Struggling with a new ankle fracture in a walking boot

Posted , 8 users are following.

Happy Tuesday wonderful people

I tripped unceremoniously and injured my ankle on Friday, and finally went to the hospital on Monday after no improvement to find I had a stable spiral fibula fracture. Due to Corona, they're understandably trying to reduce outpatient appointments, so after a lot of back and forth about whether they should do a plaster cast or give me a walking boot, they decided to put a walking boot on and send me on my way.

I'm not weight bearing and I'm only to take it off for showers, but the weight of the boot is causing immense pain (far more than without when it was just bandaged), as whenever I slowly try lift it off the pillows it feels like it's pulling. My heel isn't staying in place in the boot and keeps rising up as my ankle was stuck in more of a pointed position the last few days. This is further cutting off circulation as my heel won't stay in place, and if I try tighten the boot more to stop it moving around and feeling so heavy, my toes go completely numb.

It's an 'Ossur' boot, and I'm meant to have it on for 6 weeks.

Has anyone else had similar experiences or could advise? Thank you so much.

0 likes, 9 replies

9 Replies

  • Edited

    Hi I broke my ankle and fractured my tibia 5 weeks ago so I had a similar experience to you in regard to being in hospital during the coronavirus outbreak. I had to have an operation and was only in hospital for 3 days and sent home with Painkillers and a black fracture boot. I am non weight bearing too for 6 weeks this is the sixth week. I too struggled with the weight of the boot at first and the way it made my ankle leg feel but it will get better. Sometimes I truly believed my ankle was twisted in the boot but it wasn't when I Checked it was straight but the feeling was really worrying. It will improve you will get used to the feelings. Something I always did was wiggle my toes every day and checked them. This is a worrying time when you have the boot on. I have cried and been quite anxious but finally am learning the feelings are normal the tightness the feeling its twisted. I have never been able to lift my leg far from the ground when walking with crutches due to the heaviness. As long as I can feel the bottom of my foot and heel pushing on the bottom of the boot when it is elevated on the cushions I am reassured my foot and leg are in the right position to heal. I hope you feel better soon. If you still feel worried maybe try and contact the hospital or your gp to reassure you. I had a number of my ward when I was discharged and was told any worries to phone them. I am starting physio exercises now so it will be OK. You have come to the right place for advice everyone is great on here. Good luck and take care Julie

    • Edited

      Thank you so much, your reply has filled me with confidence. I truly wish you he best with the rest of your recovery 😃

  • Edited

    Hey Lauren,

    Did they give you the extra foam inserts for the boot? I had an ossur boot too when I was recovering (got it after two weeks in a slab plaster post-ORIF) and they gave me 5 or 6 extra foam inserts to add if needed. I put one in the heel area and then one on the top of my foot opposite my heal where it bends, this helped lock my heel back without having to tighten the straps all the way up - I also had a lot of trouble with the boot at first.

    Possibly, try tightening the upper straps so it is more secure around your calf so it doesn't move so much - I found that the upper straps were more forgiving in terms of blood restriction, and leave the lower ones a little looser - it does getting easier to manage as the swelling settles.

    • Posted

      Thank you so much, they gave me two pads but I think I have some foam somewhere in the house so I may be able to cut that up too and try pad out the ankle. I suppose it's just trial and error from here out! All the best 😃

  • Edited

    Hello Lauren060,

    I am so sorry for your pain and discomfort! I hated the boot (mine was an Aircast CAM boot) for all of the same reasons, but the thought of a plaster cast that I couldn't take off sounded worse to me, so I stuck it out in the boot. I had a stable ankle break on my fibula as well, but required surgery because the tip broke off and was not aligned well, so they had to realign it and attach it with a plate and 4 screws. I also broke my 5th metatarsal all from rolling off of my flip flop! When it came to the boot, I iced a lot! It helped with some of the numbness and swelling. I bought a leg elevator pillow off of amazon so that the boot was cradled more comfortably. I put a soft beer koozie over my hurt ankle in the boot to keep it from rubbing the side. I CONSTANTLY filled and unfilled the air pockets as well as adjusted the velcro numerous times for comfort. I spent a lot of time carefully pulling the boot up to get my ankle down into it, but that came with time. All of it will get better over time as your ankle heals, but adjust things as you need. I took my foot out of it very carefully to ice it on my pillow, or left the boot on and iced behind my knee. If you can get a knee scooter, especially with a basket, do it. It is so worth it! Just so you know it's normal, I still have a little numbness on the side of my big toe and I broke my ankle on Feb. 13th and had my surgery on March 5th. You will feel all manner of weird things that will freak you out and have you questioning if it is normal, but in most cases it is. You came to the right place, the people here are wonderful, understanding and are amazingly supportive. This place saved my sanity! I wish you much luck and speed in your healing! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need to vent! We have all been there or are going through it. Take care!

    • Edited

      Thank you so much for the reply, you've overcome far worse which is truly incredible. Those tips sound great, I'm making a good note of them and I'll try them out today. Best wishes!

  • Posted

    I am having the same issue. i have a fractured ankle, now have the air boot (Breg). I'm wondering if it is too big as my heel wont stay at back. If i pump it up its too tight and painful, not pumped too loose, because heel not in place it seems to cut in depending on where my leg is laying. Hurts even while elevated. Also bothering my calve while just sitting. so frustrated.

    • Edited

      yes i am having the same issue with my air boot.

      I was hit by a car while I was walking. I have aAcute nondisplaced spiral fracture of distal fibular metaphysis.

      The doctor said I just need to wear a boot for 6 weeks. and be non-weight-bearing as well.

      The heel is never fully in the back of the boot and I worry it won't heal correctly. I wiggle my toes to put my heel in place so I don't move my ankle. But it never stays in place and I hate the air chamber it came with. do you think it's okay that my heel is not all the way to the back?

  • Edited

    omg yes, oblique fracture of my fibula with a 4mm gap. In the beginning the boot was brutal and did not feel stable. I could feel both halves moving. yuck. Two weeks before we were to go to Mexico. Glad we bought good cancellation insurance. I requested to be put into a waterproof cast so that I could take baths and showers easier without fear of reinjuring . The good... more comfortable, more stable and less anxiety... the bad, more muscle atrophy, more stiffness after cast removal and longer time for mobility. Broke it mid October, cast came off two weeks ago and into a boot doing 50% weight bearing. Fracture considered stable but not close to being healed. Finally able to put more weight on it this week and walk with crutches and sleep in bed with no boot. I've slept in the living room in a recliner until this past week. If you stay in the boot, I recommend investing in an Air Cast brand boot. They are said to be more adjustable, lighter and more comfortable. I'm in a Breg and have an Air Cast coming. I feel your pain... literally image

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