Pain sleeping with air boot

Posted , 11 users are following.

Just been fitted with a air boot for a fractured talus dome, tendonsis  & avulsion injury.

I woke up in the middle of the night in tears with pain and had to remove the boot. Still continuing to experience pain with boot on.

Has anyone else experienced this and any tips to help with sleeping with it on.

Thank you.

0 likes, 11 replies

11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Robyn,  I did not have the same injury but when my cast came off I was in a hard shell boot with an interior lining that one could pump air into.  I was glad to have the cast off but that first night trying to sleep in the boot killed me.  I cried and cried it hurt so much all I wanted was to go back to the doctor the next day and get my NWB cast back or anything else.  What I ended up doing and it helped me was to remove the hard shell boot "cover" that went from my knee down the front of my leg to my toes and not to tighten the 3-4 (can't remember the #) straps so tightly.  I also didn't pump too much air into the boot.  I figured if it wasn't too tight it was good!  I also took some OTC meds like Ad-vil PM.  Anything with PM just to help me sleep.  Good luck.  You need your sleep to help you heal.

    • Posted

      I’ll try that tonight as I definitely need some sleep. Last night wasn’t any better.

      Hopefully your fully recovered now and thank you taking the time to respond and for your advice.

    • Posted

      I am fully recovered now.  Thank you.  You will recover too.  Unfortunately healing takes longer than we want it to take.  My doctor had me sleep in the awful boot because he was afraid that I would get up in the middle of the night and walk to the bathroom.  I had to put a pillowcase over the boot each night to keep from changing sheets daily.  I understand that they now have a simple covering for the boot.  I wish they had that 2 years ago along with the one they have for the shower.  Duct tape and a plastic trash bad didn't work very well.  I still have the boot and I'm thinking about using it outdoors as a flower pot. haha.  Best of luck to you.  Let us know how everything goes.

  • Posted


    Sorry to hear from you. I think you should consult with a doctor.


  • Posted

    Sorry about what you are going through Robyn , and I can relate.

    Try to reduce any point loading by using a wash cloth to line your skin  so that hard edges of the Aircast do not impinge on sensitive areas of your foot and ankle directly.

    If you can find thin soft foam, you can cut this to line the Aircast in those regions.

    I get  good temporary pain relief from soft ice packs , and if the leg is propped up ideally so that you can't move too much, you may not have to rely on the aircast quite as much.

    You may get assistance sleeping from OTC Benadryl (diphenhydramine).

    You can also get melatonin and herbal valerian root; these are generally regarded as safe.

    I try not to fear the pain , but instead acknowledge it and just try to get through 15 minutes at a time.

    I download free audiobooks from my public library website and listen to these while wide awake at night.    I like to have some boring stuff downloaded too!

    I also like listening to  podcasts and inspirational stories of people overcoming major obstacles.

    I like to use a white noise generator app like "sleep pillow" which can be mixed in along with either a podcast or an audio book.

    Try not to look at  your electronic devices very much in bed  at night because it can disrupt circadian rhythm (day/night sleep balance) making it more difficult to fall back asleep Again.   You can get blue blocking tinted glasses on amazon for less than $10 that filter the tablets' light towards a warmer color which reduces sleep disturbance.

    I also listen to relaxation self-hypnosis "meditations" on YouTube .  

    Visualize yourself in the future

    Doing your favored activities.   You can make it happen.

    I recently ruptured hamstring tendons , avulsing them right off the pelvis.

    I too have tendonosis.   Expect this to slowly improve.

    Eat well and have more

    Protein than normal.

    I hope this may help you.  

    Be glad you are a woman....... you ladies are usually  a lot tougher than guys are.

    Don't forget to Listen to comedy.

    It is a wonderful tool to assist coping.

    Sending healing wishes your way- Walt

  • Posted

    Hi Robyn

    You are not meant to sleep in an air boot. You only wear this when you are up and about. Otherwise you would have a fibre cast or Plaster of paris (POP) boot which you would not be able to remove. 

    You will have pain whether the boot is on or not which is normal.

    Hope all is good soon


    • Posted

      Dancer,  Just wanted you to know that it was my doctor an Orthopedic Specialist had me wear my boot 24 hrs. a day for 4 weeks.  He was going to put me in a fiber "weight bearing" cast for 4 weeks but since I was doing very well he allowed the boot............but I couldn't even think about not wearing it 24/7 because he didn't want me to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night without it.  Perhaps checking with the doctor again would be a good idea.  

    • Posted

      i think it depends on the person and doctor. i just got my boot and am to wear around the clock except for when icing my foot i was told to sleep with it propped up with pillows around it for protection. that didnt help the pain any tho

  • Posted

    Hi, I had a boot cast for over 8 weeks when I had ankle surgery, I did struggle with sleeping at night at first but found if I kept my leg out of the duvet as the duvet was heavy and putting lots pillows around it helped smile  
  • Posted

    I found the boot extremely uncomfortable to sleep in at first, too. One thing that I found helped was to take off the boot for a few minutes before bed and apply an ice pack to the injury, then put it back on but with the straps loosened just enough that my foot still felt supported without being constricted. Taking a dose of painkillers before bed helped also.

    (And remember - it'll get less and less painful as the injury heals! After the first two or three weeks I was pretty much pain-free unless I put too much weight on my broken foot, although wearing the boot in bed was still annoying.)

  • Posted

    Hi Robyn - I too fractured my talus just over 3 & half weeks ago. I have lived in my boot 24/7 & slept in it every night aside from the last 2 nights. I found that keeping my leg out of the bed and resting it on a pillow helped and not having it too tight. I loosen the straps off & take some painkillers. The first week or so was very painful.. especially when you put your foot down after sleeping or sitting for too long.... that pain eases gradually. I'm too impatient tbh & know I need to rest it more as it's burning tonight. Hope you feel better soon... take care x

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