Jul 18 2008

Boot Phobia

Published by marianne at 11:10 am under Uncategorized

Got my boot on Tuesday, July 15th with no instruction…..it’s a camwalker and doc just said to add little weight everyday until no crutches by two weeks.

The scabs from the incision are very painful in the boot, even though I put gauze and sock on …..

I also can’t get my heel down all the way into the boot yet 6 weeks post-op.  Is that okay..will it loosen up on it’s own with no PT?

I can’t move my foot around either, only my toes….should I be trying to move the foot around or wait and just practice walking in the camwalker…….what if I can’t move my foot around….  is that okay?  As you can tell I am extremely anxious, but don’t want to worry…..

I don’t work, so am at home and put on camwalker for only couple hours a day…..resting elevated still most of the time.  Went out with husband yesterday to run a few errands, and when got home to take boot off was in tears because of the pain……any advice …….I don’t have the energy to run back through the posts that might be helpful although I have tried typing in some of these issues into the search.

One last question — if at home do you take camwalker as much as possible or leave it on to try to keep foot close to 90 degrees?  Anybody with camwalker just wear the liner while at home without the plastic?

Day 4 in the boot and don’t feel like I’m progressing :(  

5 Responses to “Boot Phobia”

  1. richon 18 Jul 2008 at 1:48 pm


    The protocols I’ve seen for the cam walker have patients using 3-4 heel blocks in their boot, taking one off each week or so until the patient gains nuetral/90 degrees.

    One thing I would strongly recommend is that you get your doctor to spell out (in writing) your protocol for you. You shouldn’t have to guess. Certainly, you shouldn’t be putting yourself in severe pain at 6 weeks. I have seen rehab protocols stressing that patients should not be passively stretching their heel cord at all before 8 weeks. You are still very vulnerable to re-rupture.

    Definately wear your boot unless you’re in the shower, doing mobility excercises or if your’re sleeping. I got very comfortable crutching around without my boot on when I was going from the couch to the restroom and I eventually slipped and re-injured my tendon. Don’t do that! It only takes one split second to start you back at zero if you’re not carefull. It’s a pain, but I make sure I have my boot on before my crutches are in my hand, even if I just need to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom for a minute.

    My doctor had me doing active inversion/eversion & flexion extention (moving my ankle in circles and figure 8’s) excercises after three weeks. Check with your doctor as to whether you should be doing this. Each person is different and each rehab strategy fits with the person. I wouldn’t to use the cam walker without the plastic because it doesn’t really do anything for you protection wise and it may not fit right if you take it apart.

    Stay patient, move slowly and make sure you have clear communication with your doctor.

    Good luck!


  2. bulleton 18 Jul 2008 at 7:24 pm


    The angle will eventually become neutral and will get better with time. Is the pain heel pain or neuropathic pain (like needles) in the bottom og your foot? Sorry to say the heel pain will gradually get worse, but the neuropathic pain will get better with time. For the heel pain I would suggest asking your doctor for some pain meds and some heavy duty heel inserts (silicone heel cups)…the Dr. Scholls gellin’ ones suck. The neuropathic pain can be aleviated by switching from cold to hot for 20 minutes at a time and 20 minutes off. I would soak my foot in a five gallon bucket with hot and cold water. My biggest problem right now is the swelling. I am on my feet all day and can’t prop my foot up at work. My doc said the swelling could last for up to 1 year. Good luck and keep progressing.


  3. zurichfanon 18 Jul 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Hi Marianne,

    I agree with the other posts. Sit down with your doctor and have him/her spell out your protocal; you should not have to guess.

    One thing I wanted to pass on was that I was unable to walk in the boot. My PT wanted me to increase weight each day in the boot (with crutches) and then eventually get rid of the crutches all together. I tried but I just could not find a way to walk in the boot without pain or sheer awkwardness.

    When I returned to the PT he said, “No problem. A lot of people have a hard time walking in the boot.” So, I started using an Achillotrain brace and began walking that way.

    I will be eight weeks on Monday post-op and I am walking (or something that resembles a SLOW walk!) with the just the Achillotrain brace and tennis shoes. The black boot has been put away — hopefully forever.

    Anyway, I just wanted to pass this onto you because in all of the blogs I read it seemed that people were walking very successfully in the black boot and I was really discouraged.

    Talk to your doc! Good luck to you!

  4. marianneon 19 Jul 2008 at 11:48 am


    The Achillotrain brace looks awesome. I am not in PT yet….what if I just ordered one online? What do you think? What week were you when they put you in the boot and how long did you try working with it? I was also wondering about the lack of support on the calf with the Achillotrain brace…..would that be a problem at 6-7 weeks post-op? How long have you been wearing the Achillotrain?
    Thanks for the idea….I will definitely look into the brace.


  5. Sheilaon 23 Jul 2008 at 10:10 am

    All the advice sounds good. My doc wouldn’t give me any instruction since he didn’t normally use the boot this early (he’s a cast for 3 months(!!!) kind of guy), but only put it on at my request.

    Since I’m doing my own thing, I bought heel lifts from a medical supply store and I’m also doing the gentle ROM exercises (spelling alphabet, circles and GENTLY stretching foot up and down until it gets tight (no bouncing, no pulling with hands/fingers, no forcing it). It has helped to loosen things up quite a bit in the past week - I can almost reach the same ROm as with my non-injured foot.

    I got the exercises off of Dennis’ link;

    Maybe print some out and take to your doctor and ask if any of these would be safe for you to do to help? And ask about the lifts (how many, what size) as they may help ease you into neutral if you are too tight to get there comfortably right now.

    I am nervous about a rerupture, too, so I’m being gentle and still using 2 crutches most of the time, but always at least one. I’m planning on testing FWB next week - after 8 wks, but will still use 1 crutch, at least at work or when going any distance. or maybe I’ll wait until week 9.

    Oh, and I have the boot on all the time (including while sleeping) unless I am elevating or exercising in a safe area (such as in my office or on the sofa w/no one moving near me) or bathing. But only take it off in the bath when I’m sitting on the shower stool and put it on again before standing back up.

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