Jun 19 2013

5 Weeks and beginning FWB

Published by cole at 12:06 am under Uncategorized

I went to the Ortho on Monday to have my cast removed and begin boot training.  I was very surprised he said I could begin full weight bearing.  I was expecting a recommendation of 2 weeks of ROM work and then begin PWB.  So following doctors orders I have slowly in the past two days worked my way to putting my full weight on the injured foot, in my boot of course.  Though all the while I worry if I am damaging the tendon and concerned if I am moving ahead too fast.  It is liberating to be able to carry a drink across the room without assistance or clinching the crutch between my arm and my body while carrying a glass of water.

I also had my first PT on Monday.  We went over light stretching and range of motion exercises.  I hope everyone is recovering well.

19 Responses to “5 Weeks and beginning FWB”

  1. Danielon 19 Jun 2013 at 12:47 am


    That’s awesome, how’s the ROM and mobility? Do they have you in a boot with heel lifts? I’m 5 weeks post op and I’m only PWB and had my 1st PT today and did the same stretching and toe pulls kind of stuff. Keep us posted on how the FWB so early works out!

  2. micah1on 19 Jun 2013 at 4:58 am

    Brilliant news Cole, it does feel daunting when you start weight bearing and I think you do right to work up to it over a few days. Listen to your body. Enjoy your new independence.

  3. hoppymodoon 19 Jun 2013 at 6:13 am

    “Liberating” is the right word! I am curious, what are the exercises you are doing? I have only been flexing my ankle up and down within the limits of my hinged boot. Sounds like you are recovering well, look forward to reading more updates from you!

  4. musimasteron 19 Jun 2013 at 6:32 am

    Congrats my friend.

    I had surgery 4 weeks ago today. 2 weeks in Splint.

    Week 3 - Then straight into Vacoped boot, NWB for first week save for being able to balance and stand, foot positioned fully downwards.

    Week 4 - Boot and heel position remained the same, but advised i can PWB a little, advised no ROM exercises yet (although i ignored this advice and did gentle ROM exercises myself).

    Week 5 - Been to hospital today, Orthotics chap was very pleasantly surprised i had so much ROM movement when he took the boot off (i of course remained quiet and did not tell of what i had bee doing as he had told me off the previous week for doing gentle ROM exercises).

    He has brought the boot up and advised me he now wants me to FWB and expects me to fully walk into his office for next weeks appointment. He told me ditch the crutches !!

    Been advised to do ROM, twice a day take boot off, 10 x forward, 10 x backwards. Also, 20 x circular clockwise and 20 x circular anticlockwise twice a day - hope this helps hoppymodo.

    I was quite surprised but also elated at the same time. I have dropped one crutch within the space of 1 hour and will hopefully be FWB by the end of the day. Bit scary but very exciting as well !

    I am expecting to be in shoes in week 7 (fingers crossed).

    Hang in there people and good luck.

  5. brokendadon 19 Jun 2013 at 9:04 am

    Great news Cole. It took a day for my pain to decrease, so I hope you are more comfortable soon.

  6. coleon 19 Jun 2013 at 12:51 pm

    @Daniel - I didnt’ feel my range of motion was very good at all and that is why I was concerned about going FWB. My ROM and mobility dramatically increased as I slowly began PWB and then to full. I started with a small heel lift and have already removed it since it was very uncomfortable. Good luck with your recovery.

    @micah1 - Thanks for the advice to listen to my body. I don’t think this is an injury that should be pushed too hard.

    @hoppymodo - I have been removing my boot several times a day to do standard flexing up/down and side-to-side motion. But the weight bearing is what helped with a big increase in the ROM.

    @musimaster - congrats on the FWB. It looks like we are at a similar stage. I understand being tenative losing the crutches. I am trying a full day without them today but being cautious on how often I walk.

    @brokendad - I have read your blog. Good luck with the progress and I am looking forward to your updates to see how you are doing.

  7. kellygirlon 19 Jun 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Another boot buddy! I think it’s normal to worry a little bit especially at the beginning. The boot is a great stabilizer though and I haven’t really worried about injuring myself while strapped in. Enjoy FWB and good luck!

  8. Soldier Jon 20 Jun 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I dont think you should worry. I complete ruptured my tendon, and I started walking without crutches at 3 1/2 weeks with minor pain. The only pain I really have is on my heel because I have the heel blocks there. I even sleep with out my boot some nights. My foot normally feels really good in the morning. I think your recovery is coming along, but definitely listen to the doc. Finally, you know your own body and if you feel that you can do some ROM with out pain do it…. My PT told me this. So, I have been on the stationary bike (with my Boot on), no pain. Walking with out crutches (I am at 4 weeks now). Doing ROM exercises, with no pain.

  9. normofthenorthon 20 Jun 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Whenever you’re worried about going too fast, take a look at bit.ly/UWOProtocol . They went pretty fast and got pretty close to the best results of any of the well-studied group. If you’re going much faster (& I don’t think you are), you may be in uncharted waters.

  10. normofthenorthon 20 Jun 2013 at 6:29 pm

    BTW, they went PWB at RWO weeks in, and “FWB As Tolerated” at FOUR. You could try gradually catching up, also liberating — though no transition can match FWB, IMHO.

  11. normofthenorthon 20 Jun 2013 at 6:31 pm

    RWO –> TWO. If you enable AJAX Editing, we can all fix our typos.

  12. Marissaon 21 Jun 2013 at 7:54 pm

    What did you do to start PWB? I am just shy of 6 weeks post op and have been told to start PWB but at this point I don’t really know how to take the first step to do that? How light did you start? At this point I have just been “ghost stepping” - placing my injured foot on the ground but not putting any weight through it. Is this how you started? Did you have much stiffness or soreness transitioning from NWB to PWB? Thanks hope your recovery is going well

  13. coleon 21 Jun 2013 at 11:26 pm

    @kellygirl - the boot certainly helps the confidence with walking.

    @Soldier J - I know what you mean about the heel blocks being uncomfortable. I couldn’t take it and removed it second day of FWB. I have also just been cleared to gently ride an exercise bike. I will start tomorrow.

    @normofthenorth - thank you for the info on about the UWO protocol. It helped put my progress in perspective and now I think I am behind. :)

    @Marisa - I did exactly what you are doing with the light touches in the boot. I had a lot of stiffness initially but no pain. For me everything seemed to loosen up pretty quickly. I gradually continued to add more weight as my confidence increased and felt more ROM. Of course i still have a long way to go. Although I am FWB in the boot I am now starting light touches without the boot. Good luck and I hope you heal well.

  14. Marissaon 22 Jun 2013 at 2:41 am

    Thank cole! How long did it take you to FWB after you started to PWB?

  15. coleon 22 Jun 2013 at 10:05 am

    My first day in the boot started with light touches and then I gradually added weight throughout the day as my confidence built and the tendon began to slowly stretch. The second day began with partial weight bearing and by the end of the day I was FWB but still using my crutches just in case. Third day I set the crutches aside.

  16. lyssgrishon 22 Jun 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Hey, how many wedges do you have in the boot? And are you using 1 crutch to FWB or none?

    I am just over 5 weeks post op and am FWB with one crutch, one heel lift in the boot… but it makes walking pretty awkward since my injured leg is higher up than my good leg! Having the same problem?

  17. coleon 24 Jun 2013 at 10:03 am

    I had one wedge and took it out the second day in the boot because it was very uncomfortable. I used two crutches for light touches the first two days and then ditched them completely on the the third. The boot itself is quite uncomfortable and although I am trying to walk with the bended knee as recommended I can feel some slight hip pain on the good side now.

  18. lyssgrishon 24 Jun 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Hi there. I ruptured my achilles on Cinco De Mayo too! I am just starting FWB, with no pain.. it’s mostly just uncomfortable because the injured leg is “longer” than my good one… makes it hard to walk normal… Have you come up with any solution to this?

  19. coleon 24 Jun 2013 at 9:28 pm

    It helps as the tendon starts to stretch out a little. I also have no pain. Ryanb has an excellent overall blog including a video of how to correctly walk FWB in a boot. I can now walk as shown in the video but it took just short of a week. I just read your blog and will be curious how your recovery goes since we injured ourselves same day. I wish you well with you recovery.

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