Assistive Devices after surgery

Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas Physical Therapist at AHS

After an operation or severe injury to your foot you are most likely to be non-weight bearing or have limiting weight bearing as directed by your doctor. Here’s what you should know. 

One thing to know with any leg injury is up with the good and down with the bad. Any time you have to navigate stairs with a leg injury you should always step up with the good leg and down with the bad leg first. Often the first apparatus you will be given is a walking boot. This has by in large replaced hard leg casts as they allow a bit more movement of the leg and are far more comfortable than casting. When wearing a boot, your foot should feel snug to limit movement but not tight to the point of pain. Most boot designs involve an air pump to help the boot form fit to your foot. You may have to adjust the fit throughout the day due to swelling. Elevate as you are able to minimize this! If you have to walk in the boot longer than a few weeks I strongly recommend getting the Even up. It is an external lift for your non injured foot to make sure your leg length is equal on both sides. If the leg length is too different, it can create back and hip problems.

If you are completely non-weight bearing your options are likely either crutches, a knee scooter or sometimes an I-walk. An Iwalk allows you put weight on the injured leg but only down to the knee joint. It can be used as an alternative to crutches. There are some guidelines as to whether one is suitable for you. Generally you must be in good shape and have good balance. If you have difficulty standing on one leg for 30 seconds the Iwalk probably isn’t for you. A great way to slowly transition to full weight bearing on the injured leg is to use crutches. They can be a bit hard to use but do allow for navigation of different terrain that one might have a hard time with if they had a walker or scooter. In case your crutches aren’t fitted to your size here’s what you can do to adjust them for safe use. The handle of your crutch should reach the base of your wrist. There should be three finger widths of space between the top of your arm pit and the top of your crutch.

Here at Allied Health Solutions we treat a lot of foot injuries and are here to assist you with using your assistive device safely and effectively.

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