6 Weeks Post-Op! Hard cast off. Aircast on. What now?

Hi Everyone,

I just went to my 6 week post-surgery check up. The hard cast was removed and replaced by an Aircast. The tendon felt tight getting into the Aircast, since the angle is around 60 degrees, rather than the 30 degrees of the hard cast. The doctor said to be NWB in the aircast for another 3 weeks followed by another check-up. In the meantime, I was to wear this like a normal cast and take it off only to wash the leg.

Just a few curious questions, would I still need to keep the foot elevated with this Aircast? Is the cast supposed to feel very tight like the hard cast, or could it be pretty loose like a shoe? Being a little paranoid, but is there a way to check if the tendon is intact? (The doctor said that if it was torn, you can feel a gap?) Should I be attempting to do some exercise, or just leave it alone? And since I’m going back to work on Monday, where do you keep the crutches in a car so that you can reach them easily when you’re getting out? (Passenger seat?) I would love to hear your experiences.




  1. pendersnitzel Said,

    November 6, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

    Man, next Wednesday (6 weeks post-op) I will be where you are…cast free and into the boot.

    I lay crutches on passenger side now. If I have someone with me, I put in back seat or down the middle with top pad resting on console between the two front seats.

  2. Joe Said,

    November 9, 2009 @ 9:29 am


    When I had mine on I kept it snug but it never felt as tight as the cast. As far as exercises I was NWB around week 5 as my doctor was pretty agressive. The first things they had me doing in PT was flexing my toes. They also had me putting a towel around my foot and pulling back on it to gently start stretching the achilles. Then working on moving my ankle around to get the range of motion back there. I would see if you can get your doctor to let you start going to PT. These things I just mentioned you can do without putting weight on your foot. It’s crazy how there is such a big difference in timelines for recovery from one doctor to the next.

  3. GerryR Said,

    November 9, 2009 @ 10:08 am

    Ha, the security word is “patience,” something I have little of when it comes to this sort of thing. I was at PWB two weeks after the surgery to repair the tendon. The original plan was 2 weeks later FWB and 2 more weeks or sooner to 2 shoes. I got hosed up by infections and two additional surgeries to deal with the aftermath of the infections. I got the sutures out from my last surgery on October 28. I re-started PT on October 30 at PWB and will be FWB by November 13. I met with my PT this morning and he had me balancing on my repaired leg alone.

    Absolutely nothing is to be gained by this idiotic “go-slow” approach. Study after study show there is actually a slightly greater risk of re-injury with the “go-slow” approach, although the increase in risk is very small. The biggest problem I see with this approach is that the longer one leg is basically immobile the more muscle mass you lose and therefore the longer it will take to get your leg back to where it was. The circumference of my left calf is more than 2 inches less than my right calf. My left thigh is also smaller but I didn’t bother to try to measure it.

    Sorry to rant, but the doctors need to keep up with the research on what works and what doesn’t work instead of just doing things the way they’ve always done it. Good luck with your recovery, but I would recommend really pushing your doctor on this issue. I’m married to a doctor and know they aren’t infallible.

  4. michael784 Said,

    November 9, 2009 @ 11:27 am

    Thanks for the comments! It’s now my third day into the boot. My foot feels quite swollen, but it’s hard to keep it elevated now that I’m back at work. (I also stepped on it, went FWB for 10 seconds, when I lost my balance this morning on crutches, hopefully no damage was done though.)

    @pendersnitzel: That’s great, good luck with your boot! hope you keep us posted with your recovery. I would like to hear your experiences with it.

    @joe: thanks, I’ve started to flex my foot, or atleast trying to flex my foot when I have the boot off. I’m scared of flexing it too much as the tendon and incision feels quite tight even if I lift my foot abit, but I will continue to try to stretch it.

    @gerry: Thanks, I will try my best with patience, I’m just scared of being clumsy and falling and breaking something! It’s so surprising seeing all these different methods. It seems like my doctor is being very conservative compared to your treatment. I’m hoping to start PT in 3 weeks. You make a good point about muscle mass, my left calf has been reduced to bone and skin, and I can’t imagine the amount of work required to get it back into shape as before, and plus I’m still NWB!

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