Just switched to aircast - pressure on screws/incision is excruciating

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Hey everyone, hoping someone here might have an idea of how to help. I dislocated my ankle about three weeks ago, and I'm about two and a half weeks out from surgery. 11 screws and a plate to repair everything. Yesterday I got switched from my fiberglass cast to an aircast (still NWB). For the first 18 hours or so everything was fine -- but then I woke up this morning in excruciating pain. Worse than a lot of the pain post surgery. The cast seems to be pressing on the bottom of my incision and where two of the screws are very close to the surface. We've tried putting gauze on it and tried a sock, but it's bad enough I haven't been able to wear the boot for longer than a thirty minute stretch today. I'm supposed to be in this for the next six weeks! Anyone else have this issue? I called the nurse and she recommended the sock, but that only helped for a bit. How did you solve it? Please tell me there's hope! 

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  • Posted

    Mine came with 3 different paddingsabout 5”x3” inches to insert into the boot where it is uncomfortable! Did yours have any extra paddings? If not, I’d ask the nurse if they have any they can give you to put in it! 
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    • Posted

      I didn't get any when I first got the cast and the nurse just said putting a sock over it was the best option. I'm going to check at walgreens and see if they have any sort of pads.

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    • Posted

      Great! I hope you find some! Mine are about 1/2” thick and they work really well! I dislocated my ankle as well and had 3 breaks and had surgery about a month ago. I have 11 screws and the paddings work really well! I can’t even feel them! :-)
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    • Posted

      Do you mind me asking how your recovery is going? I've reached the point right now were I'm sort of staring down the tunnel of 4 more weeks of NWB and then four weeks of WB and just feeling entirely overwhelmed by the whole thing -- the pain in the aircast doesn't help. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? 

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    • Posted

      Oh for sure smile I completely understand what your going through! I had my 4 week post op appointment today actually and I still have 2 weeks to go for NWB! My surgeon put me in a aircast 2 weeks after surgery (which is very early) because my ankle was very stiff. I could barely move it. I started PT 2 weeks ago. I only have to go 1 time a week because I’m limited as to what I can do. I have 4 exercises I’m supposed to do at home 2 times a day as well. Ever since I started PT I have seen a huge difference and it feels so much better. I can move my ankle towards my body, but I still can’t move it downwards(like when you push the gas pedal in the car). My thereapist said my range of motion will improve greatly once I start weight bearing! It is still swelling pretty bad and bruising a lot but I’m not having any pain just soreness! I haven’t been told a timeline on recovery, he just told me that mine was a pretty severe injury because I broke it at my joint, and I did some damage to the cartilage and ligaments. Iv read eating oranges or drinking orange juice helps a lot with rebuilding the cartilage so I have been drinking orange juice religiously! I’m probably no help at all because I’m still on the early side of recovery as well, but I hope Iv helped some. I know this can drain you emotionally smile but you will see progress soon  and start feeling better :-) 
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  • Posted

    So sorry you are going through this! I am at 11 weeks and trust me, it gets better! A few tips for the boot would be to, first, watch a YouTube video or two to make sure you are doing it correctly. Pumping the air in right can be tricky. The padding is also an excellent idea. Second, right from the time they gave me the air cast my surgeon let me know that I only had to wear it when I was up and about. I left in on 24/7 the first few days as I was nervous. After that I never looked back! That boot is only on my foot if I am mobile. Never ever when I am sitting or sleeping. And that was from 2 1/2 weeks. The plate and screws stabilize the ankle. The boot is to make sure there is no damage if you accidentally put your foot down while on crutches or your walker. I think that if you break your ankle and have no surgery it is more important to have the ankle constantly stabilized by a cast or boot as it is vulnerable to movement etc until the bones heal. Not so when the ankle has the plates and screws!

    I wish you much luck!!

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