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LawDogg LawDogg

Heel Pain - Walking Boot

Hello All-

Tore my achilles about 6 weeks ago (March 27), and had surgery about 4.5 weeks ago. Was in a splint for a week, and then a cast for 3 weeks.

Last Thursday I had my cast taken off and I was put in a walking boot. I have actualy experienced more pain in my heel and the outside of my foot on the injured leg, then I ever did with my achilles.

Has anyone else had this problem with heel pain from the walking boot? I have flat feet and wear orthotics. I tried putting an orthotic in the walking boot but that doesn't seem to help either.

16 Replies

  • Rob9700 Rob9700 LawDogg

    Hello Dogg,

    I did have similar issues when I first started walking in the boot. It felt like I had a stone under my heel. I also went about 5 weeks in boot with no weight bearing. Heel and outside of foot enervated by Sural nerve, and I think some of the pain is associated with irritation of nerve due to injury, surgery, atrophy, etc. In fact the discomfort got worse as I removed wedges. Once I was out of boot, I did not really experience that discomfort (lots of others, but not that one).

    I fount that ice and elevation helped reduce swelling which helped with the heel and foot pain and stinging. I am 8 months post- op; fells lots better, but still have occasional discomfort at heel and in foot. Frustrating, but SLOWLY improving

    Best wishes for speedy and complete recovery.

    • LawDogg LawDogg Rob9700

      Thanks Rob,

      I'm very interested in learning more about this "sural nerve." Because the symptons sound a lot like what I experience, almost instantaneously once I got the boot off. I talked to my doctor (well really his PA) about it, and he just said that it was likely muscle atrophy due to no weight-bearing in my leg. But the pain is in my heal and the outside of my foot, which seems to suggest that it may be due to some sort of issue with the sural nerve? 

      Do you know if this is a serious problem?

      Thanks

    • Intarsiaman Intarsiaman Rob9700

      Hello Rob9700, had planters f surgery about 4 1/2 months ago. Was in a walking boot for about a month. Towards the end of using the boot I felt someone had put a flat hard stone in the heel portion of my shoe. Then a few eeks later I experienced the same sensation in my non-surgery foot. So I've been walking around with flat hard stones in heels of both feet. Painful!  Went to see a podiatrist and she said it was due to walking boot that put feet at different elevations. Said the pain-flat-hard-stone feeling will eventually go away. I hope shes right. I'm upset with my surgeon that he didn't know about a walking shoe could cause this proble. I could have got a lift for the other foot and avoided this. Any suggestions? I got a good pair of support shoes that help with the pain. Hoepfully you have fully recovered.

  • sandy29182 sandy29182 LawDogg

    Hello, I had a 60% rupture March 26th. I am in an air cast. At first I had heel wedges, but after about 3 weeks, started to remove them, one at a time every week or so.  I have now removed all heel wedges, although the air cast itself has one permanent heel wedge (approx 1 cm). I also have removed the cast for short periods of time and walked bare footed or with a shoe. That was painful and yes I have experienced heel pain. Usually when I felt heel pain, I put cast back on. I have been guided by my physiotherapist. First twice a week.  But she is on vacation for three weeks so will not see her until May 18th. At that time I am expecting she will advise to remove the cast permanently.

  • kristymichelle kristymichelle LawDogg

    I'm going through the same thing. I am 5 weeks post op and 3 weeks in walking boot. I am experiencing major swelling round my ankle on the injured leg. I have excruciating pain around my heel and putter bottom part of my foot. Hope yours gets better.

    • LawDogg LawDogg kristymichelle

      Hi Kristy,

      I'm about 9 weeks removed now. I had a week in a splint at a 110 degrees. And then a week in a cast at about 100 degrees, and then two weeks at 90. And then I was in a boot for a month. The first wekend I was in the boot was a lot of pain. I had that for a month, and now I've been bootless for the last two weeks. I'm walking with a limp. But my PT says that I'm moving pretty well for someone that just got out of a boot a few weeks ago. 

      The progress as far as pain and building strength has been slow. But it's definitely there. It doesn't feel like it, but I'm definitely doing better. I hit about 8K+ steps yesterday, which was a milestone for me post-op. There's been discomfort. But I've been trying to take a mix of a little vicodin and ibuprofen, but only as needed. 

      Hang in there, you'll get there. I could barely walk once the boot came off. And now I can, just not very fast. smile

    • sandy29182 sandy29182 LawDogg

      8K+ steps!! That is amazing. I have tried that, but get a lot of heel pain and end up limping worse than when I started.  But now, well I just want to get on with it!!  Today will try a longer than 1K+ steps at at time.  So far have been avg only about 3000 steps per day.

    • LawDogg LawDogg sandy29182

      You'll get there! I remember when I was in the boot getting to 1K was quite a chore. Now I'm at close to 4K for the day and it's only 1:30 p.m. The heel pain is legit, but it will decrease slowly but surely. Biggest challenge is increasing strength, which has been slow going.

    • sandy29182 sandy29182 LawDogg

      I tried yesterday. My grandson and daughter came for a visit, so great time to go for a walk. Who would think a three year old could walk so fast! But did walk for a few hours - walk stop and watch him play. Walk, stop and watch him play some more. Walk stop and had ice cream. Walk, no stopping all the way home. That last walk almost did me in. Physically exhausting and a lot of pain in heel and in achilles area. Was a bit worried but after a really good nights sleep, all seems fine. Won't walk as much today, but will definetly start walking more.  Aiming for avg of 5K per day and see how that goes.

  • harv1234 harv1234 LawDogg

    Heel pain the biggest problem I have with the boot. I have been in it for two months now for a sore Achilkes tendon. The goot also agitaes my lower back problem, my hip and the back of my knee. With the boot I have more problems that I did not have, and the Achilles tendon is not one whit better. I have no solution, just letting you know it seems to be a common problem.

    • sandy29182 sandy29182 harv1234

      Saw my Dr. for the heel pain. He has suggested a gel heel insert - which I now have and it does help quite a bit.  He also suggested to give walking a break for awhile. My PT suggested 2 week break from walking.  For most part have follwed this advice. When I do walk (at dept store or grocery shopping) I become exhausted within minutes and both hips are very painful.  I stop for a few minutes and that helps a lot. Then complete my required shopping, go home and rest!  My Dr. also provided me with a prescription for a gel to massage into foot for inflamation, which he thinks is causing some of the pain. Need to fill that prescripton today and try it out.

      With all the stretching exercises I had stopped my other exercises for other parts of leg. Have now started those back up to strengthen hips and thighs and back.

  • Intarsiaman Intarsiaman LawDogg

    Hello Dogg, I had planters f surgery about 4 1/2 months ago. Was in a walking boot for about a month. Towards the end of using the boot I felt someone had put a flat hard stone in the heel portion of my shoe. Then a few eeks later I experienced the same sensation in my non-surgery foot. So I've been walking around with flat hard stones in heels of both feet. Painful!  Went to see a podiatrist and she said it was due to walking boot that put feet at different elevations. Said the pain-flat-hard-stone feeling will eventually go away. I hope shes right. I'm upset with my surgeon that he didn't know about a walking shoe could cause this proble. I could have got a lift for the other foot and avoided this. Any suggestions? I got a good pair of support shoes that help with the pain. Hoepfully you have fully recovered.

  • DeRuth DeRuth LawDogg

    Had tenex procedure a week ago. Staying off foot but using boot.to walk. Scar tissue taken out and have bone spur. Had something similar last year. Why does walking in the boot cause heel pain

    How can that be helping? Have the same feeling in the heel as something hard I am walking on. Any suggestions?

  • Mand43pink Mand43pink LawDogg

    I'm so glad I read this I had my boot out on Wednesday after 2 week post surgery for an Achilles' tendon rupture and during the night the pain started in the heel in fact it's worse than post op pain after reading all ththe comments it seems it's a normal occurrence 

    Was the pain less when you sit up with foot on the ground because that's what I have found

    Mandy

  • DeRuth DeRuth LawDogg

    I just feel there is pain when wearing boot. Not so much when sitting with foot up. More when walking. Really glad to get out of it. Have pain now in bottom of heel. Can walk with out pain behind heel. Trying to wear shoes with good supporf.

  • kim32690 kim32690 LawDogg

    Hi Dogg, I just came across your post and wondered if you figured out what was wrong and how you got better?

    I almost could've written this post!

    I'm 4 1/2 weeks out from posterior tibialis tendon surgery, went into the boot at 11 days (I couldn't stand the splint), and was just given the green light to start weight bearing Monday.

    I too have flat feet and I think the aircast boot is awful.

    Even though the surgery was on the inside of my ankle only, my heel, especially the outside, I'd KILLING me whenever I try to put weight on it. I called the doc to ask if this is normal. He suggested taking out the orthotic I had in there, which of course didn't help.

    I start PT on Friday and maybe they can figure it out. In the meantime, I'm thinking it's my heel atrophying or something?

    If you can let me know what happened with you, that would be great. I'm depressed and looking for some hope.

    Thanks

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