If you sprain your ankle, have ankle surgery or are recovering from a break, your doctor might place you in an Aircast for several weeks. Walking with an Aircast can be difficult if you have never done it before, and it might take several days for you to get used to the brace. Learning to walk properly with an Aircast is extremely important so you can heal quickly and avoid further injury.
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Things you need
Inflate your Aircast properly according to your doctor’s instructions. Making sure your Aircast is inflated properly will help ensure that your ankle does not slip or roll while you are walking. Check the inflation on your Aircast often, as the brace can lose air during the day.
Wear comfortable shoes with adequate support for your foot and ankle. Sneakers are usually best.
Use your crutches properly. Most of the time, your doctor will instruct you to use crutches with your Aircast until you can put your full weight on your injured foot. When walking with crutches, follow proper gait sequence by putting your crutches forward first, followed by your injured foot and then your uninjured foot (Reference 2).
Hold your injured foot behind your body when walking with crutches if your doctor advises you not to place weight on your injured foot, advises Lynda Nietering, a physical therapist assistant (PTA) who has been working in her field since 1980. Holding your injured foot in front of you increases the chance of injury by bumping into something (Reference 2).
Tips and warnings
- Never put weight on your injured foot unless your doctor has specifically instructed you to do so.
- Stop putting weight on your injured foot and contact your doctor if you experience excessive pain or discomfort when walking with an Aircast.
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