CASTAWAY! Week 1 of Cast Free Living

Castaway!! The first week cast free

March 25 – Day 1 –  Another trip to the Dr. office and this time the cast comes off!!!

Initially there was concern (on my part) as a sticky note on the front of the chart said “10 weeks post-op.” Uh….no. Eleven weeks. Trust me. The matter was quickly rectified when the nurse double checked.

So the cast came off!! One day short of eleven weeks post-op. Here are some gnarly leg photos.

top of foot 240 leg on table 300 Inside leg 300 incision 240 heel close up 300 outside leg 300

I was fitted into a walking boot and given the following instructions:

  1. Walk as much as desired INDOORS in the boot. Use crutches as needed.
  2. Several times each day remove the boot and do range of motion exercises:
    1. Flex and point
    2. Move side to side
    3. Circles both directions
    4. Draw the alphabet with foot
  3. Five minutes twice a day, can put on rubber soled shoes and USING CRUTCHES stand and walk only inside the house .
  4. No walking outdoors or on uneven surfaces, even with the boot.
  5. (Still) no clutch driving. Practice in driveway in 2 weeks wearing shoes. Try to put most of the pressure on the heel.
  6. Don’t fall.

I go back in 3 weeks for recheck and evaluation for physical therapy. And with that my happy cast free, scary, hairy, skinny Zombie Leg went home!

Once I got there, I needed crutches for walking in the boot.

That night I did what I had longed to do for weeks: I soaked it in a hot tub of water, scoured, scrubbed, shaved and moisturized to my heart’s content. Slept in the boot.

Oh, one of my girlfriends suggested I insert a picture of what my leg used to look like! (I am the one in the red dress.)

Synergy group 700

Day 2 – Within 20 minutes of getting out of bed I determined that I was merely carrying the crutches—not actually using them. So I parked them in a corner and set about the house clomping to my heart’s content.

For the first time in 3, long months I fixed lunch for the farm crew. Yes, a very good day. J

Still no pain or soreness, but very little ROM.

Slept without the boot.

Day 3 – Woke up and could already tell ROM was improved having slept without the boot. Have to work stretching (passive) to get foot flat in the boot. Throughout the day the swelling in the foot and ankle worsened and inhibited ROM. Called Dr. office to inquire and had to leave a message.

Tried the running shoes and crutches for the first time. Leg was stronger standing than I expected. “Shoe walking” is very slow and stiff but it seems to loosen more and more quickly than ROM.

Day 4 – Still swelling. Advil isn’t doing anything. Haven’t even tried ROM as it seems pointless.

Dr. office phoned late in the day and described the swelling as normal. The PA seemed very surprised that I was walking (in boot) without crutches. The PA suggested for every 2 hours “up”, 30 minutes with ankle elevated above heart and on ice.

Each week I can add 5 minutes of “shoe walking.”

I have a new, weird pain on the INSIDE of the foot—see where I am pointing.

When it is acting up it sears like FIRE. Yet I can push on it–nothing. Feels like a place rubbed raw or a bad burn, yet it looks perfectly fine. Clearly some kind of nerve something going on. If it is angry, it only screams if there is a shoe or the boot on or if I am bearing weight.

Day 5 – Today I followed the new up-down-ice-elevate plan and it helps. Today is the first day in a long time the ankle hurt. I took Rx pain pill (Tylenol 3) for the first time in weeks.

Day 6 – HAPPY DAY!!! For the first time in 3 MONTHS, I took a vehicle (Ford E-250 van, the only automatic we have) to the grocery store, going somewhere all by myself! I was absolutely giddy.

Ice and elevation continue to improve the swelling.

Ankle is sore when going in/out of boot. Soreness is up the sides—not the Achilles area.

Day 7 – Hard to get the foot flexed to go into the boot when I got up. ROM is best after ice or shoe walking, but still isn’t too great. My “fire spot” is really active today.  Skipped the evening shoe walk as I could not even tolerate wearing a house shoe.

First week summary: Overall a very good week though the pronounced swelling has been uncomfortable and limiting. I SO enjoy being able to walk about, even if I am restricted to the indoors.

3 Responses to “CASTAWAY! Week 1 of Cast Free Living”

  1. No help here on the “fire spot” — though I can’t see where you’re pointing.
    Do keep resting, elevating, and icing (and maybe compressing too) to control the swelling.
    The only downside of sleeping bootless is that your AT & calf can tighten up overnight so it’s a stretch to get back to neutral in the boot. And since it’s still fighting the stretch when you put your full body weight on it, it’s a serious stretch.

  2. Well, it would have helped if i had actually taken a picture!!! Turns out it is plantar fasciitis. Yes, ti is a stretch to get back in the boot, but I start stretching before I get out of bed, then continue before going into the boot. But the up side??? I CAN SCRATCH during the night!!! That eclipses every inconvenience.

  3. Jenny. WAY TO GO GIRL!!! My cast comes off this coming WEDNESDAY April 10th at 11 AM (4 days, 14 hours, 53 minutes from now) and although the past 3 weeks have not been that bad, I’m ready for it to come off. In the past week I get occasional swelling just in front of the hee inside the castl. I’m SOOO looking forward to soaking in a tub full of hot water and massaging the whole foot when I want to.

    I really appreciate the detailed steps you provided for your daily rehab. I don’t think I’ll be able to get my foot flat any time soon as it’s been at about 30 degrees for over a month.

    Prior to my “reinjury” I slept without the boot on at night - tried several nights with it on and could NOT sleep at all. Does anyone know of a lightweight “splint” that can be put on at night that would hold the foot at the desirable angle and provide the recommended support while also being “comfortable”?

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