Heal Pain with Aircast Boot
June 9, 2021 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Yes I contacted my podiatrist just now, but coming here for additional ideas/help. I got an aircast boot yesterday after breaking my ankle and whenever I prop it up or lay horizontal to sleep after a few hours I get incredible heal pain. My suspicion is that when laying horizontally all the weight contacts directly at the heal. That single focused hard contact point affects the nerves, etc. It feels like that spot is going numb and hurts.

I did try loosing the straps quite a bit when sleeping yet still have the boot on. I did try removing the front plastic cover yet still have the boot snug enough to protect while sleeping. I did try rearranging my leg pillows such that the weight of the boot does not fall on the heal. None of that really helped.

Again I did contact my podiatrist just now. Any ideas on how to address this especially while sleeping? Will I get "used to it? Other devices or ideas?
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
I don’t have an answer but I commend you for being proactive. I had a problem with my fiberglass leg cast in January where my toes started going numb and it took me a week to get in to the doctor; he said the cast was compressing a nerve in my foot and put a new one on. The numbness got better but sensation is still not 100% normal today.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:55 AM on June 9

I had similar after breaking my fibula and definitely follow up on this. That said, it helped me to really, really elevate the leg - like higher than my heart, kind of elevation. I did have a lot of swelling. Not sure if when you rearranged the pillows it was that high.
posted by warriorqueen at 11:51 AM on June 9

My PT, who I trust above many people, said those aircasts are terrible (especially for the impact on one's posture and other muscles), and if I ever break any bones around my foot and ankle to insist on a proper cast. I don't know if it's too late to advocate for a change, but maybe it will point future metafites towards a point they might not otherwise have considered researching. I hope you're able to get some relief and have good healing!
posted by dancing leaves at 12:55 PM on June 9

Agree that it's nerve pain because of poor fit. (I experienced this with a fiberglass cast that had to be removed and a new one made.) Elevate as much as you can, take anti-inflammatories (if you aren't already) and get ahold of your doc so the aircast can be refitted or swapped out for something else.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:58 PM on June 9

I would definitely talk to your doctor. I had a similar issue and was switched to a completely different style of boot with much success.
posted by missmerrymack at 1:08 PM on June 9

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