Aircast boot issues with fractured ankle

Edited , 4 users are following.

Hi everyone!

I just broke my lateral malleolus and my fifth metatarsal on Feb. 13th; flip flop mishap. Have been to see the ortho and was placed in an Aircast (nearly up to the knee) and am non weight bearing for at least 2 weeks. I have been doing everything I have been told to do: resting, icing, taking Ibuprofen 600 every six hours religiously, keeping the boot on 24/7 as told by my ortho, even bought an elevation pillow for leg injuries to keep it elevated most of the day. Problem is that my heel won't stay in the bottom of the boot which is causing my ankle to hurt and my toes to sometimes tingle and hurt. I have called the office twice now over this and no one seems too concerned. I have not had surgery as I have a stable ankle fracture the ortho hopes the boot can help. I friggin hate this thing! Anyone in my boat?

	 Gina

0 likes, 12 replies

Report / Delete

12 Replies

  • Edited

    hi Gina. I saw no one responded to your post and I was hoping someone would since i am having the same problem. I rolled my ankle and dislocated it and ended up with a trimalleolar fracture. long story short 4 weeks ago i had orif surgery (plate and 8 screws) and after a week in a soft cast i went to an aircast boot but still NWB for at least another 4 weeks. I am having serious issues with the boot and its killing me so bad to the point I am in tears multiply times a day.

    Like you my heal wont stay down so it digs into my ankle so bad. when i pull up on the boot (like pulling a sock up) i get some relief until it slips again and im back to pain and discomfort. if I let my leg hang and dont have it elevated it swells like crazy and the boot digs even more. i still have yet to find a "fix" for this stupid thing. I have tried fiddling with the air and straps, thicker socks, double socks, and even shoved a bunch of cotton in it but nothing has helped. I did read somewhere that when you have it elevated and can keep it still if you release the air you get some relief from at least the digging. it has worked a couple times long enough that i could fall asleep. my only other attempt at advice is if it swells loosen the velcro straps especially the one near your toes and it sort of reduces the tingling numbness. just know you are not alone in hating this friggin thing and wanting to throw in the towel. maybe someone else will chime in and have some advice for both of us. best wishes on your recovery. you can always bedazzle it in an attempt to make light of the situation (my 8 year old did it for me lol image

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I am so sorry you are having those issues. That thing is the worst! It had rubbed my heel raw in the back from constantly trying to pull it up like a sock as you described, even with the boot sock on. I was always messing with the straps, especially the lower one, and pumping it up or down trying to get relief. I complained so much that I was put back into a splint, because I had finally made the call to have surgery since my boot didn't help. I had that surgery yesterday on my ankle, ORiF as well. Right now I am in a splint. I will be getting a boot again eventually, but not that one. Have you told your doctor? Hoping a different boot will be better for me when I have to go back into one. I will let you know, my appt is the 17th. though a lifetime between now and then for you in that cursed thing! If you haven't talked to the doctor, please do so. Maybe that particular boot just doesn't work for us. And may you find relief soon!! Please keep me posted or feel free to vent anytime to someone who understands! And may you recover quickly and as pain-free as possible. I'll be sending you healing and positive vibes!

      Gina

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      @gina01213@

      oh my goodness just yesterday. I hope you are doing ok. My first 2 days were rough and then it got better and turned into more of an ache and discomfort mainly because of the swelling and boot. Did you get any plates or screws? I have called about the boot and they pretty much just say that its normal with the swelling and i should just rest and elevate it but i can't really do that at work all day. I think i saw another post where you asked about returning to work. I went back a week later which was so stupid mainly because my brain was still foggy and i had a false reality that it would go smoothly. luckily i only work 3 days a week so i get a break and a day to rest and get the swelling back down. if i could do it over i would take at least 2 weeks to rest. my other recommendation would be to get a knee scooter. it helps me at work and if i do venture out (which isnt often) it makes it doable. if you are going to use the crutches invest in crutch pads they are a life saver.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Believe it or not, I have very little pain. I am amazed really. I have 2 jobs, one as a server which is out of the question for many months, but I also work part time at a school and they have been wonderfully accommodating. They have left it up to me if I want to come in next week and for how long. I am so grateful and lucky to have them to fall back on. The following week is spring break, so I can wait two weeks if I need to thankfully. I have had a knee scooter almost from the beginning which is great except that I live on the second floor. I have to get someone to carry it up and down for me. My boyfriend has been instrumental! I think by the time spring break is over I will be able to drive myself so long as I get help loading and unloading it from my car. It's also been great to prop my foot up on at school or when I am eating. I am still no weight bearing. Is your knee getting dry skin from it? Mine is, but I find pants make it easier. I live in Florida so I often am in shorts even this time of year (except at school of course). I got one plate and three screws. What about you? And how much longer will you have the boot?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      @gina01213

      Its awesome to hear you are doing so well. Honestly I too have had some good days I just tend to get worked up and frustrated when I start to get pain or discomfort and it brings me down which makes me tend to be negative but like I said I have had good days where I am surprised how little it does hurt. I go back on the 18th for a follow up and if it’s healed I may be able to start PT and putting weight on it. I live in PA and i get bad dry skin this time of year but its never been this bad. just wait till the splint comes off its insane how dry it is. no lie when i took the boot off the first couple times to do stretches and air it out my pillow would be white from it falling off. after a couple showers and a little lotion it got better. i also left the sterile strips on for a week or so which helped protect the incisions from rubbing and getting sore.

      my house is small so i cant really use the scooter at home. i dont know what kind of car you have but i have an SUV and after some practice i figured out how to get it in and out. i use my crutches to get the the hatch the sit down take a second then lift it to the edge then stand on my good leg and balance and lift it up and put it down. just a few tips would be practice doing it at home before you go to wherever, be careful if it’s windy outside and balancing on your good foot that didn’t go so well for me LOL. Also make sure that when you take it out of the car you have the brake on so that it doesn’t roll away.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Edited

    I fractured my lateral malleolus too but did have to have surgery, last April, I was in a cam boot for six weeks.

    I don't remember my heel slipping a lot in the boot. It did slip at lot the first two weeks right after I broke while I was in a spilt cast. It hurt a lot (burning, cramping pain) in the boot over night, I think at three weeks post op I gave up and fashioned a leg nest out of a million pillows and would take the boot off to actually get some sleep.

    the cam boot i was given by the hospital did not have the hard plate down the front, so I was able to tighten it up a lot as the swelling went down. It was sized to my leg while it was huge and it is not just swelling but also muscle tone you loose over the time your not weight bearing so the more you can adjust it the better.

    Did you get foam inserts? I would put one under the middle strap, and under my heel and then tighten that strap as much as possible. The toe strap i left pretty loose and the top one I seemed to adjust a lot! Some days tight, some days loose.

    It sounds like, for both, the boot is on too loose. It really shouldn't be moving up and down. If you can (or check if your allowed), take the hard plate off the front and then retighten the straps. See if that makes it more secure for you.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hello! Thank you for responding! I currently am in a splint as I did end up having surgery yesterday. I did not try an insert as I was told not to take my boot off for any reason for that time. I was eventually moved back into a splint before surgery since the boot rubbed my heel raw. My best guess for me is that part of the reason of surgery is to make sure that the nerve isn't impinged by the break and if so, to move it away. I think maybe this was part of my problem. I was not able to make the boot tight enough without causing my whole foot to go numb and burn. I constant removed and reinserted the front plate many times with little relief. I will be put back into a boot eventually so I am grateful for all of your advice! Thank you! I will definitely get an insert before then because I will hopefully be allowed to take it off occasionally this next time even though I will probably still be non weight bearing for a while. Please accept my gratitude for your response. I hope it will help others as well. Take care!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      @Llamalah@

      thanks for the input. you are probably correct that its to loose. how did you know you were ready to sleep without it? i havent even managed to sleep in bed let alone without the boot. where do you get the inserts i havent seen them before.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Edited

      For sleeping: The surgeon had told me when putting he moved me to the boot that I needed to take it off throughout the day and start doing ROM exercises, which were terrible at first.

      As I had blown all the ligaments in my other ankle as well, I was seeing my physio from week two, and he had told me that the ORIF surgery had fixed the fracture in place and it wasn't moving anywhere so I wasn't overly worried about making it worse while laying down. I was so tired and sleep helps the healing process, so to be fair, the surgeon never told me I had to keep the boot on to sleep.. so.. I made a pillow fort, high so I could have it raised, and then got a triangle pillow and fixed it so it was like a brace, and that was where my foot went.

      Ive seen a bunch of people on here say the surgeon's wanted them to sleep with the boot incase they got up in the night and forgot and accidentally walked on it. There was no way that was happening, every time I put my foot down past hip height I had severe pain as the blood rushed down and the swelling started. It took me a good ten minutes or more just to get up right in the mornings to get out of bed, by slowly lowering my leg (already in the boot).

      The inserts came with my boot, as it didnt have an air pump. The only one I can see online (im in australia) and if you search for ossur formfit inserts.

      The best thing is you can put them any where you need in the boot, and double up when you need support. I now use one in my hockey skate.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      @Llamalah@

      I am supposed to do my ROM exercises every day too. He pretty much said I can do as much as I want as long as I don’t put weight on it. But he did say to sleep with the boot probably because of the risk I may get up and put weight on it. However I am exactly like you if it comes down below my waist it swells terrible which is probably the most frustrating part about this because it starts to hurt. I have been loosening the boot a lot at night when I am sleeping and wake up completely fine so any movement that’s happening overnight in the boot is not hurting anything. with the ROM exercises I am able to pull it towards me very good with not a lot of pain but I am absolutely still so scared to do any other type of exercise with it even though like you said there’s no way being screwed together anything is going to happen besides a little bit of pain. hopefully when I start PT (fingers crossed 2 more weeks) they will give me the confidence to do it.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I have been living on my couch for 3 weeks now. I did order a leg elevator pillow from Amazon and that has been a life saver! My left foot turns out quite a bit normally and of course the part that lays out naturally like that is the ankle I fractured. I was having a really tough time stacking pillows especially in a heavy aircast that I had to engage my leg muscles constantly to keep my leg from turning out. Since I ordered the leg elevator pillow it has been much better! I do still put a really soft pillow in the canal part of the pillow to give my leg a little more cushion and keep it a bit higher and that has been wonderful! I can let my leg fall naturally and it is still held straighter like I need it too. And since the pillow I put on top is a down pillow, my leg is still in a canal position keeping it straight. I highly recommend something like this especially if your leg turns out like mine. I have attached a pic in case my description sucks.image

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up