For people who have an injury or surgery near the foot and ankle regions, doctors sometimes prescribe them medical footwear to wear known as a walking boot or walking brace. The purpose of this kind of shoe is to protect the foot and provide the stability to heal faster.
They are available in tall and short sizes as well as pneumatic and non-pneumatic types among which the doctor usually decides the one for the patient based on their condition and injury.
So people in similar situations or those who are simply wondering “Can you drive with a walking boot?” will find this article informative and helpful.
- Can You Drive With A Walking Boot on Your Right Foot?
- Can You Drive With a Walking Boot on Your Left Foot?
- Can You Drive with an Aircast Boot?
- When Can You Drive After a Foot Injury?
- Can a Walking Boot Make an Injury Worse?
- Can You Remove a Walking Boot to Drive?
- Is It Illegal to Drive with a Broken Leg or Foot?
- Driving with a Walking boot what’s the side effects?
Can You Drive With A Walking Boot on Your Right Foot?
When it comes to driving, one uses their right foot to control both the accelerator and brake pedals. The thought of driving with a walking boot on the right foot might seem doable, but it can be extremely dangerous.
Doctors recommend those patients from driving altogether until their foot is fully healed. The walking boot makes the leg heavier and slows down reflexes. A walking boot along with a leg injury would be too risky and easily cause an accident.
Can You Drive With a Walking Boot on Your Left Foot?
One doesn’t have much use of their left leg when they navigate a vehicle or go for a drive. But it is not ideal to do so with a walking boot on the left leg. Since the movement would be restricted quite a bit it impairs the driver.
There is no certain law that prohibits someone from driving while wearing a walking boot on their left leg but experts advise avoiding driving.
An emergency can happen at any moment that would require the use of the left leg and cause an accident. To prevent any such risks patients are advised not to drive unless their leg heals be it the left or right.
Can You Drive with an Aircast Boot?
An Aircast boot is an external stabilizing device that is used for providing support to the foot due to fractures, severe sprains, and surgery of the ankle or foot.
Different from traditional walking casts, these boots surround the leg to provide support with an air cushion that is customizable and comfortable. It provides much more mobility and heals the leg faster.
Doctors do not encourage their patients to drive a car wearing them. The foot is still not fully functional despite the Aircast allowing it to move easily. Not only would it prevent the bones from healing properly but also poses the risk of an accident.
When Can You Drive After a Foot Injury?
People are advised not to drive with a foot injury no matter which foot they have a cast on. The cast restricts movements and driving would also make the injury heal slower.
Once the cast comes off, one might think that they can drive since their foot movements are no more restricted. But the strength of the ankle or foot would have reduced after being in a cast.
So one should wait until their foot resumes the previous state and they can walk properly. Doctors usually suggest their patients wait for 6 weeks after taking off a cast from a foot injury and 9 weeks for an ankle injury.
Can a Walking Boot Make an Injury Worse?
Walking boots are useful for helping people recover from foot injuries but they also have certain side effects. The thick soles of these boots causes improper alignment due to the leg discrepancy and several patients have claimed to experience pain in their knee, hip, and back.
Walking boots are heavy and restrict the mobility of the foot, so one can use a cane or crutch and wear a thick soled shoe on the uninjured leg to make both the feet be at the same height off the ground.
Doctors recommend their patients to walk only when it’s necessary and rest till the leg heals completely. Shorter steps while walking and keeping the feet and knees straight instead of bending them help be a little comfortable with the walking boot on.
Can You Remove a Walking Boot to Drive?
The main reason behind using a walking boot is to protect the foot or ankle after surgery or injury and restrict too much movement to let it heal. But taking off the walking boot would only expose the area and deepen the injury.
Certain regions also have specific law regulations regarding people with broken ankles or feet taking off walking boots while driving. So it is advised to check them out and also consult the doctor before making such a decision.
But there are also exceptions where the patients are to use it during weight-bearing activities and with the doctor’s permission they can take it off while driving and wear it once again when they get off the car.
Is It Illegal to Drive with a Broken Leg or Foot?
A person with a broken leg should be patient till their leg heals completely since impatience can result in a bigger accident. It is common sense to stop any dangerous or tiring activities with an ankle or leg injury. But if the doctor advises against driving then one cannot do so.
It is not just for the sake of the patients but others around them as well. One can receive a fine from the police if they are unable to control the car. They might need to get a medical assessment along with a letter of confirmation from the doctor if the police ask for it.
Driving with a Walking boot what’s the side effects?
The walking boots have limited motion range and which makes them unsafe while driving. The boot can press onto both the brake and accelerator pedals at the same time causing an accident and resulting in a bigger injury.
Walking boots are too big to properly move in the smaller pedal area. Some doctors also warn their patients against driving with walking boots. Besides posing a risk of accident it can also hinder the healing process.
The inability to navigate a car while driving a car with a walking boot is the biggest threat for the patient and can lead to serious consequences. Several insurance providers won’t pay for the damages if the injured driver was recklessly driving after surgery or with a foot injury.
The most important thing for a person recovering from a surgery or orthopedic injury is to be patient while their foot or ankle heals. A walking boot’s purpose is to aid in the healing process and protect the foot.
They should not be mistaken as something that would help one drive or resume their daily activities. It is only after one takes off their cast and the doctor permits them to drive that one should do so.
Just like how a wound needs both treatment and healing time to disappear, the injured ankle or foot also needs enough time to heal and be able to move freely for one to start driving again.
So any patients, healing from a foot or ankle injury, who are curious about the question “Can you drive with a Walking Boot?” should wait until their foot is completely back to normal or at least get their doctor’s permission before getting behind the wheel.