Week 4

At the start of this week I took delivery of a Vacoped boot. I’d dithered for days about whether to pay personally for the upgrade from the Aircast boot provided by my local NHS hospital, but in the end, based on lots of reading at Achilles Blog, I’d decided it probably made sense for several reasons:

- lighter

- more comfortable

- more hygenic, due to the removable footbed and the washable soft liners

- finer angle adjustment steps than with the simple 4 wedge system in the Aircast

- more adjustable, once I was able to start doing some ROM rehab exercises rather than just using it as a rigid static boot like the Aircast

After using it for a few days, I’m very happy that I made the investment in it.

It’s not actually much lighter than the Aircast, but it is FAR more comfortable. The "rocker" sole dramatically reduces the jarring heel impact that I was experiencing in the Aircast, and the microbead padding is nicely adjustable to relieve pressure points as they arise - something that was pretty much impossible in the Aircast.

Having switched to the Vacoped, I now needed to "map" the Aircast wedge removal schedule across to an equivalent schedule in the Vacoped.

By gentle experimentation & comparison between the two boots, I decided that the current 4 wedge angle in my Aircast was more than 20 degrees but slightly less than 25 degrees. So I decided to set my Vacoped at the 25 degree setting for a couple more days before trying to reduce it to 20 degrees. The subsequent adjustment from 25 degrees to 20 degrees, on 3rd June, went very easily with no pain at all. Let’s hope this pattern continues with future angle reductions ( I still sweat about that ripping sensation when the nurse tried to force my foot onto 3 wedges!).

2 Responses to “Week 4”

  1. I admire your clarity in charting this process! I moved from cast into an aircast boot today. I asked my surgeon and PT if they knew the vacoped system and they don’t, so I have been unsure about going off the grid as it were. Really helpful to read your thoughtful process as I consider keeping this option open! Best wishes.

  2. Hi Alice,
    Good luck with your own “journey” on this!
    I’m still very glad I bought the Vacoped. I don’t see it as essential, because the Aircast does the most important part of the job (foot angle control), but if you can afford it the Vacoped will make the next couple of months more comfortable and bearable.

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