ibjc’s Achilles Recovery

         My return to 2 feet!!!

July 31, 2012

Cast gone…boot now, but……

Filed under: Boot, Cast, Dr Visit — Jenifer @ 9:55 pm

Today I was sooooo ready to get the cast off and now its gone. I have a little clean, non furry leg minus the umteenth layers of dead skin. My vacocast came in earlier this week and I have had it in my mind that I would go into it and maybe walking even if a tiny bit today……NO!!!! I was much healthier in my mind….really I was! Dr. said I’m NWB in the boot for 2 more weeks. Crutches were supposed to be gone today…again in my mind! Well I have 2 more weeks NWB then I can start putting a little weight on it but always keep the crutches and that’s for another 2 weeks. Then I can start putting more weight but I’m soooo lucky I get to keep the crutches for a little more time….my guess would be another 2 weeks and then just then I can go to weight bearing for maybe the last few weeks. Do you think if I go back to the Dr and choose another door to see if I win maybe less crutch time????

Going to rest my clean shaven, small and incredibly sore leg…..it seems my brain needs a rest too from my huge wake up call when Dr said I am not there yet…um dang….what was I thinking??? He burst my walking bubble…. I’m over and out!!!!


  1. ibjc,
    Seems extremely conservative. Did your doctor give any reason for keeping you from FWB for so long in light of the more modern recovery protocols such as the UWO?

    Comment by starshep — August 1, 2012 @ 12:18 am

  2. Mmmm,
    none weight bearing for two weeks in the boot? I’m not a doc but I’d be putting that foot down a wee bit in a week or so…or even now.
    Is there a problem with it not healing?
    Sounds very conservative to me too.I have always listened to my own body and pushed a little bit more than was told….not much and never to the point of pain.
    My doc gave me the boot at 6 weeks and said weight bear as tolerated. I got home from the hospital, put my crtuches down and never used them again..because it felt OK and it felt right….for me that is.

    Comment by sheena — August 1, 2012 @ 6:09 am

  3. I went into the boot at 4 weeks, and was NWB for 2 weeks after that. My PT said that putting weight on it before 6 weeks was dangerous, because, even though the outside scar was healed, the inside was still knitting together.
    I’ll admit it; I cheated and started walking at 5 weeks. It was ugly, and I didn’t bend my ankle, but I did it.

    Comment by joan — August 1, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

  4. Seems very slow (keep Norm happy, don’t call it conservative) to me too. Post surgery, I went into the boot and started PWB at 3 weeks, was FWB at 4 weeks, 2 shoes (with a cane) at just over 5 weeks. At 7 weeks, I was doing 2 mile unassisted walks in shoes.

    Comment by ryanb — August 1, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

  5. Cute, Ryan, thanks for thinking of me. I’m not sure WHAT keeps me happy when it comes to “conservative” these days. I used to bristle when people used “conservative” to mean “non-surgical”, because UWO and other successful non-op protocols are pretty fast and aggressive. Then I started bristling at “conservative” meaning “slow”, because that implies that going slower is safer, less likely to end in re-rupture, etc., none of which is confirmed by the evidence. Ya, I guess I’m just starting to dislike the word when used in the context of ATR treatment or rehab!

    Here’s a proposal: It’s more CONSERVATIVE to follow a well-tested and successful treatment and rehab protocol than to be creative and “take a flyer” in the hopes that it will turn out even better!

    ibjc, loading up your ankle with some body weight WHILE flexing it can be scary or damaging if done too soon. Loading it up with some body weight while standing still and hanging onto a counter or a doorway doesn’t seem at all scary to me, after UWO’s 2 weeks (PWB) or 4 weeks (FWB as tolerated). Always be incremental, never doing anything that’s way different than what you tolerated well the day before, but don’t stop making progress, either.

    I would never throw out the road-map, but I wouldn’t just assume that my Doc was up-to-speed on the evidence, either — much less would I assume that the quirks of my Doc’s program for me are all scientifically justified reactions to some quirk in my leg.

    Comment by normofthenorth — August 1, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  6. > It’s more CONSERVATIVE to follow a well-tested and successful treatment and rehab protocol than
    > to be creative and “take a flyer” in the hopes that it will turn out even better!

    I think that’s exactly right! I sure wish more doctors adopted this line of thinking, and updated their protocols to modern approaches with solid data behind them. Doctors who use their own (old) protocols - which deviate from those that recent data has shown to work best, are taking a flyer too.

    As you’ve pointed out before, though somewhat counter-intuitive, the old super slow protocols not only compound all of the atrophy issues, making the downstream recovery even harder… they have higher risk factors for re-rupture too. They’re not safer.

    That said, using this definition, I wasn’t exactly the most “conservative” (Guilty as charged, I took a bit of a flyer). :-)

    Comment by ryanb — August 1, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

  7. Well……I am going to listen for the most part to my Dr as he knows me well and how I heal. I have a tendency to heal slowly so I guess thats the case. He said I don’t want to push it and I believe him. I’m just upset about the extra sticks…..how am I going to crutch down a football field to shoot pix…..I’m NOT. Dang, I want to shoot pix now as we have scrimmages coming up and games starting mid August. After my depressed day yesterday I’m better in that I’m doing my alphabet drawing in the air with my foot so that’s ok and I did try to put my foot down in the boot and see how it feels……I’m not that ready as it is still very tender and stiff. I”m listening to Dr……I don’t want to go back and delay my overall recovery, so NO weights…only alphabet drawing for 3 weeks and then I can add stretching….believe you me……I’m going to work that one over when I can. Patience……I’m really lacking in this department now!!!! Thanks for all the feedback, it really helps.

    Comment by Jenifer — August 1, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

  8. Hey Jenifer,

    I truly sympathise as I was NWB for 9 weeks in various casts. I’m now in a boot - have been PWB for 2 weeks and am coming on in leaps and bounds, well - limps and wobbles. I can now stand without my crutches and walk about a bit without them. The crutches are the bit that gets me down the most so I really wanted to be rid of them.

    The slow recovery was the idea of my consultant who said I could PWB at 6 weeks if I promised to take it very easy. When I said I probably wouldn’t he put me back in a cast. After reading some of the re-rupture stories on here I’m really glad he did, my recovery since the final cast came off has been really quick and even though my PT said she wants me to stick with the crutches for another week I think that soon they’ll be gone…..

    Hang in there, patience is hard to come by, I know! You will be glad you were so ‘conservative’ (sorry Norm) in the end.

    Comment by jaxx — August 10, 2012 @ 10:52 am

  9. The comments on this post are helpful as I await my first post-op appointment. I am hopeful for a boot after two weeks, but I am not so sure I should have that expectation. I do plan to go back to work next week after my appointment, but I anticipate having my crutches and I anticipate a modified schedule until I can really move with PWB and or FWB. Thank you for all your comments. It forces me to be a bit more realistic about what is ahead for me as I journey towards walking and driving again.

    Comment by mcdarling — August 16, 2012 @ 11:22 am

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