Week 2 and into a Vacocast

The slowest two weeks have to be those following rupture, NWB, crutches, fighting the blues make for a total pain.

What a change a boot makes. My Vacocast arrived at the very last minute and just in time for my 2 week OS appointment today. It was the first time the staff at my local hospital had seen this boot, my doctor thought it looked like a great improvement over the typical boot. The nurse turned his nose up at it big time.

He refused to believe it would be possible to swim in it- if I did I would get heel rot! Its too bad that new ideas challenge some “professionals”. It is also too bad that the nurse couldn’t be bothered to read any of the the instructions and set the boot at 20 degrees instead of 30. No harm done, I refitted and adjusted the straps etc easily.

My doctor seems very relaxed and is happy to let me follow the Exeter protocol. Not sure if this is the protocol he uses, maybe is as it didn’t seem to raise any eyebrows. I am so glad that I am not battling old school rehab that’s for sure.

For now I am happily testing the water, slowly PWB. So far seems like it is very doable, but will build over the coming week. ROM feels bizarre but having the boot off is such a treat!

I have started to think about the connection between antibiotics and ATR. I was given tetracyline as a toddler, it stained and left a ridge on my forming teeth. I can’t help but wonder if there is any research the effects of drugs such as these on young tendons……

Hope your days are happy and healing is a work in progress!

7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    normofthenorth said,

    September 4, 2014 @ 11:31 pm

    Never heard of a connection, apart from the short-term link between Cipro-related antibiotics and tendon ruptures. That certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t a connection, of course. We could gather evidence here, except I’m not sure how many of us know/remember whether or not we had tetracyline (etc.) when very young.

  2. 2

    shoesat8 said,

    September 5, 2014 @ 9:38 am


    As you know, ROM=Range of Movement, meaning that the foot can move from 30º PF in your case, to say 15º PF. If your boot is fixed at 30 there is no ROM, which is how it should be at your stage according to Exeter which adds in the ROM after week 4. Exeter has the first 2 weeks in light cast, after which the Vaco boot is used (fixed for its first 2 weeks).

    Worth noting that some physio’s don’t give the Vaco adjusting key at all, preferring to make the adjustment themselves.

  3. 3

    herewegoagain said,

    September 5, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

    Norm- I doubt any of us would remember which antibiotics that we were given growing up, I have a challenge remembering any details like that at the best of times. The drug was given to kids under 8 in the early sixties and not for long, once it was realized the damage that was being done to forming teeth it was restricted in use. Anyone who was unfortunate enough to take it would be very aware as monitoring by dentists is ongoing. Will check with my OS next visit.

    Shoes- yikes, hinging this early would be brave. ROM for me is very gentle ankle movements out of the boot. Much easier this morning which is great!

  4. 4

    franny said,

    September 5, 2014 @ 10:46 pm

    Hi HWGA. I hear ya regarding getting the blues…. For the 6 wks I was NWB and using a knee scooter I was fighting wanting to cry every day. Man that was rough. I cheered up considerably when I switched to PWB and a Cam boot. Unfortunately, I’m now having surgery to repair a full ATR next week and I’m DREADING going back to NWB and using a scooter. Ugh

    Hang in there and enjoy your new-found freedom using the Vaco cast! Happy healing. :)

  5. 5

    mags11 said,

    September 8, 2014 @ 10:56 am

    I wish I would have gone with the vacocast to swim. I’m not a great swimmer but just being able to get in a pool would have been nice! Congrats on the progress!

  6. 6

    Brian said,

    September 9, 2014 @ 7:12 pm

    Glad to see you are out a cast now! I just got out of mine, been 2 weeks post injury non surgical option. Question for you, how was life adjusting to the boot? Do you feel any tightness in your achiles trying to get your foot properly positioned in the boot? Doc kinda rushed through the instructions on how to put my boot on. Just said to make sure the heel is touching the back and your foot is touching the bottom of the boot. Whenever I do this I will feel some tightness in my achiles as I am trying to push my foot into the right position. Just wanted to see if you or anyone else had a similar experience or any tips? Happy recovery!

  7. 7

    Herewegoagain said,

    September 9, 2014 @ 11:45 pm

    Hi Brian
    We are around the same point recovery wise. I love the boot, it is so much more comfortable than the cast. I am back at work and able to move around without my toes turning an off putting shade of blue.
    My fitting was also rushed and I had to come home and take a good look at how to get into it properly
    The heel definitely needs to sit into the back of the boot, at first this seemed tight but now is easy. I think the tightness was from stiffness and swelling in the ankle.
    I am feeling comfortable taking the boot off to ice and gently move my foot, I have also started massaging the bruising to try and break it up. What a difference this has made already!
    Sleeping is still a challenge, but I am gradually figuring out how to use pillows to prop myself up.
    Hope you are doing well- trust me it gets better each day!

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