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I broke my tibia and fibula (comminuted spiral fracture of right tibia and comminuted midshaft fracture of right fibula, no damage to my ankle) falling awkwardly from a 2m height on 5 March.
I waited in hospital for three days until I had ORIF surgery to insert titanium screws and plates on Thursday 8 March. When I woke up I was wearing a camboot (orthopaedic walking boot / moon boot) and was told that it was to stay on full time for two weeks, then over the next four weeks I can take it off to shower and to rotate my ankle five times a day. After those four weeks, I can partial weight bear (50%) for three weeks, using crutches, and I don't need to wear the boot at all.
On my two week check up I asked the doctor if I could also take the boot off when I'm just lying in bed and not moving, which he said was ok. I asked if I could take it off when I was sleeping, and he kind of pulled a face and said I should sleep in the boot, in case I move in my sleep.
I'm lucky enough to have moved back in with family who are taking great care of me, so I'm in bed elevating my leg without the boot on most of the time, frequently flexing my ankle (probably too much - I'm a big fidgeter - but I have seen so much improvement in how far my ankle can move without pain or tightness).
I'm not in any pain, except when I put the boot back on. With the boot on, I start to have pain on the inside of my ankle, or sharp pain from the heavy base of the boot pulling my foot sideways when I move. I try to wear the boot until it gets too uncomfortable, and of course I put it on whenever I get out of bed.
I feel like the heavy weight of the boot puts strain and stress on my leg and ankle that isn't there when the boot is off. I've been taking the boot off to sleep, and just wearing the internal sleeve, because I find it so annoying. I normally sleep on my side, which is nearly impossible with the boot on - but when the boot is off I can prop my legs between pillows and have wonderful sleep, and because of the pillows I've been waking up before I need to move. I tried to sleep in the boot last night but just couldn't bear it past 2am and took it off again - it was causing a lot of discomfort and pain in my ankle and painkillers don't do much to help. I'm about to start working from home and need to be well rested.
My question is - has anyone else had experience with taking the boot off to sleep? How much of a risk am I posing to my recovery? Should I be wearing the boot more often when I'm in resting in bed? If everything is feeling ok, am I probably ok? Or am I doing damage without knowing it?
Also - am I justified in my frustration at the heavy weight of the bottom of this boot when I'll never actually walk/weight bear while wearing it, or does it serve some other purpose?
I can't find many other posts from people who had a camwalker rather than a cast the whole time they were NWB, and I don't have a particular doctor I can ask.
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