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Orthopedic walking boot instructions

Updated February 21, 2017

Orthopaedic walking boots are used by people who have suffered a foot, ankle or lower leg injury. These boots are used on those with sprained ankles, soft tissue injuries, fractures or those recovering from foot or lower leg surgery. The boots provide support to the ankle and leg without inhibiting mobility. Orthopaedic walking boots are a great option for those who want to keep their mobility and do not want their foot or lower leg casted. Once you learn how to strap up your boot, you will just need to practice walking.

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  1. Pull a sock, very gently, up your foot. To ease any discomfort, scrunch your sock down and insert your toes into the toe part of the sock. Slowly unbunch the sock as you pull it up--like putting on tights or nylons. For foot and ankle injuries, you may need to tape your foot before putting on the sock.

  2. Open the boot by detaching the Velcro straps. Most boots will have between two and five Velcro straps depending on your injury and the stability of your ankle. Hold the Velcro straps back with one hand so that the front of the boot is completely opened.

  3. Sit down and place the boot behind your leg.

  4. Slide your foot and ankle back into the open boot. Completely detaching and pulling back on the Velcro straps will help your foot slide into the boot without needing to bend your foot or ankle.

  5. Release the Velcro straps from your hand. Thread the first Velcro strap (the strap closest to your toes) through the middle of the plastic threading bar on the other side of the boot. Then pull the strap over the bar and back to the other side. You should pull the strap tight enough to restrict foot and ankle movement but not too tight to restrict circulation.

  6. Thread and tighten all of the Velcro straps, from the bottom up. Get up from your seated position slowly and practice walking in your boot. Instead of walking heel-toe, your foot will roll from your heel to your toe. Many orthopaedic boots are rounded to help your foot roll better. Walk around your home and up and down your stairs until you feel confident walking in your boot.

  7. Use a cane or one crutch for added support and to ease any pain. For foot, ankle and lower leg injuries, your cane or crutch should be on the side of your body opposite to your injury. For example, if you have broken your right foot, hold the cane in your left hand or place the crutch under your left armpit. Once you feel comfortable walking with your boot, you can discontinue cane or crutch use unless your doctor recommends you still use one.

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Things You'll Need

  • Sock
  • Crutch or cane, if needed

About the Author

Andrea Griffith

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.

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