Week 7 WBAT, started PT…now how to go crutchless?

I started weight bearing finally after 6 weeks of immobile NWB cast.  It is a freaky feeling to think that I can rerupture with one wrong move. I felt really vulnerable the first few days for sure.   There was a lot of pressure on my ankle joints, tendon, and my heel when I started WB.  I can put full weight on my leg but find it hard to believe I am cleared to walk without crutches.  

PT- went for initial visit  hoping to end up with a pretty female pt who I can look forward to massaging my tendon 3x a week but ended up with a pretty cool dude instead.  He really seems to know his stuff so I can settle for that!  Plus once I saw how up close and personal he got with my feet I think I might  feel bad if it was a chick.  

I have doc orders of active ROM and table stretches only for the next 6 weeks.  The PT is progressing I am on 4th visit and have much better ROM seems to be moving slowly though.  Basic day is heating, massage, ROM, hip exersizes, boot walking with crutches to correct gait, then ice.  Pretty basic boring activities that I can and do at home, all but the massage part.

I am still using 2 crutches for the majority of “walking”.  On one crutch, which I can do but with a lean, I am way too slow to do anything more than 20 feet.   One week after WBAT, the slight strain in the back of my leg tells me not to go 100% WB walking yet.  The pain is better every day but the wedges start coming out next week and feel that if I dont get to crutchless walking soon then removing a wedge might set me back pain wise. 

Is it just a momentum thing how does one walk without an ankle joint?   Walking with 1 crutch is possible right now for me but it is real awkward and slow, but at least I have use of one arm.  Hoping to be crutch free the end of this week with help of my PT.  Can someone ease my mind and get me motivated to go crutchless?  Did you have pain in tendon and still put weight on it or was it pain free transition?

11 Responses to “Week 7 WBAT, started PT…now how to go crutchless?”

  1. …also OS doesnt want me to use a stationary bike, and the PT said he wont go against doctors orders and stated that i would be firing on my calf muscle which might disrupt the surgical repair. I have read others accounts of stationary biking once boot is on and was hoping to do so for cardio. Did you just do it or was OS/PT supportive of it????

  2. If your boot is snug enough and stiff enough, you should be able to walk fine and fast with no pain — at least none close to the ATR. Some of us were super-sensitive on the bottom of our foot after weeks of NWB, tho that’s usually worse in 2 shoes or barefoot than in the boot. The trick to boot-walking is to use the curved boot sole to roll from heel to toe, pushing your knee forward as you do. The boot should transfer the force a normal AT applies, from the ball of your foot to the front of your shin — i.e., from the front of the boot’s sole to the top-front of its cuff.
    I think RyanB has a good video, and I’m sure YouTube has more. When I was used to my boot, I could walk faster than all of my friends! (Then you slow WAY down when you “graduate” to 2 shoes! ;-( )

    BTW, I consider using 1 crutch to be the Work of the Devil, and I avoided it. Tried a cane for a day or two, then blissfully started forgetting where I’d left it. With 2 crutches, it’s possible to walk completely normally except for your weight being shared between your healing leg and your arms/crutches. With 1, you’re always lopsided.

    A propos: As you approach FWB, make sure you’ve built up your UNinjured foot so it’s as far off the ground as your injured one, or you’ll be in danger of messing up your hips or knees or something. Footbeds, hiking boots, strap-on “cast shoe”, custom contraptions, Vaco’s Even-Up. . . SOMETHING!

    I think my health pros were all supportive of my hitting the exercise bike fairly early on, in the boot and starting with the pedal under my heel. I also started cycling around Toronto while still in the boot, with or without their blessing. The only unnerving part was after I was in 2 shoes, cycling fast over potholes while standing on “that” pedal (under the ball of my foot). The fast shock loads didn’t feel great, so I adjusted my stance when I saw potholes coming.

  3. I just started using the Even Up shoe leveler it is a world of a difference it feels way more natural now and minutes ago i was able to go without crutches for a short distance, it is not smooth yet but it is pain free. Progress.

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