Anyone out there with experience of Aircast walkers?

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After eleven weeks in plaster I am now in an Aircast XP Walker for 2 - 4 months following talonavicular fusion. I am really confused about how it should feel when the air cells are inflated. The doctor said it should feel snug but not tight....what does that mean? When I take it off I have marks on my leg, am I inflating it too much? Also my incision is on the top of my foot and the front air bag seems to squash it. Can anyone help?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    I had an ankle replacement 4 months ago and still in pain when walking

    I was put on the aircast boot after 4 days and had it on for 2 months ( night and day) The secret is not to blow it up to much. In fact hardly at all so the foot is just confined.

    Good luck

    Mr Ankle

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    • Posted

      Thank you Mr Ankle. I thought I was probably over inflating it but it's good to hear from someone who's worn one. I'll try just putting a little air in.

      Best Wishes

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Mr Ankle,

      My TAR was on June 17. I am walking without any crutches now but do have to limp due to some pain also which seems to be more to do with the foot than the ankle. I am supposing that the level of cutting, sawing and stitching is so great that it's gonna be 6-12 months of repair and slowly lessening pain. Not much advice out there though.

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  • Posted

    Snug but not tight is quite right. It shouldn't feel like it is squeezing your leg. If it's leaving indentations in your skin then it's probably a bit tight. Just get it so it's comfortable for you and you don't notice it too much (apart, of course than the monstrous edifice dangling at the bottom of your leg!). I endured one for only a month following a total ankle replacement.

    All the best to you Ann.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Lainey. I just wasn't sure if it had to be tight enough so my foot didn't move at all but I was sure it shouldn't be leaving marks. I really wish they would give you more advice when they put you in these things.

      Best wishes to you too

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  • Posted

    Hello, I hope you've figured it out a little more in the past 6 days. I had to wear an Aircast walking boot after I tore a ligament in my ankle. As the others said, make sure it's not so tight that it's causing you discomfort. Because it was almost a complete tear the whole way through the ligament for me, the boot stabilized it and it mostly felt super awesome on my weak ankle. You probably won't want it super tight as yours is from a surgery, and you should be a little more careful with the front one where it's on the incision, make sure the wound is getting some airflow. I had to wear the boot for a month in May 2011 so it was hot and humid, hopefully it'll be a little better for you in the cooler fall weather. Feel better soon! 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice. It has been better since I stopped over inflating it! I still have concerns about my incision. It runs from the middle of my foot to just above my ankle. Unfortunately that's exactly where the front panel turns from shin to top of foot and even only slightly inflating the front air bag or even just using the straps to hold it tight the incision looks red and almost bruised at night. It usually looks OK by morning. I've been taking

      the front panel off when I'm sitting to try and relieve the pressure. I've started to walk more to get my joints and muscles moving but my shoulders are SO sore from using crutches for so long even though I'm

      full weight bearing now. My lower back is also suffering. Sorry to sound like such a whinge but I don't think people understand what an effort

      everything is! They see me walking and think I'm back to normal when really I'm still a long way from that.

      Thanks again for your reply it really helps a lot to talk to people who know exactly what you're going through.

      Best Wishes

      Ann

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    • Posted

      It's a long road and painful. Don't think about lowering pain all round for at least 6 months with pain free in 12 month. You are at the start of your recovery. God luck it will get better but slowly. Mr Ankle

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    • Posted

      Thanks Mr Ankle. I really didn't realise how long a road it was going to be. My husband kept saying I'd be lucky to be back at work in six months and I think he's probably right!

      Thanks for your support.

       

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  • Posted

    Hi I have exactly the same problem.  Which is why I looked on this site.  I'm going to try loosening it as advised by others. Good luck.

     

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    • Posted

      Did you have any luck? I've just got mine and I feel like the front panel is digging into my leg 😢

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    • Posted

      Hi Emily. I think it's a case of experimentation.  I was in plaster for twelve weeks and then the boot.  I was advised to use it for 4 weeks and wean myself off it.  I discarded it after two weeks.  I used to take the front panel out when I was at home and take the boot off completely when sitting with my ankle elevated.  We all have these boots for different reasons and mine was really only for protection.  I had a sub talar fusion six moths ago yesterday and I am pain free and walking without a limp.  The swelling which has been more of an issue is now settling down although when I am on my feet for very long periods of time I do get a little swelling. I was more or less pain free  at about 5 months.  I had a plate and several screws put in my ankle.  Just giving you this information so that you can compare with your own situation, and also to let you know there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Hope it all works out fine for you.  Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone, I'm new here and I'm so glad I stumbled upon this discussion. I had primary infusion of the navicular bone. (A fracture that had knocked 3 other bones out of place. I was introduced to the Air Cast yesterday and I really do not like it. I find it heavier than the cast I had been in for 13 weeks. When I put the boot on it is deflated. It comes to putting on the top part and that is were the trouble starts. When all the straps are tightened I have this awful pain in my toes as if someone is standing on them. Strap is then loosened then has to be tightened again for me to get up and walk! Has everyone else experenced this? Will I get used to it? Wish the hospital just would have put another cast on than this contraption. Was more mobile on the weight bearing cast. Any advice will be greatly appreciated x

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