First movement of AT in VacoPed boot

After 4 weeks and 6 days since my ATR, this morning I have had my VacoPed boot changed to allow -30 to -15 degrees of movement.

The hospital said it may be a little odd and uncomfortable at first - well this is a slight understatement in my opinion.

I’ve only managed a few sort of half steps on the foot as I an feel the AT pulling significantly which is causing a very uncomfortable feeling.

It isn’t one of intense pain, more just the feeling of exactly what it is - something pulling in the back of my leg. My mind is telling me to stop before it pulls too much, and although I know it is unlikely to happen in the boot, I just can’t bring myself to go over and step properly.

I’m not normally one for being too bothered by pain (to a degree of course), but I just haven’t got the confidence to go right over on the foot and bring my good foot in front of it for the next step.

Hopefully it will come over the next day or so, as in two weeks I am going another 15 degrees from -30 to 0.

Then two weeks after that an appointment with the consultant to discuss the next steps.

Seems to be quite an aggressive therapy, which is good and follows the newest theories, but it is slightly scarey for the patient.

I’ll post again when I start walking as normal as I can with this new movement, so it gives fellow bloggers some insight into the mechanics and mindset of the treatment.

I’d also like to read anybodies comments that have been through the same, and how they felt when the boot was allowed to move etc.

Thanks :o)

14 Responses to “First movement of AT in VacoPed boot”

  1. It’s going to be uncomfortable for the first day or so but you get used to it pretty quickly. I liken it to getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist. It doesn’t exactly hurt but there is a dull ache for the remainder of the day.

    Cheers and good luck

  2. Cheers univofpittbull.

    Since coming home at dinner time, I’ve been walking unaided around the kitchen every half hour or so.

    I can now manage to get my good foot about level with the bad one on steps, and whilst it is still uncomfortable and not really walking, it is getting better.

    The most comfortable position when sitting seems to rest around half way between the travel, and I am now pulling it all the way up whilst sitting and holding it for a few seconds at a time.

    Seems to be working and is getting less odd, but I reckon it’ll take a couple of days or so to get fully used to.

  3. Well todays another day as the saying goes.

    Last night I didn’t sleep too well and woke up with a lot of pain in the top of my foot.

    After releasing the velcro bands on my boot, my foot tingled rather sharpishly and then came back to normality.

    Strap adjustments were made and I fell off asleep for the rest of the night.

    When I got out of bed, I put my feet on the floor and stood up gently. Not a pain at all, so I thought I’d lift the foot up to the -15 position and see how it goes.

    It didn’t move and was already there. The getting up had pushed it up without me noticing.

    So now I am pain free as I was two days ago.

    I think the pain from yesterday may well just have been the cast bandage on my leg stretching and pulling on the skin as much as anything else.

    Now it is later in the day, I can again feel the same type of pain, but it isn’t stopping me walking over and putting the good foot in front whilst doing so.

    So I can conclude that if I’d have pushed it yesterday, I’d probably have been ok.

    However, I don’t think it hurts at all to have a ‘weak’ day once in a while ;o)

  4. Hi Adam

    Sounds possible that you might have the boot on too tight at times.
    When you sleep though even normal tightness can feel horrid in the night as the weit of the boot rests on you.

    2 options if you fel confident are to either loosen by a fingers amount (so put your finger between the shin side and strap, tighten and remove your finger), or remove e face plate which someone else suggests and really worked for me.

  5. Apologies for typos, stupid mobile devices!

  6. Hia. I think the main issue with the front section of the boot, is that for me when it is on normally it digs on and hurts the top of my foot.

    This caused all sorts of pain during the first 10 days or so, to the degree that i thought I’d also broken my foot. Lifting the top off had to be done slowly as to prevent sudden rush of burning pain.

    Now I put the front inside the side wings of the boot and tuck the whole thing in instead on on the boot shell.

    Seems to work well and no more pressure.

    Didn’t realise at first but the nurse put the front back on the top yesterday, which brought on the pain again last night.

    All a bit odd, but I suppose every leg is different.

    It is on quite loose ish so my leg and foot can move but not too far.

  7. Does take a while to get that right point between secure and not cutting the circulation off.

    If you feel confident enough I can highly recommend strapping the boot up as normal but without the front section as this really helped me and I’m sure I did it about a similar time as you are on. Around 6 weeks I moved to bootless. Would have been longer but it pissed me off one night too many so I threw it off in the middle of the night and never looked back!

  8. Just had vacoped fitted for broken ankle and experienced same pain on top of foot at night. Had to remove plastic casing in the end but I’ll try removing front section only tonight as it felt a little vulnerable without any support

    thanks for the tips


  9. Hi Adam,
    I’m 10 days post surgery. I had the boot on for a couple of days. It feels very weird. The Doctor said I can bear weight as much as I can handle.I’m feeling the exact symptoms as you, Pain in top foot, Releasing the strap helps. But also, I started feeling numbness every while and then.
    I’m nervous that I’m hurting myself. Yesterday was my first day back to work. I walked with crutches about 528 yards from the train station to my office. I don’t think I will do that again though, I was very very tired and had to take breaks in between.
    What do you guys think ?

  10. Mousta…It all sounds normal to me. It is caused by your movement, you HAD surgery 10 days ago and nerve endings and tissue were damaged and are now trying to heal. Though many are fans of early weight bearing and getting right back to life I think anything before two weeks is too soon, I feel that the body needs all of it’s energy to heal…and sleeping and resting for two weeks gives it that. I’m not talking about going out occasionally during those few weeks or moving around the house as you need to, but in general. You were tired because your body is using what energy it has to heal and moving takes away from that. I am not a medical expert, but I do think I have good common sense. Everything in moderation and incrementally.

    After two weeks moving and early weight bearing as tolerate sound great to me….maybe give yourself a few more days of rest and ease slowly into going back to work…If still concerned consult your physician.

  11. Any stories of positive outcomes welcomed
    I’m week 5 down the conservative route working from home
    Not feeling too great atm after hearing stories of mightn’t not work and limos if it does
    Look forward to hearing about good results!

  12. Greetings everyone. I’ve seen some things the last few days that I see as going “off track” so I’d like to share my perspective. I have come to see the purpose of this site as a “safe” and “welcoming” place to share our stories, our experiences of Achilles and associated rehabilitation. From Dennis who created this format “…the site’s purpose is to make the recovery better. By writing about your experiences” My interpretation of that is that this is place, a space of healing for everyone regardless of the details. That means everyone. Whether you are having a challenging experience or one that is not challenging…let this be a place of acceptance for everyone. Good, bad, and downright ugly. Either we are here to support each other in EVERY way or we are not. If we limit ourselves to only positive recovery stories is that really serving? If we limited ourselves to only challenging stories how does that serve? May I suggest if you don’t want to hear the negative you look within yourself at your own fears and if you are someone who only every reports on the negative that we also look within ourselves to find the light? Personally I prefer to allow everyone to be as they are…with that said…carry on.

  13. Hey everyone, I’m a week into wearing the boot following a non operative route for snapped Achilles tendon. Reading your posts is really helpful. The night pain at the top of the foot is the worst but either slightly loosening the strap or just grinning through it seems to do the job

    What stage did people feel able to Wright bear? I’ve been told not to weight bear for 6 weeks and then start.

    Fingers crossed this heals nicely and quickly! I’m going out of my mind working at home!

  14. James - You should read a bit more here and look at early weight bearing for non-ops. Use the search bar on the home page. Exeter, UWO and Wallace are key words. The best results have come from weight bearing before 6 weeks but 6 weeks is still better than some who have been told 12. Early weight bearing appears to reduce the risk of re-rupture for non op patients. This risk slides after 12 weeks normally but for those who do not weight bear until later the risk is longer. Our resident expert on this is Normofthenorth. Find his page and you will be pointed in the right direction. If you have any questions then you will have to message him from his page. Another good non-op person is Hillie.

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