Well, it is more of a 3 weeks and 4 days consultancy due to the fact my specialist is going on holiday (a bit of resentment from me I sense!)

For the first time I realised how long a road this recovery really could be. I have felt little pain and discomfort over the last week. That rush of blood feeling had gone and there was a feeling of normalness in my ankle area.

My consultant took off my boot and he asked me to push up against his hand; there was nothing. It didn’t necessarily feel like there was much discomfort, but I couldn’t move it myself and the muscle wastage was very visually obvious. The ball of my foot was then physically pushed up, stretching my Achilles; there was the pain I was looking for. A kind of empty, sick like feeling where my ankle used to be.

My short term goals and focuses have now changed. I have been instructed to start moving my Achilles and ankle joint a lot more, tensing all of the muscles around the area. It feels a bit like I will never be able to use it again, as I can’t currently get my mindset back to a time when I could use it? Weird thing to say I know, but I am sure others have felt this?

During this session it was discussed about my PT. My consultant is away for 2 weeks, and my next appointment is not until 21st August. I feel like I am losing time on my recovery. I wouldn’t mind, but I am moving out to Qatar on August 25th. I may not find a Physio straight away, therefore I might not even begin any physical work until around 10/11 weeks. Advice needed please? Was hoping to be at least part weight bearing by then?

Final question is about my boot. I am finding my Otto Bock hinged boot very warm, rather uncomfortable and the bottom of my foot is going mouldy (literally!!). It is not aircast or anything similar and it appears to be a standard fleece hinged device.I have spoken to Oped UK about the Vacoped which is exactly the same boot as the Vacocast Achilles Pro in the US. Is it really that good? And then, is it worth the extra money? I could be wearing it for around the next 6 weeks I guess?

The next phase feels like a bit of a blur….

9 Responses to “My 4 Week(ish) Consultancy”
  1. pauls says:

    Keep your chin up Ross, I sit on the sofa, no boot and continuously flex my foot trying to bring my toes towards my shin, this has definitely helped with my range of motion I can get it past neutral with no pain. If I push it I still don’t get any pain it just won’t do it. I think it is the scar from the surgery that is tight and stopping this. I believe the more you can work it the better. If you keep the weight off it should be ok!
    Keep it going and be careful.

  2. eva10 says:

    Hey Ross, at about that time I couldn’t apply any pressure either. I just couldn’t engage it. Then at physio after massaging my calf I was able to move it and haven’t looked back ever since. Hang in there!

  3. hillie says:


    I used the Vacocast Achilles Pro (Oped is the company that makes Vaco products). Mine was supplied by my NHS hospital and, as I have never tried another type, I don’t know how it compares with the other brands and types. It worked for me - you’ll know about its features already, so you know that, spec-wise it beats all or most of its competitors. Price-wise - this didn’t affect me directly (NHS) and the boots can be refurbished and reused at the hospital - they are not cheap. A hospital can re-use but you, hopefully, wouldn’t expect to.

    They have appeared on eBay so you might want to look there to buy yours and sell in a few months time - or, if you have to buy new, go to Oped and then just sell on eBay. Replaceable parts include the liners and soles.

    If you do buy, get the Even-up sole to add to the shoe on your good foot. You really will need to be balanced, left and right - your hips need to be level or you are likely to suffer pain and maybe even damage your good leg. Some, ladies especially, have innovated and used a wedge shoe instead - I guess you won’t want to do that!

  4. normofthenorth says:

    Darkest before the dawn, hang in. Check out the successful UWO protocol — e.g. bit.ly/UWOProtocol — and keep it handy and don’t stray far from it, wherever your Doc goes. The “exercises” (gentle wiggling at first) and the progress toward FWB may be the most important.
    Most boot liners can at least be hand washed, squeezed mostly dry in a few towels or chamois cloths, the air dried while you give your leg some air. Some rubbing alcohol and maybe a fan will help make sure your leg and the liner are bone-dry.

    This rehab rewards being handy! I wouldn’t be too creative with your schedule, stick to a proven one, but creativity on the “how” usually pays off.

  5. starshep says:

    I’m at 22 weeks and I am finally starting to notice that at times I can walk around without being conscious of having an ATR. This does not happen all that often yet since I still have to concentrate on my walking mechanics and not limping.

    As far as foot care in a boot, have you tried talc powder? It seemed to help me.

  6. pauls says:

    Hey Ross, you can email me on paul@csturfproducts.com

  7. sheena says:

    Hi Ross,
    I went through all you are feeling. I was in a cst for the first six weeks but I was PWB from day one….very unusual but hasn’t harmed me. Whilts in my cast my doc told me to wiggle about as much as possible. Just don’t do stuff that causes real pain, not yet. From week six I went into my boot and FWB immediately. So in another 3 weeks you may be able to do that. Have a look at the protocol that Norm talks about. Even though they don’t want me in two shoes until next week I have been walking around a bit at home in trainers but not if there is real pain. You will be hot in that boot in Qatar if you are out of A/C…

  8. Muriel C says:

    Hi Ross - my cast came off yesterday 4 weeks post-op, and I am now in a boot with 3 wedges. Doc took a cursory look at the rupture site and announce I could do FWB. Well like you, I found my ankle to be totally floppy and uncontrollable. No way am I FWB anything, and when I take the boot off I get a really sick feeling. My calf muscles have disappeared.

    Since your original posting, how have things been for you? I’d be really interested to hear how you are doing 2 months down the line and whether anything in particular helped you get there. I am totally amazed by how I have been “released” into the boot with no physio and no advice whatsoever, so any tips would be welcome.
    Many thanks! Muriel

  9. Arnoldo says:

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