot now, with one heel wedge in place (not sure what the angle is). I haven’t started physical therapy, but my foot isn’t very mobile at the moment. I can wiggle it up and down just a little.

  3. I’m actually growing more concerned about infection. I keep getting a yellow looking discharge on the gauze around my incision, and the whole area looks very red and inflamed. May schedule an appointment (with someone other than my orthopedic surgeon) to get it evaluated soon.

  4. thanks for the response. Which boot are you in?

  5. I actually don’t know much about the boot. It’s the same one they gave me to stabilize at the ER, right after the injury. Looks kind of like this: http://www.dme-direct.com/media/catalog/category/bledsoebootwalking.jpg

  6. Hi!
    I think its because you rubbing it and put pressure on it so you make some part of the wound irritated. In my case i set a goal to get my wound heal first as early a i can. Then once heal i will start focusing on the WB and ROM.

    Just don’t rush we all have different cast. Some are tight some are a bit loose and some are perfect . Thats why others do PWB while on cast (not recommended). The wound is very critical while still on cast. So first thing first don’t focus on the Achilles Tendon while on cast.

    After 2weeks post op (in Cast)I am on Cam Walker since yesterday . I remember after surgery the Doc told me that i will be in cast for 4 weeks. But i challenge myself to get the wound heal within 2 weeks( thats my first post op appointment). So when he checked yesterday he is very happy and told me that incision is very good and minimal swelling and I can use the Cam Walker.

    Just be very Careful when you are on boots it doesn’t protect much the same as cast and you don’t wanna slip and hit or use your injured Foot. Otherwise you gonna start again.. (Hope and Pray that this won’t happen to all of us) .

    Wishing for Faster Recovery to all..God Bless!


  7. How are you doing? Any signs of infection?

  8. Hope you are doing ok and feeling better.

  9. Thanks for asking, donna. Sorry for the late reply. I went to the doctor and there were no signs of infection. There was some yellow discharge, but that turned out to be just the natural fluid from the blistering. Everything seems to be scabbing over and recovering now.

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