Those first few steps out of the boot….

What are they like for everyone? I am right at 8 weeks post surgery and just left my doctor’s office who instructed me to ditch the boot and put the shoe back on. He also instructed me to wear an ankle brace for the next few weeks. I start PT next week. I am finding myself walking with quite a hitch in my step and am thinking that maybe a lot of it is mental. It’s almost as if I need to completely teach myself how to walk again. I’m curious as to how others have walked when they put the shoe back on for the first time?

6 Responses to “Those first few steps out of the boot….”

  1. Partly mental and partly your body healing and getting mobile again.

    Walking with a hitch is not good. If you take small steps, really small steps, you should be able to manage.

    Many of us use the boot for the first few outings after transitioning to 2 shoes. If you feel it may be helpful it will not hinder your recovery.

    Yes you actually do need to teach yourself to walk again and PT is great for that. Be careful- it is still early days!

  2. PT will help you out with gait training…yes, you do need to learn to walk again. I never put shoes on I had to wear sandals due to a sensitive tendon. I walked with a limp until my PT started correcting it right at week 8. Limp only returned when body was fatigued. I don’t limp now (20 weeks). Part of my gait training was walking backwards on a treadmill weeks 12 - 16, it really helped. I think how it’s done depends on how you walk and what you need. Walking took time for me to build up duration and speed. Still working on both but pretty much pain free, though not always. Stairs will take time, be patient…it does come back, albeit slowly…patients, patients, patients. You will walk normally again. Best of luck to you.

  3. you need to practice… start with short steps and you will take longer steps and you won’t even know it. Make sure your shoes provide a lot of support.
    I found it easier to start walking with my Nike Shox. they have great support and a little lift on the heel which helps.
    you will get there! Good luck

  4. What you are describing is perfectly normal. Focus when walking on heel strike and up on your toe at finish, as slowly as you need to with good form. It will be uncomfortable, during and after. Rest, ice, elevate as needed. I think I had an occasional hitch in my gait till at least 6 months out (getting up from periods of immobility, etc), and I had a perfectly uncomplicated surgery and recovery.

  5. yes, small steps. I’ve actually found that a cane is handy as well to get the balance right and be able to move to slightly bigger steps. I’ve been walking in shoes for 2 weeks and feel like I make a little bit of progress each day.

  6. Congrats on being out of the boot. I am FWB in the boot after 5 weeks. My OS told me that by 8 weeks the repaired tendon should be fully healed. Sounds like you just need to get your motor coordination back. I have been doing “mini-squats” out of the boot at PT and it feels pretty strange. I am sure when I take a few steps it will also feel strange. Good luck!

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