My first appointment at the fracture clinic after the operation was about 2 weeks after the op. I had opened the letter, noted the date and saw the words "Fracture Clinic" and naturally assumed that it would be at Burnley hospital, where I saw the consultant before, and where I had the operation. But no.
I arrived for my 4pm appt with 5 mins to spare, to be told that my appointment was at Blackburn hospital, which is a half an hour journey down the M65 motorway. The receptionist rang the other hospital and they promised to wait for me, sop we got back into the car and set off. It took us 45 mins to get there, through rush hour traffic :( Rob dropped me at the door of Outpatients and went to park up while I went in to find the clinic.
After all that stress I was pleasantly surprised by how lovely the staff were. Some had stayed longer than their shift to wait for me but they were all really understanding, and even apologised for making us come all the way from Burnley. The cast was removed and I was pleased to see that actually the wound is about half the length I was told it might be. My toes are still a bit numb and tingly, and my little toe hurts so some strange reason, but the ankle itself looks good.
The consultant popped in to see me and take a look and seemed pleased. I am now handed over to a guy called Charlie from the Orthotics department. He has fitted me with a Vacoped boot - it’s like an inner soft wrap which has air inside, and then a plastic cage around the outside. It goes up to below my knee, and the angle of your foot is set by adjusting the cage. Underneath the cage itself there’s what looks like a massive grey platform heel.
Charlie says that I now have to keep my foot elevated as much as possible. I’ve been putting it up on the sofa next to me, but apparently it has to be even higher than that, which is going to make working on the laptop difficult. I’m also not allowed to take this boot off, even in bed. My initial impressions are that the angle is uncomfortable, as the cast must have been different, but also that it’s much heavier than the cast. The wedge also makes things a bit more awkward - your foot’s now twice the size it was! I have to invest in some more loose jogging pants as there’s no way my jeans will fit over this.
Also, in the previous boot, when standing I could rest the boot on the floor with my leg straight out in front of me. It’s quite difficult to do that in this one. Still I’ve been assured that using this boot provides a better treatment with better results than a normal cast would. Charlie says there aren’t that many places using these boots yet, which is why while I’m in it I’ll have to visit him once per week at Blackburn hospital. My physio can be done from Burnley though, so that’ll be easier.