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Re: Cast advice

Posted by Sandra Z on 3/10/99 at 00:00 (005436)

I recently got out of a cast for PF--some advice! DO NOT expect your foot to feel normal. Your tendons in your calf will have shortened as you haven't bent your leg forward over your foot for four weeks. Take the stress off your calf muscles by wearing a slight heel for the first week or so (Mephisto Eva sandals--about a 1 and 1/2 heel--worked for me). Stretch GENTLY--do not stretch against the wall with your entire body weight coming down on your feet. Instead, stretch sitting down. Stretch before you get out of bed in the morning and DON'T go barefoot--even in the shower, wear something plastic with an arch support. You may need some deep tissue massage on your calf, and if you know a good physical therapist, work with her to stretch and strenghten your leg. My heel felt better in the cast, but started to hurt worse than ever a few days after I got the cast off because I expected it to be normal and didn't adjust. It's only now, after a month of phyiscal therapy, that I'm regaining the progress I made in the cast. Be careful, and good luck!

Re: Cast advice

Eileen on 3/11/99 at 00:00 (005467)

Thank you for this advise. I came out of the cast today. My heel does feel better. The Doctor said that there is a chance it may return. I have some stretching exersises to do. My complaint is my ankle and like you said calf feels stiff. I have severe arthritis in my ankle from fractures ( 20 years ago) being in the cast has the ankle very stiff. I want to stretch and range of motion my ankle, but I am afraid to do too much too fast. So thank's for the advise. He wanted to give me another cortisone shot and put it in another brace (cast) that could come on and off, there was some question as to my HMO, and needing to buy from a certain place etc etc. Plus I didn't want another shot nor walking in a cast. I think because the heel felt good coming out of the cast, I'm optimistic that it wont't come back. I work in a hospital and am on my feet all day. He made an insert with a cut out under the part of the heel that hurts the most. I am suppose to reduce weight bearing in 1/2> I only have athletic shoes, none with a heel, but hopefully the lift helps out. What does the physical therapist do that you can't do yourself at home, knowing the exersises etc, etc? the massage sure sounds good. The time spend traveling to PT,then the expense (co-payment), for just having someone watch you do the exersises doesn't sound cost effective to me,anyone's comments on this???

Re: Cast advice

Kris on 3/12/99 at 00:00 (005491)

I am currently in a cast. It is removeable so that I can continue to stretch it during physical therapy so atrophy doesnt set in from not using it. Otherwise it stays on. Feels very good to have my foot flexed. For additional info on other treatments see my posting on 3/12/99. Good Luck.

Re: Cast advice

Sandra Z on 3/12/99 at 00:00 (005494)

Yes, physical therapy is worthwhile IF you have a good therapist. I had a lazy therapist several months ago, before I was casted, who just gave me a standard exercise sheet and heat treatments. AVOID THIS KIND OF THERAPIST. The standard stretches were too intense for me and aggravated the problem. I switched to a different therapist, one who works in sports medicine, and she is completely different. Each week she watches me walk, then tailors the exercises to my particular needs. She is teaching me how to walk to put less strain on my plantar fascia--I am knock-kneed. She also massages the knots out of my calf. She gives me strengthening exercises for my particular weaknesses. Look for someone who works with athletes--athletes won't work with people who don't fix them. Call a health club for recommendations, or a college sports program. Avoid therapists who mainly work with old people and work comp cases--some of those therapists are just going through the motions with no real expectations that you will get better. I am getting better with a sports medicine therapist!

Re: Cast advice

Eileen on 3/13/99 at 00:00 (005516)

I worked yesterday-just a half day. My ankle is feeling better, but i have a tinge of pain in the lower half of my arch, rather then the heel part of the arch. I am a little frightened. My pain before was the outside heel top of the arch. I have never minded the HMO, but i am afraid that what the dr wants to do won't be covered. This removeable cast is what he wants to give to me. My foot was flexed in the fiber glass cast i wore for 4 weeks. I may have to check into it. His physical therapist has a lot of experience working with him. I will take your advise and check the type of people they work with and their success rate. I may have done too many stretches too fast. Hope you continue to feel better. How long will you be wearing this cast--do you have that stupid bootie over it. I hated the difference in heights, for walking. I tried to even me out but never found the right oppoiste shoe and lift to make me even. I was to excited about getting out of the cast to have another one put on. I don't want to have to be in a cast to be free of pain. Selfish, ugh?

Re: Cast advice

Eileen on 3/11/99 at 00:00 (005467)

Thank you for this advise. I came out of the cast today. My heel does feel better. The Doctor said that there is a chance it may return. I have some stretching exersises to do. My complaint is my ankle and like you said calf feels stiff. I have severe arthritis in my ankle from fractures ( 20 years ago) being in the cast has the ankle very stiff. I want to stretch and range of motion my ankle, but I am afraid to do too much too fast. So thank's for the advise. He wanted to give me another cortisone shot and put it in another brace (cast) that could come on and off, there was some question as to my HMO, and needing to buy from a certain place etc etc. Plus I didn't want another shot nor walking in a cast. I think because the heel felt good coming out of the cast, I'm optimistic that it wont't come back. I work in a hospital and am on my feet all day. He made an insert with a cut out under the part of the heel that hurts the most. I am suppose to reduce weight bearing in 1/2> I only have athletic shoes, none with a heel, but hopefully the lift helps out. What does the physical therapist do that you can't do yourself at home, knowing the exersises etc, etc? the massage sure sounds good. The time spend traveling to PT,then the expense (co-payment), for just having someone watch you do the exersises doesn't sound cost effective to me,anyone's comments on this???

Re: Cast advice

Kris on 3/12/99 at 00:00 (005491)

I am currently in a cast. It is removeable so that I can continue to stretch it during physical therapy so atrophy doesnt set in from not using it. Otherwise it stays on. Feels very good to have my foot flexed. For additional info on other treatments see my posting on 3/12/99. Good Luck.

Re: Cast advice

Sandra Z on 3/12/99 at 00:00 (005494)

Yes, physical therapy is worthwhile IF you have a good therapist. I had a lazy therapist several months ago, before I was casted, who just gave me a standard exercise sheet and heat treatments. AVOID THIS KIND OF THERAPIST. The standard stretches were too intense for me and aggravated the problem. I switched to a different therapist, one who works in sports medicine, and she is completely different. Each week she watches me walk, then tailors the exercises to my particular needs. She is teaching me how to walk to put less strain on my plantar fascia--I am knock-kneed. She also massages the knots out of my calf. She gives me strengthening exercises for my particular weaknesses. Look for someone who works with athletes--athletes won't work with people who don't fix them. Call a health club for recommendations, or a college sports program. Avoid therapists who mainly work with old people and work comp cases--some of those therapists are just going through the motions with no real expectations that you will get better. I am getting better with a sports medicine therapist!

Re: Cast advice

Eileen on 3/13/99 at 00:00 (005516)

I worked yesterday-just a half day. My ankle is feeling better, but i have a tinge of pain in the lower half of my arch, rather then the heel part of the arch. I am a little frightened. My pain before was the outside heel top of the arch. I have never minded the HMO, but i am afraid that what the dr wants to do won't be covered. This removeable cast is what he wants to give to me. My foot was flexed in the fiber glass cast i wore for 4 weeks. I may have to check into it. His physical therapist has a lot of experience working with him. I will take your advise and check the type of people they work with and their success rate. I may have done too many stretches too fast. Hope you continue to feel better. How long will you be wearing this cast--do you have that stupid bootie over it. I hated the difference in heights, for walking. I tried to even me out but never found the right oppoiste shoe and lift to make me even. I was to excited about getting out of the cast to have another one put on. I don't want to have to be in a cast to be free of pain. Selfish, ugh?