Vacoped 6weeks done! :)

quick update:- 6weeks done now in the Vacoped. Now i’m at this stage the time seems to have flown by. Which is good.
its still frustrating not driving, not exercising, not being able to take it off for showers/baths. but hey ho, only 2 weeks left now until it comes off.

So the nurse changed the angle down to 0-30degrees on Tuesday. I was almost skipping into the doctors, i came out hobbling :( the angle change was really weird. As soon as i put my foot down with full weight on it, my tendon stretched and boy did i feel it. that was quite a reality check, my tendon although healing is no way on earth ready. I obviously knew that beforehand, but i went into the doctors feeling like i was almost going to jog out of there with the angle lowered, how wrong i was. that day walking and getting out of cars was a real pain.
Wednesday evening i was still using the crutches. but a work outing to the Bowling Alley encouraged me to ditch the crutches and try and have a bowl. i managed 1 and half games until my leg was hurting, or i was bowling crap.
anyway today my leg felt a little tender, but ive managed to get through the morning without the crutches. So my tendon has learnt that i need its help. still a bit sore, but walking feels much better especially without the vacoped wedge sole.

so cant wait for the 23rd when the boot comes off.

7 Responses to “Vacoped 6weeks done! :)”

  1. Hi there,
    how come you’re not taking the boot off for the bath? I have been in my boot since week two and so long as I didn’t get my wound soggy it was fine. In fact my surgeon say to shower it with clean water every day. Are you non op?
    I bought my own Vaco and went down to 20 degrees yesterday with the wedge sole. My guy said weight bear as tolerated so most of the time I’m without crutches. I did try the flat sole but I’m not supposed to use that until I’m at 10 degrees so a couple of weeks. If it hurts, rest it but you seem to be doing that anyway.
    Lots of people ride stationary bikes with the boot on if you want some exercise. Also, if you think neutral is too tough you can always go back 5 degrees for a couple of days?

  2. hi Sheena,

    well the doctors and Nurses told me that people do take them off but were not supposed to. the nurses are supposed to fit a piece of tape over the middle velcro strap not really to stop people taking it off, but so they know if someone has taken it off.

    the more today has gone on, walking around is going well i can feel the tendon stretching (in a good way).
    didn’t have to buy the vaco as it was free with NHS Leicester. yeah flat sole for when your 0-30degrees.

    all the best.

  3. Hi Andy

    Good to see that another enlightened NHS trust has the Vaco boots for its ATR patients.

    Flat sole for me was (I seem to remember, it was 6 months ago) from when I had 30 - 15º PF. I was in the 30º fixed PF for first 2 weeks of boot with the big wedge sole. The 2 weeks before that I was in a light fibreglass equinous cast.

    A pity that patients at Leicester appear not to be trusted with their boots though - the tape idea does away with much of the practicality of Oped’s excellent design which includes an extra liner for wash and wear. Do you have to go a fortnight before the insert is changed? That was one of the disadvantages of the old casts. For my first 2 weeks I kept my boot on in the shower but covered it up. Then I washed my ATR foot in the bidet (wondered what it was for, now I know….).

    Vaco boots do come with optional seals - surprised your people don’t use them just to make sure.


  4. I had access to a fixed Aircast boot with heel wedges and a hinged boot left over from my previous ATR on the other side. I stayed with the fixed boot, following the UWO protocol, until around 7 weeks, when I switched to the hinged boot, letting it flex from neutral to way plantarflexed. The studies I’ve seen with boots set to hinge early in the rehab haven’t shown results as good as UWO’s. Maybe there are some newer or better studies, but I haven’t seen them, so I’m skeptical that “hinging” in the early stages of FWB is helpful.

    I think I was about 4-ish weeks post-non-op when I started showering boot-less. (My blog remembers better than I do now!)

  5. Hi Hillie, yes every two weeks ive been going in to have my leg washed/cleaned and the inner lining replaced.
    not a big deal, but i would have preferred to have the option to do this at home. As the waiting times were from 1hour-3hours thats with an appointment. they should at least call/txt to say they are running behind.
    Or go back to the old days when you were buying food from the counter and had to take a ticket with a number on! then you would know where you sit amongst the others waiting. :)

    didnt get offered any seals or anything. so Bin liner has done the job or hanging my leg out the bath.

    i’m just hoping my leg is strong enough the week my boot comes off to enable me to drive.

    when i was at the hospital on tuesday one chap had ruptured his tendon 2weeks back, so he was their for his clean etc… but he had no cructches and he had on the flat sole and not even the wedge! so he was walking in really funny. i told him to have a word and get that sorted because you should be on a wedge heel.

  6. Hi Andy

    Unless I am missing something your treatment is, to put it mildly, less than optimum, and less than you need. These boots are designed to encourage early, sustainable mobility with increasing strength. By now your boot should typically be at about 30 - 0º PF (you’re close I think) and removable for bed, and to do some simple exercises, as well as wash as often as you want to, changing the cotton liner as you wish. From what you say you are little better off than having a simple cast.

    Why not point out the YouTube videos to your guys (instructional as well as swimming and break dancing), and even suggest that they speak to orthopods at, I think, Edinburgh and certainly Exeter, as you understand that other patients are being treated differently.

    Oped UK is in the Devizes and you could call them too for advice.

    You might need to give your leg a day or more to stretch a little before you drive, then try somewhere quiet first to make sure that you can at least drive safely - your atr is left leg so will depend on your clutch strength, and traffic type.

    Good luck.

  7. Hillie, yes been on the 30-0degree since tuesday. so all in all been in the boot for just gone size weeks.

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