2
April
2012

8 more days till cast freedom!!!! (I hope…)

This weekend could not have come fast enough.  It was the completion of my first full week back at work after my surgery, and the 2 flights of stairs I have to climb on a daily basis were taking a toll on me. The pain hasn’t been too bad…I still ice & elevate a lot so that helps. Also, I’m getting an arm workout from these crutches!

After a very frustrating conversation with my boyfriend of all the things we could do “with one leg”, we decided on going to the mall. Luckily the mall policeman let me use a motorized scooter, and that just made my afternoon very enjoyable. Although I wish they’d make the stores a little bigger…I was bumping into everything!

I think the biggest downfall was that night, when my boyfriend attended a birthday party at a dance club.  I’m a very social person, and nights like these are very enjoyable for me…however on a cast and crutches it just seems impossible on a crowded dance floor with very limited seating. I figured I’d make the smart decision and watched chick flicks till he got home.

The most annoying part came from my mother, who kept saying “You could have gone you know…you could have made it work.” I don’t think she realizes the stress and pain that comes with simply standing up right with crutches.  Does anyone else have people around them who aren’t injured that seem to think using crutches and having a cast is easy? I get so irritated when they tell me “Oh, if that were me I’d still do (fill in the blank).” Of course I’d love to go out and party with all my friends, but it’s dark, crowded, and slippery. One fall, or one kick or push accidentally from the crowd and I could have had a much bigger problem on my hands.

I’m starting to feel cast claustrophobia, but I just need to remember it’s only 8 more days until it comes off. 8 more days, 8 more days, 8 more days! Did any of you feel so comfortable that a couple days after  the walking boot you were able to walk slowly without needing the crutches at all?

Happy Healing :-)



12 comments

  1. Courtney:

    I had my cast off today and my doctor said that I could start PWB today and work up to FWB over a two week period. I think he expects I will ditch the crutches around two weeks from now, maybe a little earlier, depending on how I do. That is just want he told me today. Hope that helps!

  2. ericbabula:

    My doc said the exact same thing as Courtney’s. I was actually FWB about 1 1/2 weeks after starting with the boot. I ditched the crutches almost completely at 2 weeks post-cast. Well, I’m still bringing them to work, in case the group wants to go outside for lunch or something, and I wanna try to kinda keep up with them (walking in the boot, right now, is quite a bit slower than w/ crutches). But, for the most part, it’s just FWB w/ the boot! I go back to the doc this Thursday (3 weeks post-cast), and am supposed to begin PT.

    Eight more days. Eight more days. You can do it!!

  3. pablomoses:

    Yes, alot of people who have not used crutches just don’t get it… I remember my wife asking me “Is there anything fun about using crutches?” -I gave her my best deadpan look.
    To your last question - Yes, I was off of the crutches almost completely about 5-6 days after getting the boot. Although I still keep one handy for longer outings, just in case… good luck!

  4. pablomoses:

    Correction! That should read “kept” one handy (for about another week or so)… I haven’t touched one of those things in over two months- thank god!

  5. victorialyn12:

    I’m very determined to ditch my crutches ASAP, my ankle feels okay in the cast now, pain is very minimal so I’m hoping the transition to the boot will be easier. One week from today!! Eeek!!! Thanks for the comments, I don’t know what I’d do without this forum!

  6. victorialyn12:

    PabloMoses- your wife’s comment made me laugh…anything fun about crutches? The arm pains, the slow clunking sound they make, going up and down stairs…I could go on and on!

  7. johnsfbay:

    Until I had to use crutches for this injury, I didn’t know how hard they were on our body, and probably would not have been as sympathetic as I certainly am now.

    My doc said the same as courtney, pablo and eric’s…it took me about 1 week to feel ok walking with the boot only and ditch the crutches, as the tendon didn’t feel over stressed.

    Hope you have a similar good experience! Almost there!!

  8. Cindy:

    JOHNSFBAY - I feel the same about the crutches - I had no idea what a pain they are before this injury. I had my ATR on March 5, went into a cast the next day (no surgery), and got my boot yesterday. I was very disappointed that my dr. told me I still need to use 2 crutches, and I’m only supposed to be PWB with the boot. He wants me to do this for 4 weeks, and then wean me off the boot after that. I’m not sure I can stand another 4 weeks of crutches. I’m wondering if I should get a vacocast - the one I have is very heavy.

  9. johnsfbay:

    VICTORIALYN12 - Whenever I would walk down the halls with my crutches my mini dachshund would bark at me - must have thought I was a monster or something :) She is scared of her shadow, so not a big surprise there.

    CINDY - Not sure if you have had a talk with your surgeon about your rehab schedule early on, but that was one thing I wish I had done with mine. You probably don’t get much time with them, so being prepared with your questions, and information on standard protocols is important to “sell your case” and ask to do more earlier. They can then share why they want you to go slower - risks, etc. Since you are non-surgery, norm’s UWO study is a good study to use, as well as the other rehab schedules posted as a link on this site’s home page. All are very informative, showing the range of different timing protocols for going PWB/FWB and some good rehab plans. They are also good for comparing to your doc’s plan and preparing your questions. Maybe you can email your doctor to ask, if you won’t see him for 4 weeks? Good luck - hope you are FWB soon!

  10. starshep:

    Cindy:

    My insurance supplied me with an Ossur boot. When I first got it it felt like a boat anchor around my foot. Turns out it is less than 3 lbs. I guess when you’ve never had any thing so heavy on your foot it feels like a lot. I looked up the price of my boot and it’s only about $80 yet it seems to do the job. I’m sure the Vacocast is superior but whether or not it’s worth spending $300 for a few weeks worth of work is something to think about.

    As Johnsbay said, it is a real good idea to discuss rehab with your doctor early on. I started that conversation on my first visit. Last week (week 5) he told me I could start rehab. Got his order for therapy in the mail on Friday but still had to call my primary care physician for an official referral before I can set up my first PT session. So now I’m waiting for that. Kinda makes me feel my recovery has been delayed a week just from the insurance paperwork.

  11. Cindy:

    Johnsfbay & Starshep,
    thanks for the feedback-
    I have an Ossur boot too (got it from the dr. - he said he never heard of a vacocast). And I just looked online and I was surprised the Ossur one is only 3 pounds - it feels like 5. Re: your boat anchor comparison - that’s exactly how it feels! I was describing it as an anchor just this morning - I had to sleep in it, which was pretty uncomfortable. Yes, the vacocast is very expensive, so I’m not sure if it’s worth it. My orthopod hasn’t really discussed rehab too much at all - just that I’m on PWB for 4 weeks, and then after that therapy and weaning off the boot. So this seems slower than your rehab plan.

  12. beralic:

    I must be a crazy person by I believe you can have fun with crutches, just not right a the start when you are NWB, Once you have built up a bit of strength for using them and once you are PWB and then FWB in a boot, but not really walking yet so still using the crutches to get around any distance they are not that bad or limiting, the 1st month of recovery is hard and can be depressing but it passes, made a little photo album for those feeling crutch dispare, after the 1st month or so, if you work at it, you can get anywhere with crutches an “able bodied” person can!

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100121335579931.2461549.61000734&type=3



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