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Walking in a cast

Posted by Donna F on 5/20/02 at 19:10 (084719)

Hi. I responded to a post down below but I would like some input on this if anyone wants to respond. I was put in a walking cast for my left foot about two weeks ago. My doctor told me I did not need any sort of walking aid and that it was o.k. to put weight on the injured foot. Well, in doing this I still had significant pain and when I returned to the doctor on Friday, he scheduled an open PF release with bone spur removal for the first week in June. He gave me the option to remove the cast or keep wearing it until the surgery. Of course I opted to remove it since I thought it was not really doing me much good. Boy was I wrong!! I am going back in to the doctor's office in the morning to have it put back on as I cannot hardly walk at all now and my foot and ankle are both swelling like they did before I had the cast.

My question is, do you think I should ask for some sort of walking aid since I still have significant pain even with the cast on? I am trying to be a good patient, but sometimes I find that difficult when the doctor acts like I don't know what I am talking about. It's very frustrating!!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Re: Walking in a cast

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/20/02 at 19:16 (084721)

Donna:

First, it is important that you have a good repoire with this doctor. If he/she is the one who is going to do your surgery, you will be dealing with him for a long time. If you have frustrations with your relationship before surgery, it can be magnified after surgery. Something to consider very carefully.

You may want to go into a removable device such as an aircast with the aid of crutches to go partial weight bearing on the area.
Ed

Re: Walking in a cast

Donna F on 5/20/02 at 19:24 (084724)

Dr. D,

Wow!! Thanks for that quick response!! You are right - - I'm not sure if I feel comfortable with him at this point or not. I have only seen this particular dr. twice and the first time he was absolutely marvelous. He really took his time with me and answered all my questions and outlined all my options and everything was good. Then the second time I saw him was the day they removed my cast (Friday) and I waited in the casting room for 1 1/2 hours before he ever got around to seeing me. Then he acted like I was bothering him by asking him questions about the surgery (I guess he was running WAY behind schedule or something) and then when he asked me what I wanted to do about the cast, I said 'What do you recommend?' and he was like, 'Well, you know more about your pain threshold than I do so you decide.' It really frustrated me because I felt like he could care less about me.

Re: Walking in a cast

R C on 5/21/02 at 12:43 (084772)

Donna,

I hope you don't mind my intruding on the doctor's message board, but I thought I might have some useful comments for you.

I tried casts three times for PF over 2 years. The first two times I used removable walking casts, and I did not use crutches. Like you I experienced pain while walking with the cast, and things got worse. The third time it was a non-removable fiberglass cast. Even though it was a walking cast, based on my past experience I went with crutches full time. After 4 weeks the cast was removed, and my heel no longer hurt when poked. However, I still could not walk without crutches for 2 or 3 more weeks, during which time I needed physical therapy to restore the partially atrophied muscles and gain flexibility in the ankle. Now I am cured.

Bottom line: (1) Don't walk with a cast (even if it is a walking cast), if it results in pain - use crutches. (2) When the cast comes off, don't expect to walk immediately -- you'll need rehab.

Best of luck.

Re: Walking in a cast

Donna F on 5/21/02 at 17:34 (084792)

R C,

Thanks for responding to my question. I went in to the doctor's office today and had another fiber glass cast put on. This time I requested (and received) crutches because I took a couple of steps in the doctor's office and still experienced severe pain. The crutches really do seem to help. I am now bearing partial weight on the casted foot and I can already tell a BIG difference. When they removed my old cast, they neglected to tell me that I would need any type of therapy or anything like that. I guess I should have asked, but in my ignorance I thought I could just breeze on out of there without significant pain. Boy, was I wrong!! Anyway, today I was told that I have done even more damage to my already damaged foot by walking on it without it being casted over the weekend. Tell me something I don't already know!!

Thanks for your advice. It's been a god send for me!! Take care!

Re: Walking in a cast

Sharon W on 5/23/02 at 08:01 (084970)

Donna,

I had an air cast for 6 weeks and I loved it! As casts go, it was remarkably comfy, and I could take it off to bathe and sleep (although Dr's orders vary on THAT). In my case the cast was simply being used to immobilize the foot and let it heal; I hadn't had surgery, or a tear, or anything like that. But the air cast seemed to help more than anything I've tried (other than steroid injections, but their effects only lasted 3 weeks each, and the improvement from using the cast has lasted 6).

-- Sharon

Re: Walking in a cast

Ed Davis, DPM on 5/20/02 at 19:16 (084721)

Donna:

First, it is important that you have a good repoire with this doctor. If he/she is the one who is going to do your surgery, you will be dealing with him for a long time. If you have frustrations with your relationship before surgery, it can be magnified after surgery. Something to consider very carefully.

You may want to go into a removable device such as an aircast with the aid of crutches to go partial weight bearing on the area.
Ed

Re: Walking in a cast

Donna F on 5/20/02 at 19:24 (084724)

Dr. D,

Wow!! Thanks for that quick response!! You are right - - I'm not sure if I feel comfortable with him at this point or not. I have only seen this particular dr. twice and the first time he was absolutely marvelous. He really took his time with me and answered all my questions and outlined all my options and everything was good. Then the second time I saw him was the day they removed my cast (Friday) and I waited in the casting room for 1 1/2 hours before he ever got around to seeing me. Then he acted like I was bothering him by asking him questions about the surgery (I guess he was running WAY behind schedule or something) and then when he asked me what I wanted to do about the cast, I said 'What do you recommend?' and he was like, 'Well, you know more about your pain threshold than I do so you decide.' It really frustrated me because I felt like he could care less about me.

Re: Walking in a cast

R C on 5/21/02 at 12:43 (084772)

Donna,

I hope you don't mind my intruding on the doctor's message board, but I thought I might have some useful comments for you.

I tried casts three times for PF over 2 years. The first two times I used removable walking casts, and I did not use crutches. Like you I experienced pain while walking with the cast, and things got worse. The third time it was a non-removable fiberglass cast. Even though it was a walking cast, based on my past experience I went with crutches full time. After 4 weeks the cast was removed, and my heel no longer hurt when poked. However, I still could not walk without crutches for 2 or 3 more weeks, during which time I needed physical therapy to restore the partially atrophied muscles and gain flexibility in the ankle. Now I am cured.

Bottom line: (1) Don't walk with a cast (even if it is a walking cast), if it results in pain - use crutches. (2) When the cast comes off, don't expect to walk immediately -- you'll need rehab.

Best of luck.

Re: Walking in a cast

Donna F on 5/21/02 at 17:34 (084792)

R C,

Thanks for responding to my question. I went in to the doctor's office today and had another fiber glass cast put on. This time I requested (and received) crutches because I took a couple of steps in the doctor's office and still experienced severe pain. The crutches really do seem to help. I am now bearing partial weight on the casted foot and I can already tell a BIG difference. When they removed my old cast, they neglected to tell me that I would need any type of therapy or anything like that. I guess I should have asked, but in my ignorance I thought I could just breeze on out of there without significant pain. Boy, was I wrong!! Anyway, today I was told that I have done even more damage to my already damaged foot by walking on it without it being casted over the weekend. Tell me something I don't already know!!

Thanks for your advice. It's been a god send for me!! Take care!

Re: Walking in a cast

Sharon W on 5/23/02 at 08:01 (084970)

Donna,

I had an air cast for 6 weeks and I loved it! As casts go, it was remarkably comfy, and I could take it off to bathe and sleep (although Dr's orders vary on THAT). In my case the cast was simply being used to immobilize the foot and let it heal; I hadn't had surgery, or a tear, or anything like that. But the air cast seemed to help more than anything I've tried (other than steroid injections, but their effects only lasted 3 weeks each, and the improvement from using the cast has lasted 6).

-- Sharon