ibjc’s Achilles Recovery

         My return to 2 feet!!!

July 19, 2012

VacoCast or NO?? Football time….need help fast.

Filed under: Cast, Daily — Jenifer @ 5:20 pm

I’m trying to figure out my next step and Dr. will put me back in the AWFUL…..deRoyal boot that throws my hips, back and shoulder off. Did I mention I don’t like the deRoyal boot what so ever…..well its true. I was in that for 10 months and hated it and don’t want to go back after the cast comes off. So my question is about the quality of the VacoCast achilles/pro. What are the pros and cons of this boot. I only get some reimbursement from my insurance company which I have been fighting the past few days so before I spend the money on this…..I need your thoughts as to what boot to look into if not the VacoCast. Everything I see and read about it is coming back positive. Here is my schedule when I’m back to walking and in a boot…..Football is here and I’m a sports photographer so I will need to be out on the field every Friday night and for some other scrimmages during the week. My goal is to be ready for the game that is being played on ESPN2 on August 26th. This is the date in my head so with that said…..what boot is the choice….pros and cons….give it to me!!!! I want to order it ASAP if possible.


  1. A lot of us on this board got the VACO, and you won’t find one negative comment about it.
    There is no comparison between the boot my surgeon fitted me with and the VACO. Much lighter, smaller, comfortable, soft lining (washable) and removable soles so I would not get dirt into my bed. No wedges needed, and it is hinged though I never got to use that feature. Best $300 I’ve ever spent.

    Comment by housemusic — July 19, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

  2. Ditto here - the Vaco makes it very easy to walk with the larger sole - when I couldn’t yet walk in my traditional boot. Most of all, it’s really light, saving me from other complications with knees and hips while sleeping or working out. You WILL need an elevated shoe or lift kit to walk with the large sole. (check my blog for the “Volatile Shoes” I bought to match it exactly) The flatter sole matches typical clogs, etc. I LOVE being able to change out the liner, take off the soles, and wear it in the pool. HTH, Kim

    Comment by kimjax — July 19, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

  3. I can only echo the others’ comments and also emphasise what Kim has said about balance between your right and left. I didn’t do this as soon as I should have and ended up with sore hips and knee. I haven’t tried other brands and at this stage (20 weeks) I really don’t want the opportunity to do so. My boot (UK NHS supplied) is still with me but hasn’t been worn for over 10 weeks now.

    Comment by hillie — July 20, 2012 @ 6:49 am

  4. Thank you……just got off the phone with VacoCast and it’s ordered along with an extra liner. It should be here next week. I will fight with insurance after it gets here. Hell, I only have 1 leg to stand on at the moment. LOL. Again….thanks, that is exactly what I needed to feel comfortable making this purchase although I already knew I was getting it based on what I read here.

    Comment by Jenifer — July 20, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  5. Like Hillie, I, too, am in the UK - of the joy of A+E and the NHS. I have just stumbled across this site and going to write my own blog to try and get some questions answered. I see you are now going for the Vacoped as well as the others? I am 3 weeks in and have just been put into an Otto Bock hinged ankle fancy boot, but it is very heavy and difficult to sleep in. How long do you think it will be worn for? My surgeon has been very vague, and talked about shoes with heel inserts etc around the 7 week mark? Very confused about the long road ahead….
    Best wishes and I hope you are all well….

    Comment by blueross — July 21, 2012 @ 8:25 am

  6. NHS patient in the UK as well. did my ATR doing some fairly gentle gardening 29th June. Two casts and scans later I was told that Hull & ER hospitals don’t do enhanced rehab and didn’t carry boots in stock; so two weeks on I have found another NHS hospital with a ’specialist’ lower leg man who is much more obliging, but never heard of Vacoped. I contacted Oped direct and was hugely impressed with their attitude towards me, explaining that many UK based ortho surgeons would not even speak to them: having said that, I read that Poole, Leicester and Edinburgh (there must be others also)supply the Vacoped. Long story short; after a bit of haggling, bought my boot last week and after another scan, the ‘Plaster Technician’ fitted it for me. Visited my new ortho surgeon for the second time yesterday with new boot on; he seemed impressed and reversed his decision from last week, when he declared the gap was too big (half cm) and he would probably need to operate (nearly four weeks after ATR).Asked me to stay none wb for 3 weeks; then go into fwb with wedge sole, seeing him after another three weeks when I would prob go into neutral with flat sole. Insisted that I sleep in boot, but can drive an auto car (Left leg ATR) right-away. My ‘lower leg specialist’ says no physio until
    boot is off, which seems to go against achilles blog recent protocol’s: any thoughts ? It seems like a long road, whichever way it’s done. ps Despite other comments, I find the Vacoped is bigger than an ordinary plaster cast and almost impossible to get trousers over !

    Roger G.

    Comment by rogerg — July 31, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  7. Hille from the sounds of it from my dr visit today I’m going to be in the boot for 10-12 more weeks and only weight bearing more and more every 2 weeks until I’m close to the end of my 4 month mark. I can’t take those crutches for too much more so I am wishful in thought to be able to heal faster and I can lose the crutches sooner rather than later. Dr said min of 4 months for me.

    Roger, I was told today I can take my foot out of the boot to shower and then to do range of moton exercises. He said several times a day to draw the alphabet with my foot. No stretching for at least another 3 weeks. So….I did my abc’s today and I’m really sore!!! I will be back at it again tomorrow… Sad I’m still NWB , yours sounds better with FWB.

    Lots of luck to y’all,

    Comment by Jenifer — July 31, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

  8. Hi Jen,

    Keep going, I know how you feel! Had 10 weeks NWB and crutches and have just started in a boot Part WB. I got a pair of cycling gloves with gel padded palms which helped with the crutches and blisters. The exercises are really important to stop wasted muscles. I was curious about whether you could paint with your toes! might make them more fun!

    Happy healing…


    Comment by jaxx — August 1, 2012 @ 5:22 am

  9. Hi Jenifer

    My memory isn’t as good as it was! What is the complication with your ATR? And 119 weeks since ATR?

    The answer is probably in a previous post so forgive me for asking.

    Comment by Hillie — August 1, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

  10. Jennifer, good to hear the advice re showering etc you’re getting. After Monday(30/7) visit to my orthopod ; Friday(27/7) scan and Vacoped fitting, my doc has sent his recommendation for rehab., all in boot:
    +3 weeks locked in equinus-touch weight bear only: THEN +3 weeks locked in equinus with ‘high wedge’ sole, full weight bearing, subject to pain: That is six weeks in boot; appointment at clinic with orthopod, when he expects, subject to healing (none op), for me to go into neutral wedge sole (giving an arc of 20 degrees from the blocked position of 15 degrees downwards (towards my sole).
    My man expects me to be out of boot in 9 weeks if all goes well; that is 4 weeks in plaster, plus 9 weeks in VACOped, thirteen weeks in all. Funny thing is, that apart from when I actually snapped it, have had no pain whatever with the ATR. I feel like doing some gentle excercise (no stretching) from next week: any thoughts out there ?

    Comment by rogerg — August 2, 2012 @ 10:05 am

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