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5 Tips For Surviving If You Need A Walking Boot For An Extended Period

A walking boot protects your foot from external stress and trauma, which is why it is oftentimes recommended for patients who need to protect their foot and ankle during the early stages of recovery. If you’ve been told that you’ll need to wear a walking boot for weeks after an injury or surgery, you may want to make a few adjustments to your daily life to make things a little more comfortable during this period. In today’s blog, we share some tips for surviving if you’ve been remanded to a walking boot for an extended period.

Making Life Easier In A Walking Boot

Here are a few helpful tips to make your life a little easier if you need to get around in a walking boot for an extended period after an injury or surgery, but remember, the advice of your treating physician should trump any general advice you find online. Always remember to remain within any restrictions put forth by your treating physician, but consider these tips to make your recovery a bit easier.

  1. Plenty Of Rest – Even though a walking boot allows you to stay active, don’t just go back to business as usual. You are in a walking boot to protect your foot and ankle while it heals, and it can only offer so much protection. If you overdo it during the early stages of your recovery, you may suffer a setback. Still take it easy on your recovering foot while it is in a walking boot.
  2. Shorten Your Stride – A walking boot typically has a rounded rocker bottom to facilitate movement and eliminate direct stress on the bottom of the foot. As a result, you may run into some walking issues if you try to keep your stride at the same length. Many people find that it is much easier to get around on a walking boot if they shorten their stride a little.
  3. Wear A Shoe On The Other Foot – If you don’t normally wear shoes indoors, life may be a little easier if you do when you have a walking boot on the other leg. A walking boot has an elevated bottom to help protect your foot from stress, and that can cause your legs to be slightly uneven in length. Wearing a shoe on the other foot for most of the day can even out any discrepancy and make it easier to move around.
  4. Partake In PT – There’s a good chance that your foot specialist will recommend that you begin some physical therapy exercises before you completely ditch the walking boot. Be sure to follow their recommendations and stick with an in-clinic or home-based physical therapy plan. Your foot muscles can weaken as a result of excessive time spent in the boot, so work to help get stronger by pursuing physical therapy exercises as recommended.
  5. Consider A Crutch – Finally, consider using a crutch or a cane to help yourself get around on your walking boot. As we mentioned above, the bottom of the boot is rounded, which may throw off your balance at times. Make it easier to remain upright by adding some extra stability to the equation by carrying a crutch or a cane with you during the early stages of your recovery.

And remember, always make it a point to follow the specific instructions of the doctor that is providing your treatment. They will be able to give you specific advice tailored to your individual needs, which is most important when it comes to keeping recovery on track. For more information on navigating life while recovering in a walking boot, or for help with a different foot and ankle issue, reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today at (860) 244-8889.

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