How fast can I start independently walking with the boot after cast removal?

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I'm getting my cast removed this coming Tuesday. I've had my cast for 4 weeks non weight bearing and 2 weeks prior with a splint I broke the distal and of my fibula also with ligament damage June 9th I had surgery June 13 and I have a plate and 4 screws in my right ankle I literally cannot wait to get my boot so I can start to weight bear but my question is will I be able to just start immediately walking as soon as I get out of the office and I'm planning to go back to work in the beginning of August I don't know if My expectations are Reachable this early I have literally no pain in this cast right now so I'm feeling like in a week I can be able to go back to work Just wanna hear some other people's experiences on 1st putting on a boot and how well they were able to walk. Thanks!!

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  • Posted

    Hi Rebecca

    I will try to share my experience, although I had multiple injuries affecting my other leg, that eventually slowed down my recovery overall.

    I had multiple fractures in the left ankle in November 2016 I also had completely torn posterior ligament and partial tear on the anterior. I had no surgery but I had a cast for nearly 4 months.

    When they removed my cast my leg was literally non functional. My muscle tone was completely gone it was so weak that I couldn’t put any weight right away. Because I actually had two broken legs despite cast removal I was still using my walker to move around. I started hydrotherapy right away, I did it at home, and I started using muscle massager to wake up those sleeping muscles. I had terrible unimaginable pain on the sole and the heel because I was not using that leg for walking for a long time. I don’t really remember how long it took me to feel ok but I had pain in my heel for a month and I was getting swollen ankle anytime I was walking for nearly 3 months. Despite all this I decided to go back to work and I was using the walker to go to office. I did this for three months and than I upgraded to crutches. I had to do this because of the other leg. 

    So overall it really depends on kind of work you have, commuting, physical demands etc. My work is purely scientifically related and it didn’t require any walking or physical demand. 

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    A while that sounds terrible 2 broken legs I don't know what I would have done. I am a nurse so I am standing for long periods of time and mostly running around I work days so I have Two med Passes to do which require me standing a lot and my med cart I'm nervous to return but I just graduated and I just started this job so I'm out with no pay I'm really stressed that I might push it too far Your recovery sounds really painful hopefully you are doing better and not in pain anymore!

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  • Posted

    Hi Rebecca! I’ll share my experience with you so far as I am exactly one week into my boot. I broke my fibula at the ankle. No surgery required I was just put in a cast non weight bearing for 5 weeks. Like you I ha no clue what to expect when I got my boot. I was hoping for the best. I had no pain for pretty much the last two weeks and was ready to walk. That’s not how this works. They cut off my cast and I tried to move my ankle. It wouldn’t move after being immobilized for 5 weeks. Ugh! I didn’t realize how locked up it would be and how much work it would take to get my range of motion back. Then my dr gives me my instructions for my boot. This seems to vary from person to person. I am not to be upright or move around at all without my boot. When I am sitting or laying down I can take it off and work on the stretches for my ankle. I have to use my crutches as I began walking as I had to start with partial weight bearing. My dr said I could gradually increase the weight letting pain be my guide. I’m supposed to back off when it hurts. And it does hurt if I try too much. That ankle hasn’t been used in awhile. Not just bending but having weight on it too. At first the bottom of my foot tingled but that has finally stopped. After one week I feel like I’m getting close but I’m not quite there. I think I’ll be walking by the end of the next week. My dr said I have to keep my crutches with me for backup until I am full weight bearing for a week with no pain. I’m also having muscle soreness in my calf. It’s a good sign since it means I’m using it but not very enjoyable. The immediate good part for me about getting the boot is I get to sleep without it yay! Although I am wrapping my ankle at night because it feels better with a little support. And I get to shower without the boot and actually wash both legs lol. It’s a lot of work. I have to wear my boot to the shower, sit on my shower stool then take my boot off. Then wash, dry off and put my boot back on before I stand. But my leg is clean and shaved! Like you I was ready to take off walking. Unfortunately there’s still some challenges ahead. But I’m enjoying the new freedoms. And it is so much easier to move around even though I’m still stuck with my crutches. Must continue to be patient a little longer. Of course I figure as soon as I’m fully walking I won’t be satisfied with that either for very long lol and will be anxious to get rid of the boot! Best of luck to you! I hope my experience helps to give you an idea of what to expect. 
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  • Posted

    Your doctor will advise you about walking with the boot.  I was supposed to go from a NWB cast to a walking cast but I was doing well so I went into a high boot that the doctor made me sleep in so that I wouldn't even think of taking a few steps without it.  That first night the boot hurt so much I couldn't sleep.  I cried and wanted my cast back.  I learned that I had pulled the boot straps too tight so the next night I eliminated the hard plastic front shell of the boot and just gently pulled the cross straps.  So be careful not to make everything too tight.  4 weeks in the boot and I was able to transition to walking in regular shoes with a rolling walker.  It took me awhile from depending on the walker to simply walking while pushing it in front of me "just in case".  I think it will also depend on your age.  I was in my late 60's so the younger the better!

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  • Posted

    You can usually walk right away. I crushed my entire foot, after surgery and 6 weeks in a cast I was able to (carefully) walk right away. Just don't overdo yourself your body will tell you when you're due for some rest

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