Thanks JaggyGT. The back-slab I was casted in was very badly done and at some point the jagged edge (no pun intended!) was cutting into my leg and foot. My foot was just swelling so terribly that I had to get a second opinion from a more experienced orthopaedic specialist last week.
I had a CT scan of my foot and it appeared that a chip of bone was plucked out by the ligament following a fracture of the top navicular bone, and 3 weeks after my fall, there was still no union of the bone. If my ligament had snapped, my bone could have been saved. I did not have much pain by then, so the ortho specialist removed my ill-fitting back-slab cast, put a tubigrip stocking over my foot and calf and I have been wearing the aircast walker since. While wearing the aircast and holding a crutch on the good side, I have been able to walk without putting much weight on the broken foot. The walking must have done some good for my broken foot as the oedema has reduced significantly and I need not put my entire weight on my left leg. I was told to use the old back-slab cast while sleeping just to prevent twisting my broken foot but my heel hurts so much that I resort to sleeping with the aircast on. Not that it is comfortable, but better than the ill-fitting hard cast.
When and if you should use the aircast really depends on the types of fracture and severity. I know how frustrating it is to be immobilised but really, keep the weight off your broken foot if you have to. It just doesn't pay to delay your healing. I will re-xray my foot in 2 weeks' time, but I am keeping the aircast on most of the time. At times, I take off the aircast and prop up my foot while sitting down and move my ankle within a limited range.
Hope to get some good news about your recovery. Meanwhile, stay positive.
Nice to find this board! It has already answered a lot of my questions.
I am in my fourth week in an aircast after getting a spiral fracture on my left fibula during a fall while mountain biking. I had to ride/walk/limp out of the woods and ten miles home. Thinking it a sprain, I elevated and iced. Next day went to my Doc who sent me to an Orthopedic guy the day after, who gave me a walking boot. I had crutches from my first doc. He said I could begin walking on it when I was comfortable to. Frankly, I have not been 100% off crutches yet, but walk more and more each day.
The first two weeks I had pain if my ankle twitched left, which is the direction it was heading when it broke. So it did take a bit to get active.
I do sleep with it at night as directed by the Orth, resting it on a big pillow with an old pillowcase, and then pull my sheet and blanket up half over me. Our bed is a mess of sheets! I try to keep the boot clean because I sleep with it. No barn chores for me!
I traveled this week down to visit my parents as my Dad is in the hospital. It was hell through the airports with my carry on slung over my back but I have to say I am stronger in the upper body from the crutches. Meantime, in the hospital with my Dad we make the rounds in the hallways and I have been doing that now two days without crutches. I still use the crutches going from the parking lot to the hospital or if I know I am going to be some place awhile where I may need to move more than the walking cast allows.
I find the walking awkward - kind of a lunge forward with the booted foot, pick up the slack with the good foot. Probably not great on the hip so I am trying to use my core muscles as much as possible. I am wearing a flat shoe - maybe when I get home I will wear my hiking boot or athletic shoe.
I am anxious to get back into training again once the boot is off. I had to give up an October Marathon but I am still riding a September Century ride. I think next week I will set myself up on a trainer on my bike so I can spin. I did take the boot off yesterday and swam in my folks' pool. I kept the injured side stationary and crawled with my upper body, kicking with the good foot. It felt great.
I do find when I change it that the boot is damp from sweating in the arch area of the footbed. I remedy this by using the hairdryer on it for a few moments.
I also got some epsom salt lotion and work that in before putting my sock on in the a.m. after my shower.
I also have used in place of the athletic sock that came with the boot a compression sock you can buy at the pharmacy.
I alternate compression sock with the athletic sock and it seems to work well.
I so love to hike and walk and am bummed that on uneven surfaces, the boot is really unstable. So much for walking the dog.
Nice to be on the board - hope everyone is well soon!
I remember the day I went to the Orthopedic surgeon with my break and asked "how soon can I start running again?"
He didn't answer.
"Okay... so, maybe not running. Maybe just on the bike?"
He shrugged and started to speak.
"How about swimming?"
He sighed deeply and said, "You don't get it, do you? You BROKE your ANKLE. You need to stay off of it for at least six weeks. And then slowly start to walk on it after being re-xrayed."
I limped/crutched out of his office in tears.
There goes my planned October Marathon. There goes Sunday club rides. there goes swimming for the rest of the summer. There goes a planned trip to hike in the Adirondacks. There goes a trip to Montana.
I can tell you, four weeks in now, I'm okay with that. Really. There will be other marathons, other century rides, other great hikes and mountain bike rides, and I need to be patient. I need to slow down and let this heal.
It sounds to me that you do, too.
My orth. told me only to take my cast off to take a shower; I wear it all night long. At four weeks I am walking on my air cast but use crutches for anything longer than a block. I raced through Detroit airport on crutches last night to catch a connection. I got a great upper body workout.
I think you need to look at this differently: what can you be doing while your legs are benched? Core work? Upper body? Strength training?
Why go into playoffs weak from recovering when you can go into next season stronger? My advice would be to skip playoffs, offer/volunteer to assist on the sidelines wherever you can, and get that ankle better.
Keep your aircast on at all times except for when showering. Don't push it too soon. If you air it out, simply take off the top and leave the ankle cradled in the cast on an ottoman.
Just my humble opinion - and this has been a very humbling experience for me. I am normally VERY active and am finding this recovery period a little daunting, a little hard - but I know that if I do it right, I'll be back in the races by Fall. So will you. Don't push it!:wave:
Week 6 update: went to the orth. today for my 6 week follow up and had x-rays taken. It all looks good - I am on the right track and things are healing. Yay aircast! Doc said I had to still use the aircast, but could use it less and less each day (by one hour) until I am completely weaned at 2 weeks. Also, I no longer have to sleep with the thing. Yay!
I just took the 3 dogs for a walk, each in turn, 10 minutes each. I could walk fine except my calf threatened to charlie horse a few times. There is no muscle left there. Also, when I push off from my toes it feels a little sore/strained. So I have to go easy. Then I came home and put it up for about 10 minutes and now I will put the boot back on and do chores. I think that I was a little disappointed about having to keep wearing the boot, but very encouraged by the Doc's positive reaction to my x-rays. So I will keep doing what he says. :D