Getting Fitted for Your Boot is a Nightmare! Week 3

Getting Fitted for Your Boot is a Nightmare!

This post will be straight and to the point… No Sugarcoating!!!

 photo achilles boot_zps5fwyd3zg.jpg

“Oh My Goodness! You want me to do what? Wait a minute, let me catch my breath…” These statements and a few more that I am unable to write in this post are what came out of my mouth as I was getting fit for my boot. I have been researching this injury by reading blogs, comments, other people’s experiences, even watching the video muse of Kobe Bryant and his ATR injury comeback and never have I heard, read or saw someone going through this painful experience that I just went through with getting fitted for my boot. From the information that I have gleaned from everything as well as my own experience up to this point has been on point. I mean things such as pre-surgery, surgery, post surgery, foot elevation, rest, getting the cast cut off, having the sutures and stitches removed and more have all went according to planned. That is, until it was time to get fitted for this boot.

When the Doctor told me that we will get you in a boot I was ecstatic to say the least. He gave me the instructions when to take it off, keep on when vertical, do this and do that and I was smiling from ear to ear. Until the “mean and hard to get along with” nurse walked in with the boot. She asked me to sit-up and place my leg inside of the boot with my heal touching the pads on the bottom of the boot. When I say this is painful I mean this is painful!  I had my foot and heel in the boot but the nurse wanted me to move my leg up 2-3 inches to get the straps to line up on the sides. She kept telling me to push my leg forward but with the swelling and the tightness of the achilles, that leg would not move. The pain was excruciating to say least with me stretching that tendon like that minutes after I had the cast removed. She added another pad in the heel but my wife saw the angle and ask that I change my position on the table to the boot and then it became somewhat better.

Now there may be others that didn’t experience this level of pain and discomfort and for this I am glad you didn’t however for others that haven’t reach this phase yet, at least you can say that Mr. Action Jackson did alert you to this point in the recovery process and now you are mentally prepared for it. I spent the last 12 or so hours on the phone with friends and associates that have had this injury in the past and I asked them point blank, why didn’t they say anything about the pain involved with getting fitted for the boot. To my surprise they all laughed and stated that they didn’t want me to know about this because if I had of known I may not have wanted the boot, lol!

Well getting back to that nurse I mentioned a few statements earlier. She wasn’t mean and hard to get along with, she was very nice and did her job of patiently waiting for me to say a few “unpleasant” words under my breath, dodge a few of my kicks coming at her and gave me enough time to catch my breath and start again with pushing my leg in the boot.

After all is said and done, I am glad I am at the next stage and for those that have went through this process before and didn’t warn us about the pain… shame on ya, lol! For those that are coming along to this phase, make sure you are mentally prepared for the worst and be ready for anything when it comes to healing and recovery of this ATR injury. Everyone will have their own stories of this ATR journey and like coaches and athletes say before in competition, “It’s best to stay ready as oppose to getting ready!”
Be Strong!

P. “Action” Jackson

P.S. Take a look here with this nice sleeping boot that I am considering after I realized how bulky that walking boot can be in my bed.

7 Responses to “Getting Fitted for Your Boot is a Nightmare! Week 3”

  1. Ouch! It didn’t hurt that much when I get on mine the first time around, not even the second I guess. Did you get a heel lift with the boot? Just curious. Keep up the healing!

  2. Those who have hinged boots are fortunate to be able to put a bit more angle on the boot and less tension on the tendon. A bit of a stretch maybe to get your heel all the way down. I do hope you have some heel wedges in that thing as it could be a bit soon to go all the way to neutral and understand why that would hurt. Many here including myself have felt some discomfort when changing the angle of the foot but not pain this bad. Those who have experienced real pain have had their foot forced too far. It should be settled in a day or so but if not see or speak to your doc.

  3. Action, welcome to the club. I never had any problem with the initial transition to the boot but I had other problems that would probably make your “nightmare” seem like dreaming about a beautiful girl. The problem with Achilles tendon recovery is that it is multi staged and within these stages are almost countless levels of healing. If you have 10 Achilles patients you will have 11 different recoveries. Everyone will have difficulties of varying natures. The common thread will be that it seems to take forever to heal. I am somewhere between 14 and 15 weeks. It is getting better but it seems to be like two steps forward and one step back. We all say that we won’t rush it or be in a hurry. I said the same thing but I lied. I want to get back to normal but the nature of this injury is that it tempts you to do things that may have been normal once but not in the best of our interest now. Other people will have different stories about their recoveries some good and some bad all different. Your recovery will be uniquely your own.

  4. AJ - what exactly “hurt” about getting in to the boot? Did you go from a plantarflexion splint right to the boot, like I did? I just put my heel into the boot and strapped it on - no muss, no fuss, no pain. I was relieved to get my foot out of that radical toes down position. I guess this just points out, as others have, the individual differences in our experiences. Hope you are used to the boot by now. Good luck.

  5. AJ, I am majorly concerned if you are wearing the boot at neutral as pictured. The typical post-op degree is 30 degs to start, gradually going to neutral over ~1-2 months. Better to heal with your tendon too short than too long.

    I started with that same boot. After the second sleepless night, got the much more comfortable Vaco cast and it was the best $300 I’ve ever spent. You can swim in it, and it’s much easier to keep clean because of the removable liners.

    That night splint isn’t great, either. The point is to keep your toes down, not up.

  6. I agree with “oscillot”. From your photo, I can see that I was originally given the exact same boot. After only a few hours, I knew I would not be able to tolerate it, and immediately called the Vacocast people who shipped my the Pro Achilles. It came the next day and I have had it on ever since with few problems. The Even-Up was absolutely necessary for the non-injured foot, as I was having knee and hip pain without it. I am now approaching 12 weeks after surgery, and the doctor said I can now move from the boot to shoes. Too bad you got a crappy nurse.

  7. When I first went into the boot, the OS’s assistant told me to get my heel to touch the bottom of the boot with no wedges and I said I couldn’t do it. They never gave me wedges so I went to a shoe store and bought 4 gel heel pads and they worked for me. I was able to angle my foot to where there was no stress on the tendon and then I was able to remove them at my own pace by listening to my body.

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