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How to Transition from NWB to Walking Boot?

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Old 08-29-2011, 10:24 PM   #1
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How to Transition from NWB to Walking Boot?

Hey all! By the time I go into my walking boot (hopefully, as long as everything's looking good), I will have been NWB for 8 weeks (it's been just shy of 5 weeks). My doc says he will put me into a "walking boot." I know roughly what these are but I'm not sure exactly what I will do in them or what the timeline will be.

I broke my ankle and shattered part of my fibula a month ago. I had surgery a week later. I had two screws put into my ankle, and a long plate screwed down my fibula. I am currently in a plaster cast and am NWB.

I am in a difficult situation because I have just returned to college for my sophomore year. My campus is not very handicapp friendly, and getting around on crutches (or the wheelchair I rented) has been extremely hard. I am looking forward to getting out of the cast and back to walking normally.

So my question is, what is the process of going from a hard plaster cast to a walking boot? How soon will I be able to walk "normally" in this boot? Immediately? Or will I need the assistance of crutches? How long do you suppose I will need the boot? Also, as far as getting rid of the boot, is it a matter of simply leaving it off when you feel you can walk normally again, or do you need to go back to your doctor to get the ok? My doc is back home in MA, while I am at school in MD. Getting to and fro is difficult and expensive.

Thanks for yor advice.

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Old 08-30-2011, 05:28 AM   #2
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Re: How to Transition from NWB to Walking Boot?

After extensive foot surgery, I went to pwb for 4 weeks after nwb. This was my Dr. plan although I know I couldn't handle more anyway. The last 3 weeks I've been transitioning to fwb. I used my crutches as backup throughout. If I have a long distance to cover I will still use the crutches or my kneewalker. You might want to look into renting one since you can carry books and things in its basket and get around easier. Good luck. What school do you go to? My nephew is a junior at university of Maryland.

Old 08-30-2011, 05:20 PM   #3
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Re: How to Transition from NWB to Walking Boot?

It will take some time after getting in the boot for you to be able to walk substantial distances with no other support. How long can vary. Your doctor will probably give you instructions about how to transition to weight bearing. Some doctors advocate weight bearing to tolerance. That basically means:

Stand on crutches. Put bad foot on the floor, lightly. Lean your body weight on until it hurts. Then walk like that, partial weight bearing. When this becomes easy, lean on it more, until you can dispense with the crutches.

Your calf muscle and achilles tendon will be tight. Also, the boot is very thick-soled. For your other foot, you will need a shoe with a sole that is about two and a half inches thick! I used a hiking boot.

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