Weight bearing after 6 weeks in an aircast (feels like I have to "crack" my foot?)

Edited , 5 users are following.

Hey all,

I've been lurking here for awhile and getting some great insight on how others have been dealing with their injuries. So thank you, I've felt a little less alone through this process.

I've been in an aircast, NWB for 6 weeks due to a chronic stress fracture in my ankle. After the 6 weeks were up, I transitioned to PWB in the cast to FWB in the cast and now to FWB out of the cast (have been out of it for about a week now). While my ankle feels great, I'm having this weird sensation in my foot where it feels like I have to "crack" it? It's almost like a clicking feeling whenever I take off on the ball of my foot during walking and feels like it has to pop? I know that sounds very strange but I'm wondering if anyone had also experienced this kind of feeling while transitioning out of a cast?

I'm experiencing the sensation on the sides of my foot as well as on top nearer to the base of my toes.

Would love your insight, thanks!

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  • Edited

    I think we all experience different sensations once we begin FWB

    im close to 9 months post op after trimalleur fracture of my ankle and still have dome numbness and strange feelings in the ankle now and then

    my doctor said it could take close to a year to feel normal again

    Hopefully you will go to PT It does help

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  • Posted

    Hi Dayna47577,

    I had ORIF surgery 7 weeks ago to repair my lateral malleolus (tip of the fibula that makes up part of the ankle). I had what is considered a stable ankle fracture and only required surgery because the piece of bone that broke off was not aligned well at all, so they aligned the bone and put in a plate with 4 screws. I also broke my 5th metatarsal, but because it was in a good position, it did not require surgery, just time. Because my ankle was always stable, I am already full weight bearing without the need for crutches or an aircast anymore. Just wanted to give you my background first so you can see where I have come from.

    My foot is definitely cracking, not painfully and not where I had any breaks, but intermittently as I walk. I think it is because all the muscles and tendons became stiff from the immobilization and lack of use, and it is now being stretched and moved. If you are worried at all, call your doctor's office. I can only make guesswork from my own experience, but the feeling that it wants to crack might actually proceed to cracking as you walk more and more unaided. As long as it doesn't pain you or cause excessive swelling (I still swell quite a bit around my ankles as the day wears on), I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just listen to your body and instincts, and if you have any doubt, call your doc. Good luck on walking! I have had all manor of weird feelings as I am walking solo now, so please feel free to share your experience with me if you are inclined! You are definitely not in this alone! And enjoy the freedom of movement! It is so nice in spite of all the weirdness that comes with it!!


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    • Posted

      Hi Gina!

      Thanks for your uplifting response, I'm glad to hear that you've started fully weight bearing! It's definitely a strange feeling to be walking again after NWB for so long. I'm just starting week two of FWB without the cast and I'm hoping this cracking feeling goes away, it's starting to drive me nuts but at this point I'm just glad I'm walking! It seems to get a bit better with each day so I'm sure it will just take time. I don't notice any swelling, although it's a bit sensitive to touch on the side of my foot -- I will call my docs if things don't start feeling better. Please also feel free to share your experience as you continue to walk, I hope your swelling throughout the day goes down (I'm sure it will!).

      Thanks again for your response 😃

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  • Posted


    Could you tell us a bit more about your stress fracture? I have had them on and off for the past 6 months (and before that about 10 years ago) so curious to know about your experience.


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    • Posted

      Hi IslandMonkey 😃

      Mine cropped up when I had achilles tendonitis due to distance running. The doctor believes that because of this, my running gait had changed which caused me to land differently and therefore cause a stress fracture in my ankle (talus bone). I haven't been able to run for months as it went undiagnosed -- doctors were not sure what was causing the pain. Originally I had an Xray which showed up clean which was frustrating as we still were not sure what it was. I then had a bone scan and with that they were able to see the stress fracture. It has been a bit of a weird experience as before I went into the cast, I could go a few days and be pretty much pain-free but then randomly a day later I'd be in a lot of pain so the specialist decided it was time to cast and NWB to let it fully heal.

      If you don't mind me asking, how did you get your stress fractures and how have you found the healing experience to be? What type of pain do you get?

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  • Posted


    Mine came on about 6 months ago for no obvious reason (not after running) but had the same problem about 10 years ago. I had pain at a very specific point on the inside of my shin bone just above the ankle. It was very painful to walk but didn't show anything on an xray. My doctor wasn't particularly helpful and after about 6 weeks it got so painful I couldn't walk on it at all and ended up using crutches for a few days and buying a boot off Amazon that I wore for a couple of weeks.

    That more or less eased the pain but it came back in March. Again, after a few weeks it got too painful to walk so I used crutches and a boot again for a couple of weeks. I have got osteopenia which is presumably what's causing it and am waiting to talk to a rheumatologist.

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