Week 8 - Help with Getting Off Crutches?

Hi All,

I hope everyone is recovering well.

I’m now 8 weeks post-surgery and recovering fine, but still can’t seem to be able to ditch my crutches.  I had a complete tear to my right Achilles playing soccer in October.  Unfortunately I have suffered multiple injuries to this leg in the past (broken tibia and two pulled hamstrings), so my leg was probably a bit weaker from these past injuries.

The Dr. wanted to wait two weeks for swelling to subside then had successful surgery.  I was in a cast for four weeks, then moved into a MaxTrax Boot.  At that point I was also cleared to start aquatic therapy 2x per week.  Unfortunately the boot was causing major rubbing and soreness on the top of my foot and heel, so at my 6 week appt., my Dr. moved me to a Aircast boot instead (which helped) and prescribed another 4 weeks of aquatic therapy 2x per week.  I haven’t been cleared for land PT or any home exercises yet.  So all I’ve been doing is the aquatic therapy for now.

I feel like I’m making some modest progress but it’s frustrating that I can’t seem to put more pressure on my foot at this point to get off my crutches.  Given that it’s been 8 weeks, I thought I would be farther along and off my crutches by now.  Perhaps the two weeks prior to surgery and two weeks dealing with the original boot set me back some?  Or the lack of starting any land PT?  My swelling is pretty contained at the site and in my ankle/foot area but I have a bit of atrophy/swelling (disfiguring?) by my calf.  They said this will go away when land PT starts?  Also the Aircast doesn’t allow for any ankle ROM, so the only ankle movements I have been doing are in the pool 2x per week.  I go back to the Dr. again in a week, so hopefully I will be cleared to start land PT at that point so I can begin strengthening my calf and doing more ankle ROM.

In the interim, I’d welcome any advice or suggestions from anyone here on things that helped you transition off the crutches.