A quick update. I have had the vacoped boot set to allow 30-15 degrees of plantar flexion for the last 12 days and all is going well. No pain at all. I have been sleeping without the boot on since week 4. I can get around short distances in the boot with no crutches fairly well. I use the crutches for prolonged distances just to help with the gait pattern. I have been back at work for the past 3 weeks. The last week has been great. I can stay on my feet most of the day and the swelling has stopped.

I can now get more done around the house. I have been out cutting the grass with a plastic bag wrapped around the boot to stop any green stains. I cut the hedges yesterday as they were getting out of control but left the tops as I will not be trying ladders for some time.

Looking forward to changing the boot angle to 0-30 degrees on Wednesday. The rocker sole on the vacoped really helps with the walking pattern. Due to see the hospital physio on Thursday but have been doing my own up until now using the protocols I have found on here and online.

Good luck to everyone with their recovery


9 Comments so far

  1. Dan Williams on May 25, 2015 8:41 pm

    5 weeks and you are full weight bearing in the boot? That’s pretty amazing….careful out there :)

  2. kristian on May 25, 2015 8:51 pm

    It feels fine. I’m keeping within the limits of the protocols I looked at. They advised to ween off the crutches from weeks 4-6. I was also spurred on by a video link that was posted on here showing a professional American football players rehab (Brady Browne) following conservative treatment.


    At the start of week 4 when I watched this I thought ‘not a chance’. Followed the exercises and find it easy now. I’m at 5 1/2 weeks which is the same as Brady on that video.

  3. Ed on May 26, 2015 12:25 am

    Hey Kristan, I also started doing Brady’s excercises, mine has been a slow rehabilitation. I’m almost on week 15 but behind 2 weeks due to infection. I’m off the boot and walking on 2 shoes full time now. His excercises have been helping a lot in catching up tho, even I go to PT I feel his exercises are more to the point. Glad to hear you are recovering well just don’t over do it. Happy healing and thanks for sharing!

  4. ericm on May 26, 2015 5:52 pm

    Hi Kristian,

    I’m also in the Vacocast but my OS recently started prescribing them for all patients. I’ve noticed some have them set to hinge (i.e. you’re at 30-15) and others just have them fixed in one position. I was started at 20 degrees, moving to 10 after two weeks, then 0. No mention of allowing it to hinge. Is that something your OS recommended or did you pick that up on this site? Have you tried leaving it fixed?

    I have only seen residents after my surgery (my OS is the program coordinator for the residents so I have a feeling I will be seeing them often), and they just started using the Vacocast (my last resident said this was the first he had seen) so I’m not sure if I should be keeping it fixed or hinging. I don’t see them for another 2 weeks and I’m supposed to be at 0 degrees by then.

  5. Kristian on May 26, 2015 7:23 pm

    Hi. My surgeon (or should i say the junior doctors I see) have given me virtually no advice. They haven’t seen the Vacocast before. I bought it after doing some research. I’m basing my rehab and settings off the research I have found on the site and the internet. I’ve worked in health care for a long time and trust the results of large trials far more than the words of junior doctors that have 30 seconds to scan at your notes.

    I have set the boot to hinge. Walking is so much easier when your ankle joint is allowed to move. Have a look at other pages on my blog that have my protocol on. Realistically the angles of the boot and timings protect the achilles tendon and prevent over stretching.

    The studies using early weight bearing in hinged boots and static boots both have a similar re-rupture rate to surgery (less than 2%). With the same re-rupture rate for both hinged and static but increased functionality I would adjust the boot to hinge unless there is something unusual about your injury / healing process (e.g poor healing surgical wound)

    Are you surgical or conservative? I am conservative treatment. I did 0-2 weeks plantar flexion in a cast, 2-4 weeks locked at 30 degrees, 2 weeks at 15-30 and will be on 0-30 as of tomorrow for weeks 6-8. Week 8 will allow DF within the boot. Week 9 2 shoes within the house and week 10 2 shoes inside and outside.

  6. ericm on May 26, 2015 8:01 pm

    I am 4.5 weeks post-surgery. I was 2.5 weeks in a cast, 1 week in the Vacocast with sutures in at 20 degrees, and now 1 week with sutures out at 20 degrees. Supposed to go to 10 degrees tomorrow.

    I wasn’t necessarily slow healing but they did leave the sutures in for one extra week to be safe. I was allowed to be PWB with the sutures still in but I felt the boot was rubbing on the incision area so I just stayed NWB until they were out. I had become so used to NWB I didn’t do much PWB until a few days later at 4 weeks. I’m to progress from PWB, to one crutch, to FWB in boot as I am able. Right now I can do one crutch but I lean on it quite a bit so it will be a few days before FWB.

    With my upcoming move to 10 degrees I might stay locked for now, then after a week at 10 degrees move to hinge 30-10.

  7. Kyle on May 29, 2015 7:12 pm

    Hey kristian! I have a ton of questions anyway to get in contact with you? Curious about the research you found. When did you start putting any weight on it? Where did you find Brady’s rehab protocol?

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