Recovering from broken ankle and problems with air boot

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I broke my ankle on February 11th well going down the stairs inside my apartment. At the ER they told me it was dislocated and broken in 3 places, and that I would need surgery. One week later I had surgery (2 plates and 9 screws) and two weeks after that the splint came off. At first it was a big relief since I had had a lot of problems with the splint, but I soon found out that the air boot had its own problems. With everything being adjustable on my Bregg Walker boot, there are a lot of variables involved in order for it to be comfortable. It seems as if the air bladder curls up inside and digs into my Foot & Leg and also bothers my incision. Has anyone else ever experienced this?

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  • Posted

    Hi Joan!

    So sorry to hear about your accident. 

    There are so many of us on this site, that have had the same horrible experience with the boot. It rubbed up against my ankle to the point where I had it off more than on. 

    Maybe you can put a soft material barrier between the incesion and the boot. It's a rough recovery from ankle surgery, but it does get better. Hope this helps. 

    Good luck with your ankle recovery. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks gigi. I and using extra gauze on the incision sites and it helps some, but sometimes it still feels like something sharp is grabbing my Achilles heel where I also have the privilege of having three small incisions, because the surgeon decided, without asking me, to lengthen my achilles tendon. I am using three Band-Aids on those which which helps a little bit but it still hurts. Also, if I don't put the boot on just right it feels like there is a hard ring underneath my heel. Any tips on how to adjust the boot to avoid these things?

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    • Posted

      Hi Joan!

      I also have that tightening feeling around my Achilles heel from not being able to use the foot for so long.  The boot was so uncomfortable for me, that I really only wore it when I had to move around. Then, after a couple of weeks, the swelling went down just enough to where the boot was comfortable. I am now four months past my surgery and I have been without the boot for almost four weeks, and I am learning to walk without a cane now. I have a long way to go, but every week I get a little better. I can now shower standing on my two feet.  It feels great!

      Keep a positive attitude and you will be fine. 

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  • Posted

    Yup!! It’s crazy. I really hate the air boots, I didn’t think it was going to be as uncomfortable as it is. 

    All I can say is that is gets better (on some days it’s still uncomfortable) but it really just all depends on the adjustments. 

    I’m 4 weeks post surgery and I have the air boot too right now and it’s been a struggle but 4 more weeks till I can bear weight. *fingers crossed* 

    So yeah it’s totally normal just keep adjusting and re-adjusting. It takes a while to get used to. Also make sure you put your feet in the boot well . It’s supposed to be 90 degrees( it’ll kinda hurt a few times cause your leg is not used to that).

    Also try using an Ace Ankle wrap or something. It usually helps but sometimes it puts so much pressure on my ankle. Get someone to help you put it on if you can sometimes it definitely helps (and you’re right the splint was such a b***h!!)

     Goodluck!! smile

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  • Posted

    Hi Joan, 

    The air boot does take some getting used to but I’m sure much better than a fibre cast.  I’m 6 weeks post ORIF and had similar problems with my air boot at first. You do need to wear something to prevent friction - I tried an ace bandage at first but that was too tight. I managed to find cast socks on line and they’ve made the boot much more comfortable to wear. 

    Good luck with your recovery! 

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  • Posted

    Joan,

    A lot of people dislike the boot, but it has many advantages over a cast. We should thank heartily whoever invented the CAM boot (air cast).

    They didn't cut into me when I had my fracture, but I know that surgical wound incisions can be problematic with boots.

    You could try adjusting the air pressure bladder closest to incision, or put padding around wound (some boot manufacturers include foam pads for this purpose), and, probably best of all you could try wearing these special calf-length air boot socks that are especially cushioned and thick.

    Check to make sure you are properly fitted in boot-- with heel all the way to back of boot, and air pressure high enough to snugly grip ankle and foot but not suffocatingly tight. Check also the velcro straps to make sure they are snug.

     

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    • Posted

      kpower,

      I would like to try the air boot socks. I looked online and didn't find much. Can you send me a link for a place where I can get them?

      Thanks!

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  • Posted

    Yes yes yes yes yes . I tried putting extra gauze where the site is so it wouldn't rub as much. It helped sometimes and the doctor gave me some foam gel strips for extra cushion and that helped sometimes. I am currently going through the same thing. I had a set back because the boot kept hitting the incision . Try putting some extra cushion there. Keep an eye on it. The boot was not my friend lol. Good luck. 

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  • Posted

    I used the ace wrap every day I had that boot on. I would put a clean one on each day and the rubbing wasn't nearly as bad,plus gave a little extra support. The incisions are very tender during that time.

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