Booting Up

My broken ankle is a little less broken now. A month after the surgery to put my ankle back together, all of the hardware installed in my ankle is holding true, the bones are slowly healing and I’ve upgraded from a cast to a truly impressive, sci-fi-looking boot. The massive piece of footwear is meant to protect my ankle over the next four weeks as I put increasing amounts of weight onto my foot and the ankle bones get stronger.

A large book rests upon a table.
My new boot, which replaced my cast. I’ll be wearing it for the next four weeks. Credit: Ken Newquist

The boot is heavily padded, comes with five strong velcro straps, and can even be inflated using its built-in big red button. Its single best feature? The ability to come off my foot. Hitting the boot milestone means I can now spend time each day with the boot off, stretching my foot and attempting to get moribund muscles and tendons moving again.

It’s not all puppies and rainbows. While the bones themselves don’t hurt, there are aftershocks in the nerves of my ankle that do. They are slowly calming down … but the key word is slowly. I’ve got some numbness in my right foot, probably from the dislocation, though it too is slowly receding. See, there’s that word again … slowly. “Slowly” is the word of the season this winter … and probably into the early spring as well.

That’s ok. With the boot, I’ve turned a corner. I know I still have a ways to go — at the very least I have four weeks with the boot so the fractures can fully heal. Adventures in physical therapy could await me after that … and after that, I’ll need to work on getting back in shape. It could be months before I get back to where I was, a year or two before everything is truly healed. That’s tomorrow though. For now, I’m focusing on the little victories … and putting the boot on for the first time certainly counts as one of those.

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