going down stairs

I am at about 15 weeks and for the most part I am walking with a little limp and I am continuing to go to physio. One thing that I still find difficult is going down stairs I still go with my injured foot first and then bring my other foot to meet it on the same step. I once went down normally for one step because I was not really thinking and the stretch and sharp pain I got in my tendon was intense. How did other people get past this obstacle and at approximatey what week were you able to do this?

10 Responses to “going down stairs”

  1. My fave and most “normal” way is just to make sure that my “bad” foot is near the edge of the step — about half on the step, and the toe half hanging over air. Then I shift my weight onto it and step onto the next step down with my “good” foot, just like a normal person. No two-feet-on-the-same-step stuff.

    This move seems to place no serious tension on the AT, and it doesn’t require the ankle to dorsiflex while WB, because the shoe pivots around the edge of the step, rather than the ankle doing the pivoting.

    I’m at almost 12 weeks, and my flexibility is pretty good, but my strength is still too weak to “push off” at the end of a stride, so I share your little limp. So if I put my whole “bad” foot on a stair, going down, it would definitely still complain if I stepped down past it with the “good” foot. But the way I’ve described is totally comfy, fast and “normal”, and seems pretty safe. You don’t want to miss a step, and I’m still very nervous while carrying large objects — especially if they block my view of the stairs!

    If you’re nervous that your foot will slide off the step doing it my way, try shoes with better traction. I’ve been doing it mostly in Crocs, cheap Chinese molded rubber) sandals, and low slip-on boots like the Merrell Jungle Moc, and they all work fine.

  2. You’re a couple of weeks ahead of me, I don’t think you should be afraid of making a normal step, no matter how slow. I ‘m going down stairs for the last 2 weeks, what I do is put my heel down first and not toes. Then good foot, then repeat. However, this way I don’t do a normal step like my good foot, but I try to push as much as I can, to make my ankle dorsiflex. This way, I have the whole foot standing on the step (except maybe from the edge of it), so it’s easier to make the ankle work like in level ground, rather than hanging the toes out of the step, which also is scary for me, even on my Nikes. My ROM is excellent (actually better than the good foot) and that helps a lot. Also, my swelling on top of the foot is doing pretty good (my skin doesn’t fold anymore when dorsiflexing hurrayyyy) and my toes tendons are finally visible.

  3. Agree with Norm, I would suggest practicing in running shoes and holding the rail, but the main point is pivot your shoe along the edge of the step, let the front of your shoe hang off whan you step down on the stair. Also weak quad muscles make it harder; do not forget to strengthen your quads and knees with squats.
    I am no fan of slippers as I re-ruptured with them…

  4. I’m 15 weeks and 1 day as I’m posting this reply. I still go down the steps with hands on the rails, with the bad foot planting first, then the good foot stepping down to the next step. I can’t run down the stairs like before, but I’m slower for sure, but I’m going up and down stairs. If someone gets upset at my speed, they can go around me…I’m in no big rush.
    I don’t have as much pain as I did when first going down the stairs, just shows that it will slowly get better the more you do it.

    Good luck.

    “Slow and Steady Wins THIS Race”

  5. Yup, I’m exactly 15 weeks today and have to go downstairs exactly as you described. Unless I go SLOW MO! You got me to thinking- all my PT exercises focused on stepping up onto a platform and then stepping back off it to the same starting place- never up and then down on the OTHER side. Since downstairs seems to be a universal challenge for us ATRers, I wonder why PTs don’t work on it specifically?

  6. I’m at 18 weeks, and I can make it down the shorter steps outside of school, but the higher ones inside still scare me. I won’t be going to PT for the next 3 weeks as I will be having more surgery, but for the last few weeks I have been stepping up on the box, and then down on the other side…that seemed to help more than anything.

    Keep on working…you will get there.

    Deanne (aka DREAMS)

  7. thanks for the sugestion Norm. I have been trying what you suggested and it is working but I seem to be going slower now but I think it is because I am afraid of slipping so I am extremely cautious, but I think if I keep trying it will start feeling normal again at least that is what I hope.

  8. That sounds right to me, diane. At first, it’s a “leap of faith” to step right past the step the “bad” foot is (half) on. But it’s actually pretty safe, it just takes some getting used to. (I practiced up a lot by doing the same move earlier, in my boot!)

  9. glad I happened on this site. Had AT repair on 6/22 and am now just beginning limited weight bearing. Just started range of motion exercises and find that while in the air cast it is easier to just sleep on the couch with my foot up. Still trying to get used to going up and down stairs. I have three steps up that I have to navigate at least 10 times daily. Trying to get used to the one crutch but going up and down (no step rails here) but making it. I had the same procedure done 6 years ago on my left foot so was able to use the same boot.. Air cast has been wonderful about replacing the pads, airbags, pumps and the like at no fee at least at that time. This is a really neat site. Had no idea there were so many people recovering.

  10. Hi,

    I found your page while searching for ’stairs’. I’m at 20 weeks & going downstairs seems to be the hardest motion to overcome. I can now squat, run and almost walk without a limp but going downstairs is still hard.

    Thanks for posting.

Leave a Reply

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-Spam Image

Powered by WP Hashcash