Just ending week 7, I was able to use a friends “endless wave” pool to walk without the boot. Four feet of water reduces body weight to 50%, and it really felt great to walk in crocs (with soft brace and ace) without the boot. I walked in small laps for 12 minutes. The longer I walked, the better it felt. At the end there was almost no swelling. As my PT said, this is the best therapy. Although single malt scotch is pretty good, too.

Published in: on November 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm


  1. On November 11, 2013 at 2:09 am normofthenorth Said:

    Great stuff! For anybody with access to a pool, this is probably at LEAST as good as the high-tech Alter-G treadmill, IMHO.

  2. On November 11, 2013 at 5:54 pm Ron Said:

    I prefer the pool to a treadmill, any day. Good luck and keep up the good work.


  3. On November 12, 2013 at 4:14 am loumar747 Said:

    I’m with you on the Scotch and the pool exercise!

  4. On November 13, 2013 at 6:31 am thelifechangingpop Said:

    Too scared to drink scotch in case I fall over! How soon did you all start with your pool work and did you walk in boot initially? The physio that I consulted today said that even the resistance of the water is too much in the first 8 weeks, talk about non aggressive physio……

  5. On November 13, 2013 at 9:04 am hopalong Said:

    As you are finding, there are protocols and there are protocols! Don’t worry, it’s the same for all of us. I’m non op, so have a different background, but I think the main question is when can you get your scar wet. Then you can get poolside. There is also PT pool work and layman pool work.
    I found the pool very reassuring and useful in a number of ways.
    1. Swimming in the boot - no kicking - with a buoy - stretches off those shoulders and back after all that crutch work.
    2. Breast stroke doable - just concentrate on no kicking.
    3. Starting to weight bear. PWB and FWB - start off at chest height and walk laps back to the shallow end.
    Do this in the boot for a couple of weeks, and then do it all without the boot.
    This is a layman’s perspective, as my PT and doc are also not forward leaning, but its all been good.
    Cheers Hoppy

  6. On November 14, 2013 at 4:28 am normofthenorth Said:

    For sure, once you’re FWB, walking in the pool in deep water is much gentler, less WB. If you have a waterproof boot (the Vaco and the AirCast should both be OK), you could wear it then wring out the liner. (Having a second liner is a help for sure.)

    And once you’re in 2 shoes FWB, walking in the pool barefoot should be a joy. There’s usually a long-ish “plateau” when you can walk but not quite normally, and you can do some kind of 2-leg heel raises but not good 1-leg HRs. In deep water you can probably do ALL those “impossible” things, and you can move toward the shallow end to increase the challenge.

    As always, you have to be smart, sensible, prudent, incremental, etc., etc. Be careful with ladders, of course!! And don’t spring into any energetic surface dives, etc., etc. But once you’re in, the standing and walking parts should be much safer than the same activities on dry land.

  7. On November 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm sacrebleu62 Said:

    Thanks for all these replies. Prudence is important, of course, but you can’t spend all of your weeks in the boot. The water at hip level supports 50% of body weight. If you are PWB, that’s about right. You have to be careful as you walk without the boot, which gives you lateral stability. In a small pool like this I was able to hold onto the sides.
    The surgeon said that week 8 would see me walking with one crutch, and the next week, when my kids are taking us to the Caribbean, I would be walking with a cane or crutch for balance — in the boot, naturally. I acquired a pair of Drive forearm crutches for $22 from Amazon and they have been a big improvement indoors. One of them will bear me as we head out to the blue waters.
    My repaired achilles tendon seems strong to the touch, and the PT found it had spaced itself from the underlying tissue. I’m very glad about that.