Going commando

First of all, many thanks to MaryK, diane, 2ndtime, Ultidad, Kevin, Highflyer, normofthenorth and Frouchie. Whether or not positive thoughts and vibes will result in the accelerated cosmic healing of my achilles, they have helped no end in keeping me chipper.  Thank you.

I went for my follow-up with my surgeon yesterday.  The surgical wound appears to be healing really well - obviously good news.  Those long days of lying down with my leg raised have clearly paid off.

I’ve been put straight in to an Aircast boot with five wedges.  That was a surprise.  He’d told me he wanted to get me in the boot ASAP but I wasn’t expecting it quite so soon.  That said, I am strictly NWB, and have to treat the boot like a cast for four weeks.  That is, no weight at all on it, and avoid taking it off.

After four weeks, I work my way down the wedges over the next eight weeks, allowing weight on it as is comfortable.

This is clearly an aggressive approach.  I had the option of going in to a series of casts over eight weeks, but his reasoning for the boot was that early, small movement and eventually pressure on the tendon encourages stronger healing.  I’m delighted that’s a good option.  I can even loosen the boot to have a good (careful) scratch if needed.

However, it’s all resulted in me “going commando” today. The key question I forgot to ask my surgeon was: How do I get my trousers on and off?

After washing this morning, I carefully took the boot off to get my trousers on.  I managed that before putting the boot on, then realising I hadn’t put my boxers on!  It’s a very precarious affair getting in and out of the boot so that’s how I stayed today.

Apologies for the detail, but it’s my first lesson in my new situation.  Put your boxer shorts on first!

I also discovered last night I’d been given the wrong wedges for my boot. I’ve been given left foot wedges for my right foot.  I didn’t notice in the day, as I’m not putting any weight on the boot.  But they begin to dig in to the outside of your foot when you lie down in the boot.  With Aircast boot wedges, the long bit should be on the instep.  I’m back to the fractures clinic tomorrow to get the right ones.

If it does nothing else for you, an ATR keeps you thinking.  You could say it keeps you on your toes…

7 Responses to “Going commando”

  1. Thanks for the laugh! I wore lots of wide-legged yoga pants- not really an option for you guys : )

  2. Hi Alex,

    I guess aggressivenes is a relative thing. You are in a boot early, but not being allowed to do any stretching, strengthening, or weight-bearing until nearly six weeks postop, so it is a rather cosmetic change. Still, your program is faster than what many have gone through.

    On the other hand, there is Norm’s nonsurgical rehab plan, which appears to be more aggressive than yours, even though he has no stitches to help hold things together.

    Is wearing a kilt an option?


  3. Alex,

    I was put in a boot after 10 days and told to bear as much weight as possible right away. It took 2-3 days, but since that time, I have been “walkiing” around in the boot for the past 2 weeks putting full weight on it. Don’t tell my doc, but I have been pegging around barefoot as well. I finally see the doc again this upcoming Monday and am hoping for an allowance to do more. All that is to say, you probably can push a bit beyond what you were told, being extremely careful and at your own pace.


  4. Thanks for the thanks, Alex, glad to help!
    My protocol (for both post-op and non-op patients) calls for “protected WB” from 2 wks to 4 wks post-whatever, and WBAT (as tolerated) after 4 wks. The PWB for me was all on crutches, and was largely getting that foot used to the motions, with virtually no weight at all at first, then very gradually introducing some.

    My foot tingled when I started weighting it, and I always backed off when that happened and tried not to do that again. Things still progressed fine, and I think I was forgetting where I left my cane (post-crutches) by the time I got to 5 wks, i.e., FWB.

    Personally, I think that putting pants on over the bad foot, and taking them off, is about the scariest thing I do, and I still haven’t done it without a boot on! (Though I’m in crocs now, ready to go to bed, so I think I will tonight!!)

    My pants solution was pretty easy for me, because I usually wear “convertible cargo pants”. They have very large lower legs that have Velcro to make them “normally” narrow, and the lower legs zip off to convert them to shorts. My first boot — an AirCast fixed boot — was so big that the lower leg wouldn’t fit over it at all, so (after my wife finally just barely managed to pull that leg off, over the boot!) I zipped off the lower leg and went around bare-kneed (in the Canadian winter!) for about 7 weeks.

    At about 7 weeks, I switched boots, to an “MC Walker” model that I had left over from my first ATR, 8 yrs ago. I wanted that boot because it hinges, but it’s also narrower than the AirCast, so I could wear the full pant-leg. Getting it on and off is still a bit of work (and I DON’T do it standing up!), but it’s not too bad. Between the covered leg (and boot shank) and the black color of the MC Walker boot, I can much more easily “pass” for able-bodied now — compared with flashing a bare knee over a bright light-grey big plastic AirCast boot! Mind you, as soon as I start clomping, my cover is blown! :o)

    I’d think that resting your boot gently on the floor as you crutch along would probably be harmless. If it feels good, keep doing it, I say.

    And about the heel wedges — are you sure they have a TOP and a BOTTOM? If not, flipping them “upside down” should convert left wedges to right ones, without a special trip to the clinic.

    Boots are way better than casts, but it’s still a challenge to keep an injured (and/or repaired) foot immobilized and comfortable at the same time. And as you start putting weight on it and clomping it down on hard surfaces, the challenge increases. . .

  5. OMG!! I was laughing for at least 10 minutes.

    Sweatpants with pockets, loose legged bottoms (not your naormal seatpants than bunch at the bottom of the legs). They worked fine for me..but then I had a cast for 5 weeks and pants go over them…and then the boot I took off to dress.

    Hang in there Buddy!!

  6. LOL
    How about velcro fastening stripper pants………no perhaps not!

    All the best and don’t be tempted to rush the recovery, the worst is almost over.

  7. OMG that was funny. I wore a lot of yoga pants or sweat pants.

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