Week 4 Follow-up today - start FWB

My surgeon said I should start full weight-bearing in the boot today and, over the next 4 weeks, to take a wedge off per week.  Then, over a 2-week period, transition to 2 shoes (increasing hours per day) and get rid of the crutches (timeline = 10 weeks post-op).  I will be re-evaluated regarding my driving status at the 10-week follow-up visit.  Of course, I remain NWB as of this evening since I don’t feel ready to go FWB at this very second.  I’ll try it tonight and gradually increase the % over the next few days.

As slow as this process seems to be, I’m glad things appear to be moving forward.  The surgeon said the wound is healing well and the bad leg "matches" the good leg perfectly - he was very proud of his work, which I greatly appreciate!  He cautioned that the physiotherapist should not be doing any stretching of the tendon when I go to PT (starting next week - Week 5).  How can I tell the difference between "stretching" and "non-stretching" exercises?

3 Responses to “Week 4 Follow-up today - start FWB”

  1. So how was the transition when you first put your foot down and walked FWB? I am still 10 days from getting the cast off and into the Vacoped boot. I’ve been using the iwalk since the day after surgery so I’ve been “using” the ATR leg - just no pressure on the foot obviously. Does everyone need a crutch at first when using the boot, or can you just hobble along? Thanks and good luck. Chris

  2. Per my doctor’s instructions, I’m supposed to keep using the crutches with the boot for 4 weeks, and then wean off the crutches and get into 2 shoes over 2 weeks afterwards.

    I had been getting around with the iwalk since surgery too. It was strange putting my foot down on the floor for the first time in 4 weeks. I felt a mix of tingling and sharp pains in the heel with the first few steps. No pain (or feeling, really) in the Achilles or calf. Gradually, in the same walking session, the heel pains would go away. Fatigue and ankle pain set in pretty quickly, so I would be afraid to do without crutches at all. It seems that I have the next 3.5 weeks to get to this level of comfort - so I just have to be patient, I guess.

    Good luck with your recovery!

  3. I think you want to avoid anything that pushes your ankle to the limit of dorsi-flexion, especially against weight and holding it, if that makes sense.

    When in the boot I was just given mobility exercises, concentrating on being able to move the ankle around in all 4 different directions. Plus a gentle strengthening exercise which was pushing the toes down against the floor from full plantar-flexion in order to try and activate the calf a bit.

    Now that I’m 2 weeks in two shoes she’s still strictly avoiding static stretches (so no holding it in a stretch) but says it’s fine to experience a bit of “dynamic” stretch as I push off when walking.

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