Apr 03 2012

This wretched cast.

Published by jenniferanderson at 4:18 pm under Uncategorized

Had my stitches removed yesterday. Not a pleasant experience in my opinion. I am very squeamish about blood and such and the sight of my leg full of stitches made me cry. Literally. I know, big baby. Anyway, the nurse said the wound had healed nicely. The skin was all grown back together and there was no oozing and hardly any dried blood. They put a cast on me that is pointing downwards. For some reason they covered my toes which I find to be very uncomfortable. I can’t wiggle them or move them at all. I liked the split I had after surgery much better. I have an appointment to have the cast removed 2 weeks from today and they said they will decide then to put me back in a cast or go to a boot. It better a boot. My claustrophobia is getting the better of me. Trying to distract myself and count my blessings. At least the wound was closed and I have an appointment in 2 weeks instead of the originally stated 3. Hope everyone is having a good day today!

24 Responses to “This wretched cast.”

  1. leftybuckon 03 Apr 2012 at 6:54 pm

    WOW, I would have definitely asked about leaving your toes open.

    I feel for ya. I had my staples removed last monday the 26th. The Doctor said the same thing, incision looking good etc. Where you are lucky is that he left me in this “wretched cast” for 3 weeks.

    Good luck to you, how are your muscle spasms? This was/is the most annoying thing that I have had to deal with. Other than the cast of course.

  2. jenniferandersonon 03 Apr 2012 at 7:10 pm

    It was a done deal before I realized it. I never had a cast put on before and I thought they were going to cut off the end of it or something. If I have to go back in a cast ( please, please, don’t let that happen ) I will be telling them to set my toes free!
    I haven’t had any muscle spasms since I had the surgery. I had some before surgery so I started eating more spinach for the potassium. Good luck to you!

  3. victorialyn12on 03 Apr 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Happy healing, i couldn’t imagine having my toes covered, I’d def ask next time for them to at least be free! Im on my last week with the cast, I know how it feels to be claustrophobic in it. Hang in there and think positive, hopefully next appointment you will get the boot! :-)

  4. doryton 04 Apr 2012 at 12:59 am

    Sounds like your appt went well. I too was 3 weeks in the splint and my toes were exposed to the forward end of the ball of my foot. It made it less resticted and I moved my toes and massaged the ball of my foot when it would cramp up from having my toes pointed down in the ballarina position. Then it was another 3 1/2 weeks with the hard cast and I asked the cast tech to leave toes out a bit.
    I went to the boot Nov 29. I opted for the Vaco Cast. Used the vaco only for 3 weeks. If you want to borrow it let me know. I wear a size 7 shoe and got the small boot. I hated the kaiser boot. I felt knee knocked and tweeked my ankle. Have a good week. I need to catch up on a few replies here.

  5. Stuarton 04 Apr 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I get that same claustrophic feeling with casts. After a week I had to get it off. The chill pills helped a bit but I can’t imagine why they would want to cover your toes. You can have that part removed easy if it bothers you. The saw they use to remove the cast can cut that section off. Make some calls to the appropriate person and see if it is possible. Many things are possible if we ask nicely or even not so nicely if the nicely doesn’t work at first.

  6. Januson 04 Apr 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Hoping it’s the boot for you as well. I’d second Stuart’s advice about having that small part of the cast removed, if possible.

    Best w/ your recovery.

  7. Courtneyon 05 Apr 2012 at 12:49 am

    I also had my toes exposed and it helped with closterphobia and the ability to move my foot to keep the blood flowing. I cant see a reason why covering your toes would be necessary? I pushed to have my cast off early and I am glad I did. They did not want to originally but now I am in a boot and able to go full weight bearing. I am happy I pushed my docs. If your incision is healing nicely and pain is not a factor, I think getting out of the cast and into the boot will speed both your recovery and quality of life. But, I am no doc.

  8. jenniferandersonon 05 Apr 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Dory - Thanks so much for the offer! However, I wear a size 10 shoe, so it probably wouldn’t fit.

    Courtney - by the time I go in for my next appt. I will have had my cast on for 15 days. I am going to push hard for the boot. My incision is healing nicely and I haven’t had any pain in days.

  9. doryton 06 Apr 2012 at 1:11 am

    Sure Jennifer. I am Finally sitting down didn’t rest all day. BAD girl!

  10. Lorylon 06 Apr 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Two weeks in a cast now NWB and have contemplated sawing it off myself sometime during the first week! Had to distract myself with tv, internet or sleep. One more week till PWB and I was told I’d get a walking cast??? I guess patience is the name of the game here!

  11. HarleyLadyon 07 Apr 2012 at 10:14 am

    Patience everyone, I just had a third surgery yesterday. I am at week 9 after 2nd surgery (retore at week 10 1st round) They removed 3rd cast and it still hadn’t closed up, they applied silver nitrate. Dr also as precaution ordered a wound vac. Went in Yesterday to get cast off and put wound vac on and a piece of my tendon was coming out and was still draining. Well 3 hours later I’m in surgery to reopen incision and clean out apply stint for few days, next week they’ll put on wound vac. Dr said my body has been rejecting the inside sutures, so he cleaned up. Got to heal up the soft tissue. So here I sit on a beautiful day with foot up again. Haven’t heard anyone having the problems I’ve had. But cause I’m 52 and not healing some you young guys. Just glad I’ve got good insurance or I’d have to sell my bike to pay for all these Dr bills.Maybe my story will give some of you wanting to cut those casts off early a little more patience. I rushed the 1st round now I’m feel like I’m getting punished for it.

  12. beralicon 07 Apr 2012 at 10:22 am

    Sorry to hear about your ordeal Harley, but well said, the recovery from this injury is a long and sometimes frustrating one, but 2/4 whatever weeks in a cast is nothing compared to the rest of your life… I swear you’ll look back a few months down the line when you have been in you boot/whatever and those couple of weeks will seem like so long ago! (for me anyway the cast was the most painful part of the experience, as any swelling has nowhere to go, after your out of it it only gets better, 2 weeks is not long)

    It gets better, it just takes time, find some good books and enjoy the fact you have a reason to act like as couch potato and not feel bad about it!

  13. sharono'connoron 07 Apr 2012 at 11:44 am

    Hi Harleylady,

    You are an inspiration to us all. Stay strong and positive and you will get better. 52 is not old, you were just unlucky. It’s because of you that i took stock and decided not to rush my progress too much. You’re 2nd surgery was the same time as mine which makes me almost 9 wks. I reach a mile stone in my recovery when i got the boot this wk. Now i can shower albeit with caution, but was told two crutches and PWB for another 4 wks and then back to see surgeon again.

    Hang in there, you’re doing really well considering. Thank God for insurance.


  14. jenniferandersonon 11 Apr 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Going out of my mind. The swelling is unbearable in this cast. I feel like my ankle bones are going to shatter there is so much pressure and my toes are overlapping each other because there is nowhere else to go. I elevate my leg all day but it still swells every afternoon and into the evening. I am claustrophobic. Not just with this cast but always. I don’t take elevators unless I absolutely have to. If a room is too small or has too many people in it I have to leave. I have been doing my best to deal with it but I can’t take it anymore. Maybe it’s the claustrophobia or maybe my cast is on too tight. I don’t reallly know. But I am freaking out and writing this in an attempt to calm myself down. Is it possible for a cast to be on too tight? Has anyone ever had this happen? I have shooting pains in my toes and my foot feels cold…as if my cast were made out of ice…

    My husband called while I was in the middle of freaking out and said he’d call me right back. He called back to tell me that he had called my doctor’s office and explained the sitution. I have an appt tomorrow morning to have the cast removed. I can’t even express how much I love this man. Just knowing it’s coming off has given me peace of mind. I know I have a loooong recovery road ahead of me….but for now I just need to make it through the night.

  15. harleyladyon 11 Apr 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Jennifer, Boy I know how you feel, I can’t count the number of casts I’ve had since Nov.2011. My advice is if you know you’re getting a new cast don’t go till afternoon and leave your leg down alot before going. That way you’ll be already swollen when new one goes on, It really made a big difference for me. I’ve had a bad day today too. I’m wearing a wound vac, and I got staph last week in wound. Had to have an emergency clean out. Only good thing is I now have a splint(half cast) like after surgery, not tight, but I have to carry a pouch and have hose going to my leg for next week. This can be a serious wound, scary. Really thinking of traveling out of town to a specialist.

  16. Brian Hammanon 11 Apr 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Ahhh, people who can understand the misery of wearing a hard cast! I am at two weeks now after my 2nd surgery. Yesterday they took out my stitches and switched me from a splint to a hard cast. This cast is driving me nuts, I cannot find even one comfortable position…the thing is either gouging into the top of my calf muscle or else rubbing against the outside of my Achilles (mostly the latter). It’s sometimes a stinging sensation on the outside surface of my Achilles and am a bit worried that the cast might irritate and cause inflammation at the site of the incision and/or stitches. Has anyone else had this feeling after getting their stitches out and moving to a hard cast? Is this just a normal sensation that usually goes away in a couple days? I am tempted to go into the doc again tomorrow and ask for a new cast…

  17. jenniferandersonon 12 Apr 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Went in this morning to the cast room. The cast tech poked my toes and said ” oh yeah…this cast is way to tight”. Apparently when he poked them they turned white and stayed that way. He said they should have turned red right away. So he went down the hall to talk to the doctor. He came back and said that he was going to remove the cast and put me in a new one until my Dr appt next Tuesday. I told him no. I told him I wasn’t going back in a cast and that I had brought my boot with me. He must have seen the panic in my eyes because he left right away to speak with the Dr again and they agreed I could go into the boot as long as I agreed to keep it on and not walk in it. Deal!! So now I’m in the boot with two heel lifts. The problem is that I can’t yet stretch the Achilles enough to touch my heel to the boot. I couldn’t do it in the cast room so he put the boot on with my heel hovering over the bottom and told me to keep stretching it at home slowly throughout the day until I could rest my heel on the bottom. My Achilles is very tight but I’m slowly making progress.
    Brian-I had weird stinging sensations near my incision too. Maybe it’s just the nerves coming back to life? I don’t know. My main worry was the swelling. I hated to complain but it turned out I was right. The cast was too tight and cutting off the circulation to my foot. I’d say if you have a concern about your cast call your doctor. Ot doesn’t hurt to ask.

  18. jenniferandersonon 12 Apr 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Harleylady-I have been following your story and can’t believe all that you have had to endure. I hope the woundvac works for you and that your wound finally heals. I know you are anxious to get back on your Harley. That is going to be a really awesome day for you and I can’t wait to read about it! :-)

  19. starshepon 12 Apr 2012 at 9:57 pm


    Did they give you or mention anything about a compression stocking? I went into my boot after being in a cast for 4 weeks. I though I had a lot of swelling but for some reason my doctor didn’t seem to notice it. When I went back for a follow up visit 2 weeks later, he was shocked to see how much swelling there was, even though I didn’t think it had changed much in 2 weeks. He had me put on a compression stocking and keep my foot raised. Within 2 or 3 days, the swelling was down almost to the point that my foot looked normal.

  20. jenniferandersonon 12 Apr 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Starshep-no mention of a compression stocking. I have an appt with the Dr on Tuesday and I’ll ask him. Thanks for the tip! Did you find it hard to get into the boot? I still can’t stretch the tendon out enough to make my heel touch the bottom. It’s hovering about one finger width above it. It was about 4 fingers above this morning though so I am making progress. I’m just going to sleep with it that way and hopefully in the morning it will be loose enough to stretch that final bit. Not gonna rush it. Slow and steady wins this race.

  21. starshepon 13 Apr 2012 at 2:58 am


    I didn’t have a problem getting into my boot. When I got my boot, it was after I was in a cast for 2 weeks with my toes pointing down and then another cast for 2 weeks with my toes pointing half way between down and 90 degrees. My boot had a 1 inch wedge my my heel could touch the bottom.

    Good to hear that you sound more at ease with your situation.

  22. jenniferandersonon 13 Apr 2012 at 10:38 am

    Maybe that’s the problem then. My second cast still had my toes pointing down. My tendon feels much looser this morning and I’m sure I’ll be able to get the boot on all the way today. We are expecting a big thunderstorm today which is very rare for where I live. I am actually looking forward to spending the day laying around. :-)

    Happy Friday the 13 and happy healing!!

  23. normofthenorthon 17 Apr 2012 at 1:50 am

    Jennifer, you should still be “allowed” to be plantarflexed at 3-ish weeks, even if you’re in a boot. If the boot doesn’t hinge, the standard method is to have a couple of heel wedges inside the boot. The gradual stretching of the tendon should be gradual, IMHO. In the very successful UWO protocol (bit.ly/UWOProtocol ), it’s all done at once (removing 2cm of heel wedges), but not ’til 6 weeks post-whatever (op or non-op). Me, I spread it out a few days because it seemed very sudden — a “stretch” — to take ‘em all out at once.

    Harley, check GerryR’s blog for a similar (sad and long) story about an ATR patient whose body didn’t like the surgical sutures, leading to several follow-up surgeries. Happy ending there, but it took a long time, and turned Gerry into a bit of a non-op crusader here. Gerry was also an “It’s YOUR leg, not your Doctor’s leg!” crusader. After he was fixed, he mostly posted ski videos. . . :-)

  24. jenniferandersonon 17 Apr 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Norm- I do have two heel wedges in. There I go again leaving crucial information out of my updates. :-)

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