Walking with the Boot phase (Advice)

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Hello, everyone,

I had a Tibia ankle fracture surgery in November. Darned surgical site became infected (I posted an earlier thread about it, with the gruesome photos, it was not amazing times). Well, the metal had to be removed right around the 30th of December, and now I've been told by my surgeon that it is time to start walking with the boot as I get to a point where I can do so without Crutches. He told me that about four days ago,  So I'm just getting started. 

I do all the foot exercises, flexing the foot and what-not, moving it from side to side, writing the alphabet in the air, and so on. Foot wiggles well, but of course it's not 100 percent. Maybe 60 percent wiggle capacity. Wound site is a little tender, stitches just got taken out about 5 days ago. 

I guess what I'm looking for is information from others in the same phase of their healing, or those who have gone through the phase themselves. I can walk without the crutches (Though it is something more akin to hobbling like a zombie pirate) but my ankle still feels a bit of the pain at the area where the fracture was. This scares the poo out of me, as I don't want to cause more stress than the 'ol sucker can handle to the point that I'm not helping it. However, since the surgeon gave me the green light, I'm wondering if we all go through this, and I just have to grit my teeth and mind-over-matter this discomfort and keep at it, forcing the ankle bone to get with the program like it used to, no more laying around watching Netflix.

So if anyone has advice, or similar situation comparison, I'd love to read it. While I pace around my room like a crippled dwarf....watching Netflix. I don't know any other humans that have had to go through this nonsense, so you guys are my only hope and place to go whine to.)

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  • Posted

    I’m pretty similar as to your healing phase. I’m supposed to be wearing the boot at all times when walking but can weightbear as tolerated. I find that the boot hurts when I walk in it, so when I have been in the house I often don’t have it on unless I’m doing stairs or some heavier work. When I go outside the house, I use a walker. 

    I limp and Im unsteady with no boot but use furniture to help with balance. I’ve been very surprised at how quickly my ankle is adjusting and getting stronger every day. I wear support socks just not as restrictive as the ones from the hospital.

    My biggest challenge is walking in the boot and not having even leg lengths. I’m unsteady, balance is bad, and my knees, hips, and back start hurting immediately. I was able to correct this with some Pro shoe levelers purchased on Amazon. They are made of a foam that attaches easily to the outside of your good foot’s shoe. These are a game changer for me. 

    Best set of luck, this is definitely a difficult surgery to recover from but each day you get farther out from surgery things do improve!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for responding, Nancy. Heck I haven't even tried walking without the boot (The surgeon advised I only walk with the boot on, so I adhere to his expertise....plus I'm afraid I'll clumsily goof up and fall on my talk-hole, or mess the danged fracture up more. I have to have a shoe on my good foot to walk with the boot, or else the lack of balance is even more awkward. 

       

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  • Posted

    When I was walking in the boot I recall being told to work on trying to walk as normally as possible. I happened to have an old pair of rocker bottom exercise shoes, so I paired that with the boot and is was both level and functionally similar (since both the shoe and the boot had rocker bottoms). I also found practicing with a walker was helpful at first to avoid awkward hobbling. Are you doing physio yet? I found that really helped to get my mobility back.
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    • Posted

      I begin my physical therapy on the first. Hopefully those shamans can right the wrong within my ankle.I may have to look into these special shoes you speak of. 
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  • Posted

    Whine away!! It totally stinks to be in this position! We all know the feeling!! I am 6 months post op and I promise it will get better. During your healing process the best thing you can do is listen to your foot. If it hurts, stop. If its ok, WORK IT! I worked the snot outta my foot. Did all the exercises and then some. When you're done prop it, ice it, massage it, and love on it. This too shall pass. Hang in there! P.S. Peg leg is what I called my funny walk...I had to ask my family memebers to point it out so I could correct it. Fight to walk correctly for a better healing process.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your words, Sandra. I want to work the snot out of my leg. All of the snot. Until it is snotless. Did you have the pain at the fracture point as well? I am telling myself the pain is normal for the rate the fracture was allowed to heal (since I had to take out the metal plates due to rejection, after 2 months). 
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    • Posted

      Get one of those Even Up Shoe things that attach to the shoe on your non injured foot. That evens out your leg length to the same as the leg with the boot, and you won’t hurt your hip being off stride.
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    • Posted

      Mine still bothers me. I wouldn't say it HURTS because I don't need medication or anything like that, but its still healing for sure. It gets tight and some mornings takes a lot of exercises to get it warmed up. Its a constant reminder of my injury (broke both inner and outer ankle) but I am able to walk without assistance so I can't complain. In the beginning I had pain at the incision sights on both sides of my ankle and deep inside my ankle at the bone. I also felt like there was a really tight band running across the top of my foot right at the crease. All normal. The pain started letting up with therapy. The more I worked it the better it felt. Have you tried running it under the faucet in the shower? Just having the water hit it in different spots really helped me. My compression sock helped too.

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