Looking for Vaco Cast Feedback

I’ve been doing a lot of research on that Vaco Cast and I think it’s what I want to rock with when it’s time for me to get booted. I figured if it’s good enough for  teams in the Bundesliga, it’s good enough for me. But my surgeon had never heard of it, so I was wondering if any of you guys who have used it have any feedback to share.

11 Responses to “Looking for Vaco Cast Feedback”

  1. Amazed, considering the positive feedback through this blog about Oped’s Vaco boots, that you’ve had no responses - I would have been sooner but mostly away from computer for a few days (hooray).

    I had the Vacoped Pro Achilles from week 3 to week 9ish. It was tough and light, great protection. Easily adjustable with no internal wedges to mess with. Had to wear it in bed for its first 2 weeks but sole detaches to avoid any marks. Removable liner easy to wash (make sure you get 2, then when one is drying you have the other) and makes it ok for swimming in later on (see YouTube videos).

    You mention the Bundesliga, and near to me I have one of the top UK rugby teams. I am told that a few weeks after injury they wear these boots during practice - although some need a few parts replacing afterwards…

    There is also a market for them on eBay.

    Now I remember why few people make recommendations - they sound like an advertisement! All I can is that it worked for me - mine was supplied by my NHS hospital and I still have it, just in case, for a while at least.

  2. Dear Benz,
    I had a double rupture both feet. After 5 weeks in cast post OP I bought a pair of the Vacocast Pro Achilles and requested that I be put in them. Best investment I ever made. They are extremely comfortable, can be removed for hygiene and kept off for sleeping. I was walking FWB with no crutches with the boot just shy of 6 weeks post OP. I highly recommend this boot.

  3. Thanks guys for confirming what i was feeling after researching the vaco boot. I go for my first post-op check up Thursday but I’ll be ordering mine this week. I even like how it looks for an Achilles boot!

  4. You might want to order Oped’s Even-up for the shoe on your good foot. Somehow you must achieve a balance - hips level - or you will put additional strain on your body anywhere from lower back down to your feet. Some of the ladies here have been able to use a high wedge shoe, others have used their highest trainers or walking shoes.

    I also found my boot good for early weight bearing and losing the crutches, although we are all different in this respect - albeit not as different or varied as the many protocols employed by the medical profession.

  5. Hi, UK based NHS patient; full ~ATR 29/6; after 3 weeks treatment, casts, scans(none op) etc at Hull Royal Infirmary, during which time I had found THE Blog, they told me no VACOped, no enhanced healing. I found a new, adjacent hospital, new orthopod, bought myself a VACOped and presented with it at my first appointment. New man had never seen one: liked the look and worked out a new protocol for me. Yet another Post Code Lottery with the NHS. I understand that Blackburn, Leicester, Edinburgh and others supply the VACO on NHS. I’m now fwb in high wedge sole for another 2 weeks, equinus (pointed down sole), then, hopefully flat sole with 20 degrees of movement. Hopefully into two shoes mid/end Sept.
    THe Vaco is so much comfier than the cast.

  6. Hi RogerG

    I had a cast for 2 weeks then the Vaco boot at 30º PF with the Achiiles high wedge for 2 weeks. Then it was the flatter sole at 30-15 PF for 2 weeks, weaned off the crutches, then 30-0 2 weeks, then 30º PF to 10º DF, 1 week indoors, 2 weeks outdoors. Similar I’ve heard at Edinburgh, Exeter and an increasing number of others. My recovery timeline was same as if my AT had been operated on.

    After the 1 week indoors I began to wear 2 shoes in the house, waiting for another week before doing the same outside.

    Your new guy appears to be almost on the same track but maybe a little more conservative, understandable as he is new to the product (you’re his test bed) and may not have sought advice from orthopods elsewhere (they don’t seem to like doing this). If you’d had the better protocol from the start, you would just about be heading into shoes in the next few days, all being well.

    However, because you took the initiative to try elsewhere, you’ve had a pretty good result compared to many who have posted on Achillesblog.

    Good luck

  7. Hi Hillie, reading all of the postings, I’m not doing too badly. One huge advantage of the VACOped is that each evening I can take it off and gently flex my ankle, getting some circulation going (without any weight bearing !) and I’m sure the swelling is going down already. On reflection, biggest gripe is my GP. Six months Tendinopothy, hardly able to walk some days, sent me off for Cortisone Injections (yes a no no, I know now), temporary relief before the pain came back. Then asked to see an Orthopod (yes, I could have insisted); he said no need, it would get better eventually; then of course the ATR !!! If only I had found THE BLOG earlier. Did you sleep in the VACO ? I have taken to removing the front shell which makes it more comfortable, with the strapping in place. FYI, my new Orthopod is a specialist knee and ankle man; still hadn’t seen the VACO before. I have had lots of dialogue with Oped UK who tell me that many OS’s will not move with the times, even though it must be cheaper for the NHS, than multiple new castings etc.
    Did you use anything like the VACO ‘Even Up’ to help with walking ?

    Keep in Touch

  8. Hi Roger

    I didn’t find the blog until a few weeks after my ATR. The correct diagnosis came after 10 days of doctors believing it was a calf tear - the rupture was quite high. As soon as the consultant saw it, ATR was diagnosed. After the 2 weeks in cast I was relieved to see that I was going to receive Oped’s Vaco boot - I like new stuff but more than anything I want technology that makes a difference for the better. Also, even though my ortho clinic had a fast protocol, they pushed even that - with getting some mobility and doing basic exercises at least. Did static bike with the boot on and wheel resistance not set at about week 5.

    During weeks 3 and 4 I slept in the boot with the achilles wedge removed, then no boot in bed. Initially I didn’t know about the Even-up and made do with my highest trainer on my good foot, but I did suffer with the imbalance. The Even-up became available only as I came out of the boot, so I didn’t use it.

    Oped should write to the purchasing managers at the hospital trusts, and provide them with a cost benefit analysis, referring to multiple castings, etc and boots that can be returned to stock, refurbished with new straps and soles.

    Be really involved in your recovery and look forward to the really serious physiotherapy in a few weeks time.

  9. Hillie, if you keep this up, I may (finally) be able to retire from achillesblog.com! I keep reading and saying “yes” and “right on” to my computer!

  10. Norm

    Compared to you and others still posting way after their ATR’s, I’m a new guy here. I’m just on 6 months now from ATR day.

    At this stage I often consider not posting any more, then I see another case of bad advice, indifference, apparent lack of knowledge from patient and practitioner. What got me going in the first place was seeing our NHS being slagged off compared to other countries - as far as I can see, most leave much to be desired, and at least here we don’t get hit with a big bill (or no treatment if you can’t pay).

    Armed with the lessons learned from others, those reading the blog today can go with confidence to their specialists and be a little more confidently vocal, participating actively in their treatment. No good whingeing to the medics, they are very busy too, present them with the facts, ask them questions - and when you leave the hospital/ortho centre/GP practice, go armed with next steps, contact numbers, and a feeling that you are in the best hands.

    There, went off on one again, must stop…

    (And sorry Benz, this is your blog, see what you started).

  11. Makes sense to me, Hillie!

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