I recently was visiting family and my cousin’s child, had broken a growth plate in her toe. She had been prescribed a “walking boot” and was advised to limit her amount of stairs and walking. This is typical for any type of foot, toe, bone, tendon, ligament and muscle injury to the lower extremity, however, what seems to be overlooked is general walking around the house or what we would consider activities of daily living.
I have rarely, if ever, had a current patient, let alone one in the past be advised to wear an EQUALLY thick or supported shoe on the unaffected foot when prescribed a boot. The height difference between walking with and without a supporting shoe on the opposite side is likened to having a “longer leg”. For those of you who do have a structurally longer leg, you understand and live this feeling whenever you do not have a heel lift in on the “short side”.
I liken the movement or walking to be that of a 'Weeble Wobble'. When this prolonged uneven-ness has gone on for some time, the implications to the rest of the body go beyond just a bit of a sore hip, or back. I can elaborate further on the changes and symptoms felt in my next blog. Back to the boot… I noticed as the younster walked around the house, there wasn’t any footwear on the non-booted side....Being the outspoken therapist that I am, I was quick to offer my therapist/scientific opinion/advice as to the long-term effects of walking around without some other help to level the pelvis and the rest of their body.
I casually mentioned my remark to the mom, and she stated “good luck with having them following the suggestion” (apparently Mom had already made a remark about this…). But, low and behld, it wasn’t long after that I glanced at the youngster and there was a running shoe being worn on the other foot! Health based, beneficial advice offered by a professional at the time of prescription be it a doctor, nurse, Physiotherapist, Athletic Therapist, Massage Therapist, Occupational Therapist, can greatly reduce complications of ‘boot wearing’ and further enhance recovery and positive outcomes to those that need to wear the boot.
REBECCA (BECKY) SARJEANT, Certified Athletic Therapist + Registered Massage Therapist