Travelling in an Aircast. Help make this easy!
December 6, 2013 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Official diagnoses is Peroneal Tendinitis and I was given The Boot to wear for two weeks (only off in the shower and while driving). I am full weight bearing. I have a special family trip to NYC planned for next week. I'm concerned I'm going to slow my family down or be a burden. Please give me tips to get around easy and also (MOST IMPORTANT) to keep my little foot warm and toasty!

This is the boot I was given. I only have to wear it for two weeks at this point (from yesterday) and will go back to the Ortho on the 19th to evaluate.

My family is hesitant and nervous in regards to the boot affecting what we are able to do. Our hotel is in midtown and the only thing for sure planned is a trip to see the Christmas Spectacular. I'm certain that there will be other touristy type christmas activities. One particular member of my family is pushing for me to just not bring the boot with me and to wear sturdy tennis shoes. I don't really want to do this because I want to make sure I heal completely the way the doctor has ordered. Any tips or anecdotal support about how this will not be an issue at all are appreciated.

Beyond that, this thing has an open toe. How do I keep my little toes toasty while wearing it! I don't anticipate it being a disaster unless it snows. If it does snow, then what?!

TIA for indulging me!
posted by splitinfinitive to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
Does it have a tread on the bottom?

Wool socks should keep your toes warm, even when wet. Neoprene socks would probably work well, too. I got mine in the paddling section of MEC (a Canadian version of REI).
posted by TORunner at 10:05 AM on December 6, 2013

Having not worn a boot before I can't really give mobility advice, though I bet you'll get around just fine once you've had a couple of days to get used to it. As far as keeping warm though I'd go with a double layer of wool socks, with a plastic bag or some other nonporous thing in between the layers to keep wind and water from penetrating the inner sock. Water and wind proofing is the most important, most boots and shoes don't actually provide much insulation anyway; that comes mainly from the sock.
posted by Scientist at 10:06 AM on December 6, 2013

Ah, the Robocop Boot. My old friend.

I had an Aircast for two solid months - both of them winter months - about 2 years ago, after breaking a foot. And this is in New York as well. And to add insult to injury - I live on the fourth floor of a building and had no elevator. So I had to get up and down stairs every day to get to and from work.

It....wasn't that bad. The subways were out (I didn't want to deal with that), but so long as I avoided trying to get a cab during the shift change I was okay. I wasn't at my usual quick pace, but I wasn't at a snails' pace either. I think I did a bus okay. It took a couple days to just adjust to movement with the boot and a cane, but after that it was dealable.

As for the open toe - I got thick full-calf socks that kept things okay; the end of my toe was further back from the end of the boot, and between the sock and the structure of the boot my toes didn't feel that exposed. I didn't have to deal with snow, fortunately - and what with the mild winters New York's had as of late, you may not either. (It's been about 50-60 degrees here for the last five days, in fact.) I also found this great site called "Broken Beauties" that had some stuff tailored expressly for people recovering from broken bones and other similar injuries, dealing with comfort and such; on this page they have some "toe covers" designed expressly to give an extra layer of warmth for people with open-toe casts.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:10 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh - and even if you decide to pass on ordering anything from Broken Beauties (which I realized you may do, because this is next week), they have tips on traveling with a broken bone or other injury, particularly when it comes to mobility.

And adding the anecdotal statement that really, the worst part of my recovery was just getting up and down stairs, which I had no choice about. But even then, after a couple weeks I was making that four-floor trip in only a minute and a half.

Oh, but a thought - ask if the hotel has some kind of a folding stepstool you can use to sit on in the shower. That will be a big help.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:18 AM on December 6, 2013

I strongly suggest checking out the wares over at Cast Coverz. They have several options for covering an orthopedic boot in style (Bootz, Bootguardz, Bootguardz Extreme), and they ship fairly quickly. Highly recommended!

also typing that many words ending in z has broken me a little
posted by Vervain at 10:38 AM on December 6, 2013

Regarding your worry about slowing people down: I live in NYC and see people using those things all the time. They are usually not moving any slower than everyone else scuttling about the streets of New York.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:43 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

I spent many months including all of one winter 9 years ago in a boot just like that. I would definitely not fool around with wearing something else - you'll just delay your healing or worse yet, further injure yourself. Mine came with a couple of thick and full length socks but if not, just buy some soft thick wool socks and if the weather is really crappy wear a plastic bag over the socks inside the boot. If you're full weight bearing you won't slow people down significantly unless you're really ouchy.
posted by leslies at 10:47 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ha - I think the boot might actually be helpful in these crowded NYC xmas situations. I bet if you show up to Radio City and point to your infirmity they'd help you get to your seats quicker etc. Seriously, even if I were full weight-bearing I'd bring a cane just so I could poke people with it to get them out of my way;)

At any rate, I also concur that if you aren't taking a lot of stairs and you aren't using crutches - you should be ok in the city imo. I think you should show up and milk it personally.
posted by rdnnyc at 11:25 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Please also establish firmer boundaries with your relative who wants you to risk injury to supposedly convenience him/her by not wearing the boot: that's an astoundingly inappropriate and insensitive request.
posted by carmicha at 12:39 PM on December 6, 2013

....Whoa, I missed that -

ne particular member of my family is pushing for me to just not bring the boot with me and to wear sturdy tennis shoes. I don't really want to do this because I want to make sure I heal completely the way the doctor has ordered.

Tell this particular relative, from me, that they're being a dick. And please use those exact words. Seriously, the boot will NOT slow you down to the extent that they're afraid, and even if it does, so the fuck what? Unless they are paying for your medical expenses they don't get a vote.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:44 PM on December 6, 2013

First, consider actually doing less. The boot will help take stress off your tendon, but in an ideal world you would heal best by not using it at all for a while. In that spirit, a walking tour of Manhattan may not be a great idea. Consider sending that ambitious family member out on their own for an afternoon or two that you spend with your foot resting. Don't push yourself to keep pace with the rest of workday NY, as that will not help your foot heal.

Second, make sure that whatever shoe you wear on your other foot matches the height of the Aircast, to prevent throwing your back out of alignment.
posted by Dashy at 3:05 PM on December 6, 2013

You could always avail yourself of a pedicab if you're feeling slow and/or tired. They are everywhere in midtown.

The forecast for next week is mostly chilly and dry. Wool socks are your friend!

You could also get one of these.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:37 PM on December 6, 2013

Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm going get some nice wool socks and just remember to take it slow if I need to. I feel better about this. :)
posted by splitinfinitive at 6:28 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

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