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Boot recommendations after ortho surgery

Hi all! Long time reader, first time poster here… I’m looking for help picking out a new pair of boots as I look towards getting back in the saddle (fingers crossed)

Some background: I had a bad pilon fracture in Sept 2022 (type 3, very offset) which required ORIF surgery. I initially recovered well from surgery but some painful complications led me to having another surgery almost two weeks ago. I hopefully will be able to get back to riding (aka sitting on my horse at the walk) in the next few weeks/months but know that I have some prep to do before then given my physical limitations. I am lucky to have an awesome physical therapist but beyond getting my leg strong and whatever ankle flexion back I can, I know to expect knee and ankle arthritis given the joint and cartilage damage and of the misalignment of my tibia. I also have an incision that runs down the bottom of my shin to the top of my foot that is really, really sensitive. Before my last surgery, I had been back in normal shoes but could not wear any that had extra fabric (like lace up boots) around the front of my foot because of this scar.

I’m mainly going to be doing very basic dressage stuff on my 14yo appendix mare and am open to any style of boot! I am not looking to win any style awards these days and really just want to be as good to my joints as possible.

Any recommendations for boots that work well with incision scars? Boots and/or inserts that help with joint pain/arthritis?

p.s. stirrups I already have covered with the help of my physical therapist!

Honestly I’d go for a combo paddock boots and half chaps. I really like Ariat side gore boots for sole comfort and stability but you might want a back zip for getting the boot on if you ankle or foot is swollen or stiff.

There are now half chaps made out of stretchy technical fabric which might be softer.

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For the scar, I would find some sheet cotton and pad the area around the scar. You might try cutting like a donut, so the cotton keeps the pressure off the scar. Depending on how big your feet are, try men’s boots. They are wider and would give you more room to play with.

For the possible arthritis - keep working with your PT or a chiro. I’ve seen a PT at least once a month for the last 10+ years. I found out a couple years ago that I had two bones in my foot fused. Remarkably, I had no arthritis in the associated ankle. I think it was most likely due to the frequent mobilization to keep the bones more or less where they were supposed to be. Some days that ankle popped so loud, it could be heard across the room.