Starting weight baring question.

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi I have finally been given the go ahead to weight bare after ORIF ankle surgery. My doctor says I have been non weight baring for too long and wants me fully weight baring in ten days and out of my boot in four weeks. My problem is I am unsure how to do this... how do i know how much weight to put throu my leg? Could some of you let me know how you did this? All he said was do twenty percent of my weight and gradually increase?? I'm so close now it feels great as it has been just under 3 months total non weight baring so I want to do this right ..

Thank you all

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  • Posted

    working with physical therapist would be the proper way to do it. they would put your foot on a scale and push down 20 lbs and so forth . you could do more damage than good because this is a new exsperiance for you but physical therapist do this all the time.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply...i do have a physio but my next appointment is 2 weeks away and the consultant has told me not to wait and to start doing it myself. He gave me a rough guide to follow and sent me on my way. My physio also just gave me a list of exercises to do at my last appointment and told me I should be full weight baring by the next time I see as u can see...both my consultant and physio have said the same thing...dont wait just get too it..:/

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  • Posted

    I agree that you should use a physio if you can. They will assist with all the other issues that arise when you start weight bearing: knee, hip and lower back pain from walking with a limp, joint mobility, strengthening calf muscles .. it just keeps going.

    For me it was:

    20-25% for the first few days, which looked like crutches with almost all the weight going through my arms. The first thing you have to get used to when you are starting to weight bear is the sensory input after none for so long. I rubbed my foot on the ground when ever I was sitting on the couch to help the nerves get used to it again.

    I found that I was heal walking a lot at first. I had to do what felt like an exaggerated walk to get a proper stride but I was actually taking very small steps.

    I just slowly lessoned the amount of pressure I was pushing through the crutches as I felt comfortable, then used the crutches without the boot, then boot one crutch, then one crutch no boot, (except at this point always boot when out of the house) and then no crutches with boot when out and no boot at home, and then finally no boot at all. When I was given the go ahead to start weight bearing the surgeon said weight bare as tolerated (and aim to be full WB, no aids within 3 weeks), which is a good way to think of it. You only put weight through till you feel pain, then stop. I had a few times in the beginning where I would feel fine doing certain things during the day but the next day wouldn't be able to walk on it. That's also not tolerating it so I just monitored the amount of activity and adjusted.

    I am now at 16 weeks post today (and 10 weeks weight bearing), and I just walked on my tip toes for the first time this morning at physio. It has taken a lot of time to rebuild the calf strength and I still have a way to go.

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  • Posted

    I forgot to add, one thing that helped me get back on my feet was walking in a pool as the buoyancy makes walking and gentle exercises/movement easier. I was able to do things in the pool that I had no hope of achieving on land.

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  • Posted

    HI Lindsay,

    I was also totally non weight bearing for 12 weeks post op. I had an xray and was then told much the same as you. I started with my weighing scales sat on the bed and put my foot on and pressure to 20% of my body weight. I did this every hour and kept pressure until it felt uncomfortable. when my ankle swelled I elevated and iced it. Over the following 6 days I increased the pressure.

    I bought a very supportive pair of trainers and put them on every time I attempted everything. By day 7 I was putting full weight through it while standing to clean teeth, I also put full weight through it while rising from a chair and sitting. I then started very cautiously walking on it holding on to the handlebars of my knee scooter, just a few steps at a time ( I would have tried it with crutches but cant as I'm waiting for elbow replacements) I have to say it really hurt it felt tight across the top, painful up the side and the back. I just did a little as often as I could and elevated and iced in between. I did worry about the pain but looked on this site and realised ankle progress is quite slow and most people had pain. I did to much one day and had to completely take the following day off.

    I am now day 17. I can walk (.not properly, as I can only roll my foot through the step a few times before it becomes painful) around the house and do basic things. I cant really manage at all without my trainers.

    I bought a little floor exercise cycle to build up my withered leg muscle. I sit on the bed and am up to 300 revolutions a day. I started at 50. It doesnt hurt at all to cycle, so I'm very pleased that I got it.

    Everyone on here seems to say patience is needed. I totally agree and do think that its going to take months to recover from the surgery. At around day 10 i felt quite down after over doing it.

    I did feel out of my depth and a bit frightened when I was told to start weight bearing but little by little progress is made. The advice to see a physio is good. I made an appointment and I'm going tomorrow for a full assessment and session and hopefully a set of exercises that will help my body to balance more evenly, one leg is longer than the other so I need the help. GOOD LUCK! You will get there but everyone is different, it takes time.

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  • Posted

    I didn’t use a scale, I was three months in a cast, then told start slow, not so precise. I used both crutches. You don’t need precision, and you are not going to hurt your ankle because the pain will naturally force you to use your arms/crutches when too much weight is on the ankle. Its not a hop on crutches like when broken, rather a lean/limp for a bit. It’s just a matter of getting going and pushing through the pain, resting, then going again. I basically walked a few feet away from my couch, then sat again, over and over. I did go to physical therapy, but not to start walking again. That’s good to teach you exercises, but not a necessity to measure amount of weight bearing. I’m 15 months out from my surgery, once you get going, you won’t stop if you’re determined and no worries on how much weight, you were given the go ahead because it’s time. 😃

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