Pain walking in airboot / aircast after fusion operation

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I came out of plaster after 8 weeks after ankle fusion operation. 2 weeks in I am unable to completely weight bear, and cannot wear the boot longer than 15 mins before foot starts to feel like burning, then swelling starts, making walking in the boot unbearable. I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has had similar experience, I am feeling so frustrated at the moment. and feel that I have made no progress at all.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kim

    so sorry to hear of your situation. Firstly welcome to this forum. Your going to have all sorts of ankle people jump in and it's been a life saver for me. I'm 10 weeks post op surgery screws and plates and not even close to weight bearing or walking yet. Each person is going at their own pace. If your having burning and swelling what do they comment on that. Are you still elevating and icing. Are you taking Meds for pain?  Sorry for all the questions but from what others on here are doing your still in the early stages. Hang in there, and tell your Dr or PT what you are experiencing.....wishing you well 👣

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    • Posted

      Thanks for you response Jannie, I am at 11 weeks post op. Have screws in ankle, was told that I should be totally weight bearing. Hence my concern that I am unable to do so., was just told to elevate if any swelling but no mention of applying ice or meds. I am seeing the consultant this evening. Will post what he says later. Thanks again.
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  • Posted

    Hi Kim,  your not alone. My cast came off 4th January and I am no where near weight bearing. I also found cam boot very heavy so only wore that for five minutes at a time. (Took longer to lace up). 

    As regards to swelling keep foot elevated at every opportunity. I still have pillows at bottom of bed every night, although foot never seems to be there in the mornings. 

     

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  • Posted

    hiya kim07568,i had my ankle fused two years ago and trust me its the best thing i ever did after years of pain,i was in plaster for three months and went straight into weight bearing with no boot,it was painfull and would swell easily but after about

    a month of physio and plenty of rest it got a lot better,

    please be patient its important to look after your ankle at this delicate time,raising it did help but you do need to getting used to having it down as soon as you can,but like i say you were in plaster a month less than me so its still early for you,so TAKE IT EASY.

    this is the first stages of a soon to be pain free life,i know it seems never ending but trust me in a couple of months you'll look back on this and laugh.

    as regards the pain its the bodies way of saying its not ready yet so just listen and be patient,also keep in mind when an ankles fused its not like an artificial limb it still has a lot of movement,the rest of the bones in the foot take over so you'll walk pretty normally,my family tell me even now how they cant believe that ive had a fusion,i walk long distance and play golf,no problems.

    the way i delt with it was to make it my life and everything else took a back seat,concentrate on healing staying healthy and watch your weight (trust me i put on a stone in plaster and it was hell on my leg with the extra weight)take time to do a hobby or something to keep your mind off,i built the london bridge out of matches,sound daft? just by doing that i halved my painkillers by keeping my mind busy,its a powerfull thing.

    your nearly there and every day a little bit more will heal,good luck ,be patient and always know that we are always here to talk

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  • Posted

    Hi Kim, sorry to hear you are suffering. I  had my plaster off today and it felt really good.  was disappointed to be put in a boot as after a similar accident 15 years ago went into trainers.  It feels like one step forward and two back but \I am determined to send the wheel chair back tomorrow and persevere with the frame.  The problem is moving things about the house and balancing.  Wearing the boot is strange, especially the rolling motion, rather like an old fashioned blotter.  Looking forward to getting in the shower and taking the ' herring boxes without topses' footware off to go to bed.  Boot has been on since 4.30 and it is now 9.30 but have leg elevated now.  Softly, softly catchy monkey. go at your own pace.  Determined to get upstairs on my backside and sleep in my bed tonight.  Bon courage. 
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    • Posted

      Thankyou Iris, I wish you a speedy recovery, I only sent my chair back yesterday (although hadn't used it since i got my plaster off) 
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  • Posted

    Saw the consultant this evening, he has recomended i no longer use the boot. he has recomended i wear trainers, and part weightbear using my crutches, also he has booked me physio sessions.  He said the swelling is caused by the stretching of tendons in the foot, which have been inactive for 2 months. he said elevate when possible and take anti-inflamatories.  
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    • Posted

      That good news and must put your mind at rest about swelling. I just purchased two pairs of running trainers as this type supports the ankle. 

      "Running trainers" that a laugh - I wish. 

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    • Posted

      good stuff,also forgot to mention that putting moisturiser on your foot and ankle especially the scars will help a lot,the physio sholud recommend doing this so get a head start now,just a normal one will do and as much as it can make your teeth itch try and rub it into the scars,this will help to stop the stretching sensation and aid flexibility,maybe get your partner to do it gently while you relax,make the most of the pampering people soon forget haha
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    • Posted

      Lol Gill. Yes I feel much better about things now. I'm going to get some new 'running' shoes tomorrow too!
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    • Posted

      and make sure you eat something before taking the anti inflamatories,sounds daft but when your laying down it can give you killer heart burn,sorry im starting to sound like a nagging mum now aint i,but i can remember all the little mistakes i made,

      one last thing i picked up from my physio was to lay flat with your leg up against the wall straight and rub gently from your knee to the top of your thigh,at the top of your leg just inside your crotch are arteries by doing this you will help with the swelling,it should give you the sensation that the blood is turning coldish and tingly and will help with the swelling easily,good luck and get plenty of rest,will log on tomorrow to see how your doing

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    • Posted

      Thanks Jamie, that's something I've been doing since I had my cast off, it has really made a difference to the scar
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    • Posted

      Thank you Jamie - I'm going to try that one now too ! I have a great physio but that's not something she has suggested. (sorry for jumping onto your post Kim 😊)
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    • Posted

      No worries barb, that's what it's all about ☺ the more people that benefit from these posts the better
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    • Posted

      These Boots are made for Walking.

      Had plaster off and boot supplied yesterday.  I thought a large snake had been living in there for the last 4 weeks and sloughed off its skin.  I was also horrified at the amount of hard skin on my heel.  Before bed and first thing this morning I massaged the whole former plaster area using body lotion.  It warmed up the muscles, got the circulation going, got rid of the tight feeling in the skin and around the scar tissue and put the leg/ foot in gear.  Intend to do this every day while wearing boot and possibly after.  Minor prob: none of my trousers have wide enough legs to go over the boot, even if put on first.  Skirts are a better bet for now. So who has still got their 'Dan Dares'/ Lionel Blairs/ ? Or have the men invested in Kilts for the duration of 'Boot Camp'?

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    • Posted

      you think youve got it bad,you should see the looks i got when i wore a skirt down the shops,haha.

      six foot five with one bald and one hairy leg

       

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    • Posted

      no probs,i was lucky enough to have the same physio that adam scott has (hes a pro golfer incase you didnt know),mine was done on the N.H.S i couldnt believe my luck when i met her,one other thing she did was an intense massage,sometimes for ten to fifteen minutes,she focused on the scars and swelling,when she finished the ankle halved in size,the relief was amazing,also when you feel up to it stand on your fused leg only and raise yourself up and down slowly as if trying to stand on tiptoe,you wont go all the wayof course but you can go a bit,its good at strengthening the leg muscle,just for god sake make sure your supported,crutches,partner,kitchen worktop whatever and take it slow.

      there is also a rumour ive read that your fused ankle leg begins to wither and look a lot thinner than your other,my leg looks no different than the other after all this time,it did for the first few months and felt very week but in time this will pass,i found just walking long distance soon built it back up,so be patient it will come back,also ladies out there,you can wear heels,maybe not long ones but maybe two to three inch,

      i know it sounds a bit weird a bloke saying this but i know how important it is to some women,

      so your legs will look pretty normal and heels should be fine,(god you wouldnt think i was a plasterer would you haha)

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    • Posted

      Ah the exquisite pain that only a trusted physio can inflict 😳 I'm so lucky with mine too - I pay for her privately but she is an NHS clinical specialist who knows my consultant really well (my TAR was done on the NHS) so she got stuck in 12 hours after the cast came off - ouch !  I'm 13 weeks post op and see her at least once a week when she too does that deep massage. I can just about do single leg calf-raises and am on an exercize bike a couple of times a day; but long walks are a way off. And as for shoes . . . .I didn't even posses a pair of trainers before, now I'm wearing them for work 😞 Not sure my TAR will ever really let me in heels again (but then again jamie - I wouldn't consider three inches a heel ha ha !)
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    • Posted

      Hi Barb,

      Friend of mine calls them Physio terrorists!  

      Deep joy!  First shower last night with walker, perching stool outside cubicle and plastic stool inside.  Best bit was massaging calf muscles under hot running water.  Best physical experience since chocolate log and fresh raspberries at Christmas.  Worst bit was wrestling the boot/ velcro off.  Had to lever it apart with a tooth brush at one point!

      I work part time in a charity shop and one of the first things I am going to do is parcel up all my daft shoes and take them there.  I also have another job but flat sensible shoes are necessary there so no problem.  The annoying thing is that when I fell and broke my ankle I was wearing low heeled boots but not going to take chances.  Hope to start local, pavement walks in my faithful walking boots when I have dispensed with Air Boot.

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    • Posted

      thats a shame,i like a woman in heels haha,the leg raises do get easier in time,i remember when i first tried it it felt as though i had a false leg,what a wierd sensation,you'll get there,its long process but well worth it,

      thats why i promised myself to write in these chat rooms,when i had mine done i had so many questions but no one to answer them,thats why im here 2 years later for all you guys,if i can help i will.its something that no one tells you is how much this can affect your life,its ok doctors saying this will take a year or so but what about rent and bills in that time,also the affect it has on your relationship,i ended up getting divorced because of this,my wife (ex) couldnt cope with paying everything on her own and because we had no children we werent entitled to benifits (thanks A.T.O.S,tossers), i dont blame her but the hospitals really need to work on more support for this.

      on a brighter note i play a lot of golf and the fusion seems to have cured my slice (might get the other done to sort out the hook haha)

       

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    • Posted

      I definately cannot work out your two stool shower combo - but at least it felt good which is the main thing 😌 I wouldn't be tempted to get rid of that hard skin from the bottom of your foot any other way than moisturising it; it reaaly will go quite quickly. But I fear the 'limp string from below the knee' look is going to last a while longer yet.

      As for giving away my beloved heels - I can't face it - so I'll live in hope. aLst time I wore 5 inch heels pre-op they didn't stay on for much longer than a couple of short walks and standing around to have photographs taken; but at least history will show me in heels 👠👠 

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    • Posted

      A false leg AND no heels - this is getting worse by the day ☺️☺️ Mind you, daft mare that I am I cause my own problems - first day travelling to & from London for work today (from Liverpool) and I managed to leave one of my crutches behind. Oh the joy of trying to get out of Euston with a heavy bag and a single crutch . . . . when the guard on the way back told me he didn't mind me putting my foot up on a seat 'as I'd put a scarf down first' I nearly floored him !
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    • Posted

      Another good use for a crutch!  Walking frame also serves as temporary  foot rest.  Boot will make excellent door stop or plant holder. do hospitals recycle them?  They should.  I looked on line to see what they cost  Good old NHS

      Hobbling better but not ready to give up boot for trainer or frame for waving arms wildly

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