Baby steps a question please…

Hi all,

I am at 8 weeks and FWB in a non hinged boot. My doc doesn’t want me to wean off the boot until 30th July and my physio is following what he says. I have been taking some steps around without the boot on, not much, just a little and I intend to continue to do a little…

Can I ask if people when weaning off the boot walked barefoot a bit at first ( I am literally taking a few steps around my house) or did they put shoes on for those first steps. Trainers or something? Also, how did the tendon feel when taking those first steps. Mine does feel quite tight and there is a constant pull when taking the steps. Is this what others have experienced.  I am now trying to walk from my heel to my toes but not putting much weight on the ball of my foot.I am non op. Thanks.

21 Responses to “Baby steps a question please…”

  1. I started in solid hiking boots, with very good ankle support and a bit of heel lift to them.

  2. Hi Ryan,
    at how many weeks did you start and I can’t remember if you had surgery or not?

  3. Hi Sheena,

    jimminyc - the blogger I was in communication with for work (directed me here) also started in hiking boots when he went to two shoes (was a surgical repair)…. here’s a link:

    I think you are at least 10days in front of me in your healing, so great to be in good company coz your sppedy progress keeps me motivated :)

    Listen to your body and Happy healing :)

  4. Hi Andrew,
    just read it thanks….I’ll keep reading your blogs to make sure we’re on the same track!

  5. Hi Sheena,
    I found it much easier to walk in shoes (still do) than barefoot. I put my shoes on before walking to the bathroom in the morning as they have about an 8mm decline. (typical running shoes).

    Each day after I went FWB, I incorporated walking barefoot and in shoes into my daily PT session - right after I got off the stationary bike and felt loosened up a bit. I walked along my the side of my dresser and was very careful. At first it was just the motion, but now I’m able to use the ball of my foot and get some calf action. :)

  6. We are all so different - with the physio’s guidance, I was able to try barefoot a couple of weeks or so before coming out of boot. Just a few minutes at first, and built up time quite quickly. Kept the crutches (had been unused for weeks) close by and did use them a couple of times, for confidence at least. Made move into 2 shoes easier I think.

  7. Hi Sheena! When I first started out of the boot, I used my crutches while barefoot so that I could ease the amount of body weight on my foot. I did find that wearing shoes made walking much easier. Do what you find is most comfortable and offers the best piece of mind for yourself. A little bit at a time sure goes a long way.

  8. Hi Sheena, I really struggled to walk barefoot at first and shoes made it so much easier, especially when I put on a really good pair of running shoes which I had fitted before I got injured. It was like a miracle - about 20 times more comfortable, and enabled me to walk without heel pain. As you say there was still the pull in the tendon - this ismainly what the physio is for I think, to gradually stretch it out over time - but everything gradually gets easier and I can walk much better barefoot now. I still put my shoes on getting out of bed though (and look quite stupid with running shoes and/or a nightie) as they are a real comfort blanket for now at least!

  9. Hi Sheena - Read your initial posting describing your ATR story… which sounds v similar to my own (except we were having a team building dodgeball game …youngsters choice - not mine!!!). I am 47, relatively fit but certainly not in the competative athlete league! I’m in the UK and am being treated by the NHS. My injury was 3 weeks ago and I have had some minor problems with my plastercasts. I was amazed today though, as the consultant had my plaster cast removed (I was expecting another 3wks in NWB cast) and I just wondered if my experience fitted in with yours, when changing to an air boot. I have 4 wedges in place and in was VERY painful putting my foot in (worst I have felt in the process)! The consultant advised that I could PWB and walk…so I have done a little PWB and It has been very uncomortable! On more painkillers than I have been on throughout the last 3 weeks! It was great to read how u are progressing and wish you continued success. KInd regards, Molly

  10. Hi all,
    thanks for all your feedback.

    it’s good that you’re in a boot at 3 weeks, I didn’t get mine until week six. I had had 3 casts and the angle of my foot was changed each time so I’m guessing my angle was nearer to neutral than yours is now, hence your pain maybe? As you’re only 3 weeks in take it easy for a while, Don’t push anything. I never felt any real pain when going into my boot only a stretch which felt fine and as it should do really. if you’re feeling that much pain I would take that as a definite sign to take it easy. don’t weight bear too much if it hurts use your crutches for a while. I had no pian at all weight bearing in my boot otherwise I would have backed off a bit.
    Have you had a look at normofthenorth’s blog. He talks a lot about the UWO study and it sounds like you’re on track for that. It will give you an idea of the protocol they followed. you know the difference between real pain and a stretch, if it’s real real pain don’t do it!

  11. Hala, Kim,
    tried the trainers on, yep you’re right much better!
    My tendon hurts a bit now so I’m taking that as a sign that I have done enough for today….
    Happy healing to all.

    thanks, you’re input is always much valued.

  12. Sheena - one note: I got a lot of swelling in the AT when I started walking in shoes. Goes away by morning.

  13. Sheena - Many thanks for the advice. Will definitely have a look at normofthenorth. It really did take me by surprise when I went today and it did feel that the angle of the full equine cast to the four wedges was quite a big change. I think I may be expecting too much … and like all of us without stitching, I’m dreading that it may ‘go’ again! I’ve been told that the hospital don’t want to see for the next 10 weeks, so I feel really ‘alone’ and quite scared as it was implied I would be fine weight bearing and walking, which reading everything on this site seems rather ambitious - especially as last weeks they were saying I would be in plaster for 12 weeks and would be seen fortnightly! Once again many thanks and hope all progresses well with your two shoe steps. Molly

  14. Sheena - I had surgery. 2 shoes at 5.5 weeks.

  15. Sheena - you get so many replies to your posts. First one I look for!

    Molly - good to read your responses here. I’m at 20 weeks now but my NHS ortho centre protocol was pretty much the same as UWO, enhanced a little over time (I had the hinged Vaco Pro Achilles boot from beginning of week 3 for 7 weeks, and then silicon wedges in my shoes for 2 weeks). Reviewed and boot adjusted by physio fortnightly.

    Not seeing your people for another 10 weeks seems a bit casual and would be at about week 14 (?) in your timeline, when many of the more aggressive protocols e.g. UWO and my centre’s would have you in shoes before then. With mine there is no difference in dates between surgical and non-op.

    If you have any issues I’m sure that you won’t just stay quiet and suffer - if a 10 week duration is normal at your hospital they must surely expect many calls from patients. Are you seeing a physiotherapist regularly? My apologies if you’ve already said before.

  16. Hi Molly
    I’m not sure that you should go so long without seeing anyone.Have they booked physio for you?

  17. Hillie
    They want to see the hairy twig!

  18. Who wants to see the hairy twig? I scanned quickly but must have missed it.

    I think you have to come out and show the nation, the world, the universe (can they get the internet ‘out there’?

  19. Hi Sheena - I hope it’s ok me responding on your site, as I’ve found the responses really helpful. No physio has been booked for me …. Just told to remove one of the wedges every fortnight and if no significant problems they’d see me in 10weeks, which really surprised me! That’s why (pardon the pun) but I’m really feeling out on a limb! I have confidence in the regime that I am receiving having read up and am totally happy not to have had surgery but apart from being told to walk on the boot, I feel have had no guidance (ie how often is advisable etc). When does physio normally start or any advice where else I could get guidance - I have considered going private but obviously can’t have two lots of treatment running!?

    On a positive, it was no-where near as painful today, but I’m really unsure just how much weight I should be attempting, so I am putting virtually none!? BasicaIly I am feeling scared stiff and probably not attempting as much as I should but after the discomfort/pain yesterday I’m not too confident.

    Many thanks again - the responses have been much appreciated. Molly

  20. Hi Molly, c/o Sheena’s blog

    I had a good rehab and without any complication of PWB. After week 2 I went into my Vaco boot with the big achilles sole attached and told that I could weight bear, weaning off crutches “as comfortable”. I certainly couldn’t fully take weight on the injured leg but it certainly let me know when it was taking enough. I took it fairly steady but increased weight on the limb quite quickly - be careful though as it seems to be here that many of us differ and it can take weeks longer.

    From what I can see, a guide for PWB is from around 25 - 30% which you can estimate by using the bathroom scales. You may have to start at a lower figure depending on your own case. Just don’t get hung up on numbers - your body will tell you what is ok. Just keep moving forward and you’ll be fine.

    Have a great day - I hope that you are getting the better weather now too.


  21. Hi Molly,
    not a problem at all…
    You can pay for your own physio not a problem as well as being treated on the NHS. I would ring the hospital and ask to speak to someone. You can speak to your consultant’s secretary. I was PWB from day one just as tolerated and then when I went into my boot at week six I was FWB straight away as it felt fine. Listen to your body but get some physio sorted or at least speak to a physio for around the six to eight week mark maybe. I’m not sure but I think you need advice really.

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