What to expect when you’re expecting . . . to get your cast off

Just trying to think of a creative title to capture your interest in my blog.

My last post stated that I was off to the lake for Memorial Day. That was fun. I had the garbage bags on my foot the entire time but it was nice to be outside on the lake. Drove the boat for a verrrryyyyy little bit only after our friend beached it and had to jump into the water to push it out. Enjoyed driving off and leaving our friends, their kids and my wife and kids (all but our oldest) swimming in the lake yelling for me to come back. My oldest thought that was hilarious. I thought it was funny for about 2 minutes until I realized that any longer means I would be paying for it later. Also, I got a kick out of watching the wives get tossed around on the inner tube.

Now back to the reason for the post - I am going to the Dr. Friday morning to have my cast removed and I am expecting to be put into a boot. I’ve had the cast on for 4 weeks now, prior to that I was in a splint for 2 weeks post-surgery so I’ve been on crutches for a total of 6 weeks now (I’m a math scholar, cant you tell!)

My list of questions for the Dr. are below. I would appreciate any/all input from the community on additional questions, what to expect as a typical response from my Dr. etc. I know some of my questions are going to be dependent on what the Dr. sees but here it goes:

1. When can I start PT?
2. Bath/showering - can I ditch the garbage bags and shower/bathe without the boot on?
3. Pool - can I go in (I have a saltwater pool if that matters)
4. Driving (haha but I might as well ask)
5. Sleeping - can I remove the boot
6. Pedicure - This one was added to the list by my wife, but I’m sure it would feel really great!!

8 Responses to “What to expect when you’re expecting . . . to get your cast off”

  1. Sounds like about the same time as my injury..

    I got my boot off 1 week ago.. this is what happened for me:

    1) I began PT yesterday, it went well.
    2) I was allowed to take the boot off for bathing.
    3) Not sure about a pool, would assume it would be okay as long as you weren’t pushing off with your bad AT
    4) Doubt it, thankfully it’s my left foot!
    5) I personally don’t remove it at night, I would feel uncomfortable even if the doctor told me it was okay at this time.
    6) No comment haha

    Good luck to you

  2. This was my timeline, but I was non-op so they might be somewhat different ultimately:

    1. When can I start PT? - I started PT two (2) weeks after I ruptured.
    2. Bath/showering - can I ditch the garbage bags and shower/bathe without the boot on? - I did, I just made sure to have a stool that I could sit on so I wasn’t forced to balance all the time. Used it to massage my foot as well.
    3. Pool - can I go in (I have a saltwater pool if that matters) - I see no reason why not. It’s a great way to rehab it. I started in the pool around week 5. Loved being able to get it out of the boot!
    4. Driving (haha but I might as well ask) Fortunately for me it was my left foot so I could drive without any issues, but I think most people on the boards state that they’re around 12 weeks when they could drive again.
    5. Sleeping - can I remove the boot - I was clear to sleep without the boot when I went into 2 shoes - 6 weeks.
    6. Pedicure - This one was added to the list by my wife, but I’m sure it would feel really great!! - I’ll be honest, it took me a long time to let anyone near my foot. I was probably 12+ weeks out. See how you feel, but until you build some strength I would assume you’d be like me and far too uncomfortable to be having a pedicure just yet.

    Good luck to you!!

  3. Oh, I’m interested :) You are always so generous with the chuckles. I should have made a list like this but I wasn’t even sure if I was going into a boot or not.
    1.) I should have asked but it slipped my mind. I’m guessing, I will start after my next appointment so around week 9. He did tell me to do gentle ROM exercises, no stretching and as much WB as I can tolerate.
    2.) He said I can take the boot off to bathe no problem but I am non-op and have no wound.
    3.) Idk, but I never really liked swimming. It takes a lot to keep this girl above water–heavy bones.
    4.) Left foot, so I’ve been driving. I can finally set the E-brake with my left foot now. Not sure I’d trust it for gas and brakes though.
    5.) I am allowed to sleep sans boot (week 5)
    6.) I see no problem with this although it will be yours alone to appreciate. I can’t see my toes in the boot.

    Good luck with the appointment and let us know how it goes!

  4. Here’s my experience. I will be at the 6 week mark on Friday and got my cast off last week about 4.5 weeks.
    1. PT can start after the cast comes off. I’m doing 2x per week for the next 4 weeks, plus some at home.
    2. I am allowed to take boot off for shower, but can’t submerge leg as my wound not fully heeled, and he was concerned about infection. It looks fine now, so I’m expecting to get the go ahead soon for pool, ocean, etc.
    3. Answered above
    4. Mine was left foot, so I have been driving since three days post op. no comment on what I would do if it was my right leg.
    5. Dr gave me the ok to take boot off when not walking and could sleep without it. I felt nervous about it so kept the liner of my boot on and pumped with air- very comfortable. The PT told me today to just sleep with nothing on it, trying that tonight.
    6. My wife has been nice enough to cut my toe nails.

    Good luck

  5. 1) You can start gentle PT very early. Check your insurance though- most have a limited number of visits, and you may be better off spending them when you’re able to do more in PT.
    2) When your incision is completely healed. But, if you shower bootless before you are in 2-shoes, you will need to develop a safe routine. Generally, get situated in the shower *before* you take your boot off. It should go back on, before you start moving out of the shower. Crutch tips on a wet shower floor don’t always mix well together.
    3) Again, when your incision is completely healed. And the earlier you go, the more careful you should be. As with the shower, the boot coming off should be the last thing that happens (I recommend, not until the good leg is in the water). Swimming was great therapy for me.
    4) I was a right foot injury and drove starting at about day 10 (I drove an automatic car with my left foot). Many discussions on this topic - search the site. There is good info above re: insurance and such.
    5) Another common topic of discussion. I was sleeping with my foot free before I got the boot (while NWB in a splint). I never slept with the boot on.
    6) Why not? :-)

  6. Pedicure is not as silly a topic as you think, because most of us discover that the sole of our foot has become covered in thick layers of scaly scabby skin! Ironically, we often feel really hyper-sensitive there, as if there’s no skin there at all!! But many of us used various kinds of creams and/or abrasives to try to re-convert the foot-sole skin back to normal skin. I used some pumice stones and even a “pedi-egg”, which is very much like a stainless-steel cheese grater for the foot(!).

    And I enjoy being the Patient From Hell (especially here! :-) ), so I’d ask him if his results can hold a candle to the results in the UWO study, which let its ATR patients progress WAY faster through the various rehab steps — like bit.ly/UWOProtocol !!

  7. I had a pedicure, I didn’t know quite how much I needed it. Not only to get rid of dead skin but just to be more in touch with my foot again if that makes sense. The skin was much worse than I expected so I did warn the person doing it, I think she was a little surprised there was so much dead skin :( Good idea I say.

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