How long before broken foot in cast doesn't have to be elevated above the heart 24/7?

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I also have more pain at night for some reason. I wake up when I move so I don't think it's cuz I twisted it. I'm just wondering when the swelling will subside some so I can sit up longer and do something. I've only had the cast on for 5 days. Two broken bones in my right foot. Also wondering about when I can even drive gently. Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Unfortunately I also had more pain at night. My big black boot was extremely difficult to sleep with and I kept needing to change positions which meant waking up and being all twisted up in sheets and blankets. My therapists recommended sleeping in a recliner. I didn’t like that so I just lived without good sleep for a few weeks.

    As for driving your doctor will provide want you off of all pain killers and out of the cast or boot on your driving foot/leg. Then you will need to be weight bearing and have enough strength to push hard enough on the brake and acceleration pedals. It will also involves using your thigh muscles . It’s surprising how many muscles you do use. My therapists again evaluated me on my readiness and then I made several practice runs around my neighborhood before venturing out. 

    This recovery is a difficult one, give yourself a break and try to take a day at a time. I did a lot of planning and research from my recliner for 2018,  Things like trips, house improvements, looking up recipes etc. trying to be productive a little bit each day, I’m in my 8 th week from surgery and finally able to start driving on my own and my surgery wasn’t even on my driving foot.  I’ve had a lot of surgeries over the years but this was the most limiting because of the non weight bearing. I also found I needed to accept my recovery time and stop fighting and trying to fiqure my out ways to shorten it. 

    Hang in there, it really is temporary, it won’t be forever!

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    • Posted

      thank you Nancy. I didn't have surgery, but acceptance is coming.. slowly. I cannot even live at home, staying with 83 yr old mother and my brother, and my cat is home alone.  I want to go home, and hire someone to come in and cook/clean 2 afternoons a week, when it isn't so swollen I have to elevate it 24/7. I know I'll be sitting around a lot, but hoping to be able to move around, and go to bed/get up when I need to at home. currently on a couch in living room. BUT I am grateful to family for a place to go.

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    • Posted

      I’m so sorry. I have had a pretty discouraging time also. I’m widowed and live alone and was faced with a similar situation. I had to fight and fight to get insurance coverage to go to rehab for a week and then have very limited home health for 2 weeks. I have very supportive adult kids but they have houses with lots of stairs, young children and full time jobs. I wasn’t in any condition to care for myself let alone even get to the bathroom. 

      Particulary disturbing was the way the insurance companies coded my surgery as an outpatient even though I was admitted to the hospital for 3 days. If I had a shoulder surgery, still able to walk around and take care of myself, it would have been coded for 20 days of rehab.

      Hopefully with becoming weightbearing again last week I am on the other side of this. I still have a very long way to go but at least I feel like I can manage again with help. 

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  • Posted

    I broke my ankle in August and was in a cast for six weeks, then in a boot for another 4. I pretty much kept it elevated the whole time I was in the cast unless I was walking with my crutches. I also iced it several times a day to help with swelling. Once I began weight bearing in the boot and began PT I didn't elevate quite so much. Really it depends on swelling. Once your out of the cast exercises are so important for the swelling too. I drove the day I was out of the boot 10 weeks post op. (I couldn't wait!!) Independence yay! The cast is the hardest part, you will get there, its a long slow recovery.

    Take care

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    • Posted

      thank you Machelle. How/where did you ice, if it was in a cast & boot? thanks.

      ?I wonder if there are any squeeze and contract exercises I can do for calve/thigh so I don't atrophy so much.   thank you

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  • Posted

    Hi Kathryn,

    My surgeon had me ice on the back of my leg just above the cast to cool the blood vessels and reduce swelling. While I was wearing the boot I would remove it when I was sitting or laying down, so icing the ankle directly was possible. My physical therapist wanted me out of the boot when I was sitting or laying down so I could do my exercises all through the day. Pumping ankle up and down and writing the alphabet with my foot, stretching ankle with a band were the exercises I started with , it helped with the swelling, and slowly I began to get some flexibility back. As for exercises in the cast, I found the only thing I could do was wiggle my toes. Your leg will atrophy, its unavoidable, but it didn't take too long to regain my leg strength. My calf looked like a child's leg when the cast was removed. lol Finding an excellent PT is so important in your recovery. 

    Try to keep your spirits up! I had a lot of dark days while in the cast. It was so hard just waiting for the bone to heal and losing my independence. I also found it impossible to sleep in the boot so I would remove it. I was very mindful to leave my foot out of the blankets so it would not get tangled up and pulled. My doctor did not recommend this but I just had to get some sleep.

    Five months latter my recovery is well on it's way,  although my foot doesn't feel normal yet, I am almost walking with a normal gait again (yay). 

    You got this girl!!

    I hope you find a wonderful Physical Therapist

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    • Posted

      thank you. they also told me a cast for about 4 weeks. but I can come back in 3 weeks for xray.. I thought, why not wait 4 weeks, get it off?

      1

      ​but now thinking go in 3, in case bumping it got it out of alignment or is that nearly impossible while in a cast. thanks Machelle

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