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Foot numbness after ankle surgery

by Concerned

Hello, I'm a healthy 45 yr old female with no diabetes and in good shape. I'm 13 days post ankle surgery. Had primary ATFL ligament repair after a bad sprain to R ankle. Never had any numbness in foot prior to surgery or after injury. Injury was August 08 and surgery was late December 08 after conservative treatment failed. Had a popliteal nerve block for surgery and 48 hrs after surgery nerve block seemed to be wearing off too slowly based on stats I was given and top of foot was still numb, including top of big toe and skin between big toe & 2nd toe. So I called surgeon and he said he gave me all kinds of shots in ankle too, including cortisone and said numbness can also occur as a temporary problem after some ankle surgeries and to give it some time. (have a small scope incision in inside of right ankle and 2" incision out outside of ankle for ligament repair.) I had discomfort on bony protrusion on top of foot so I peeled back the tight gauze just a little but was told not to remove it.


Saw doctor on day 8 and he removed original surgical dressing and discovered pinched skin and too much pressure under bandage. I couldn't feel this because of the nerve block and it remained numb after the block wore off. I did feel discomfort there, burning and spasms which I informed doctor of. Doctor immediately agreed that original surgical dressing was too tight and it had pinched the saphenous nerve. He rebandaged incisions with very very loose gauze and said I should start to get feeling back. Next day same numbness. Feels like just a tiny bit of some of the surface of top of foot is trying to tingle but not big toe, top of foot and big toe are still numb. Doc said it will take some time for that to come back but I'm VERY concerned about the lack of improvement.

Hi,
In most cases the sensation does come back, but if you would like to speed things up why not discuss with your surgeon the possibility of taking an anti-inflammatory agent or prednisone for a period of time to reduce the inflammation around the nerve.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Now 13 days post surgery (5 days post bandage removal), same area STILL numb. It's sort of a 1.5" strip along top of foot from natural bony protrusion down to big toe, top of big toe totally numb, and area between big toe & 2nd toe are numb. What are the chances of this nerve coming back after it had been compressed by the bandage for 7-8 days, and is it possible I have permanent nerve damage from the careless person in the O.R. who wrapped my ankle too tight? Is there anything I can do to speed the healing? Massage, etc.? Thanks in advance.

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Oct 23, 2017
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Numbness
by: sheila

I had an ORIF surgery on my right foot. Broke Fibula and Tibia also ruptured Syndesmosis and dislocatio included. I am soon in the third month of post surgery. Walking , but dorsiflexion is still miles away. Going for PT twice a week.My concern is that since 1 week the numbness on my toes are emerging in a certain Position. Please advice
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The numbness may due to nothing more then residual post op swelling or may be the result of the actual surgery, or the actual trauma.
This is something you would want to discuss with your surgeon. The earlier it is addressed the better the chance of resolving the issue.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Oct 09, 2017
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Persistent Numbness
by: Michelle

I had foot/ankle surgery on July 6th. I had two nerve blocks, one just below my knee in front and one in the back of my knee. It is now October 9th, 4 months post surgery and I still have numbness/tingling below my toes, and then half of my foot all the way around, clear up to my knee. It is much better than it was initially but is taking a long time disappear. I was told that nerves were irritated and that it may take up to a year before the numbness/tingling goes away. Also, the area just below my toes is VERY tender and feels like a sunburn. Again, I was told that the nerve bundles were irritated during surgery and would take time to heal.

Sep 16, 2017
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55 days post op
by: Paula

It's been 55 days since my surgery and I still don't have feeling in my big toe. I still have a pin in there. I think my doctor may have hit a nerve. I just compared my x-rays with the nerves of the human foot . Sure looks like that is the problem.

Jul 09, 2017
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Nerve damage
by: Don

Looking for answers. I broke my lower tibia and fibula. 7 breaks total 1 plate 12 screws. Its been 8 weeks since surgery. It will be 4 months before i walk again. I cannot feel the pad of my foot and i feel like i have a flip flop shoe between my big toe. My top of my foot its a dark purple when it is not elevated. The swelling is gone. I am so worried i will never be able to walk right again. It already hurts in cold weather. Im a teacher and i have to return to work in a month. This happened at the school. My friends tell me to get a lawyer. I have a massage business at night i currently had to close the doors due to the injury. I fear i do have nerve damage. The pain is miserable at night .
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Nerve damage is a common complication in traumatic ankle injuries. Speak to your surgeon first, then consult with a neurologist. Trying to improve nerve function is better started earlier rather then later.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Apr 27, 2017
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Ankle fusion
by: nmc

I had an ankle fusion because a podiatrist cut the ankle joint bone in the wrong place which caused a large amount of bones to die. After seeing an orthopedic surgeon he operated and when the splint was removed on the first post op visit I had a pressure wound. The wound became infected and I was given a picc line for 4 months, a wound vac and it did not heal. Infectious disease said I had a large amount of metal causing the infection. Finally the orthopedic surgeon removed the top plate and he was able to close the wound. I will remain on oral antibiotics to keep the infection at bay as the metal has bacteria. I am 8 months post surgery to repair thre damage from the podiatrist and I am extremely upset with my results.
My foot turns purple when I am out of bed, the toes become extremely cold and painful. I also have pain and numbness in the foot and my calf muscle is 3" smaller than my other leg as well as I get cramps in the calf muscle. I was told I would walk and be able to wear my own shoes except for heels when this repair started. I am now being told I have to have special rocker bottom shoes with other modifications done to them so I can walk. Does anyone know why I can not bend my toes and they become extremely cold or why my foot turns purple ? What damage is done to what to prevent my toes from bending? From the first surgery which was done incorrectly it has been more than 2 years dealing with this and I was told the bone that is growing will be done February next year. I just became weight bearing with the boot and walker.

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Your questions involve complicated issues and would be best addressed by someone who is more familiar with your case.
Either ask your surgeon or if he or she seems uninterested, see a local doctor who can examine you and then answer your questions.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Mar 08, 2017
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Bandage too tight
by: Galen

My husband had surgery for a fractured tibia on December 5 and the post surgery boot was strapped too tight causing pressure wound. While the plate and 9 screws don't hurt at all, he is still experiencing foot pain and the pressure blister still has not completely healed. He has very little feeling in his toes. I'm worried about nerve damage too. And what type of Doctor should he see about this wound?
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If his surgeon cannot close the wound, depending on where you live, see if your local hospital has a wound care center that specializes in "hard to close" wounds.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Mar 03, 2017
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Numbness on foot tibia fracture
by: Jersey D

Hi. Reading this is helpful. Just to know your not alone. I busted my tibia and fibula at the end of January. Week later had surgery and had 2 plates and 6 screws inserted to hold tibia together. They're hoping fibula just bonds on it's own with no help. So I'm almost 4 weeks post surgery and I have numbness in over half of my foot and up past ankle. The numbness is on the outside half of my right foot and you could prob hit it with Hammer and I wouldn't feel it. I'm sure everyone's recovery is different but the nerve damage is scaring me more than the actually breaks that I have. Hoping this passes and I get feeling back soon.

Dec 09, 2016
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Foot numbness after ankle surgery
by: Ziya

Hi to all. The very unfortunate members of the ankle fracture club. "All types" by the way Dave, thanx for your honesty. Was brutal, but thanx I appreciated it. Update on my progress. Actually going very well still have days were the nerves just decide to ruin my day but with medicine were slowly dealing with that problem. Hope everyone's recovery is going well. Just checking in actually to remind everyone "I'm sure you all already know" on how important it is to have family and friends there for you. As bad as this gets with breaks. This actually brought me and my father closer together. As for my misses, my world. What can I say. Everything you've done for me during this. Is a deabt I can never repay. Now wiping the tears from my eyes, you's a probably wondering were is this guy going with this. I'll tell you. Not long ago one of my mates friend had a accident when he was rock climbing. Not sure exactly what happened, but he became a member of our club. 37 years old adrenalin junkie. All of a sudden can't do anything. Got depressed. Wouldn't listen to positive feedback. Got more depressed. Overdosed on pills. 37 years old. Life wasted. And all of us know without support from our friends and family "witch he had" there's no way in hell were getting threw this.. Just thought I'd remind everyone about the ones we take for granted.. Best wishes for everyone with there recovery. Who knows, Christmas around the corner, suppose to be time for miracles.. Take care everyone..

Nov 29, 2016
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I so get it
by: Tricia

On June 3rd of this past year I end up falling down and dislocated my ankle, breaking both my tibia and fibula and a couple of bones in my foot. As we were on vacation I ended up having to get it 'put in place' drive a thousand miles home then have a doctor actually perform the surgery. Plate and 9 screws. It is now 6 months later and still have tingling and recurring pain on the top of my foot along with soreness on the inside of my ankle. I have broken several bones, okay a lot of bones, in my lifetime but this was by far the worst injury I have ever had. Not only being the most painful but also the most uncomfortable. I pray for those of you who have this injury that you will recover quickly. I thought I was doing well until I took a 5 mile walk with an ankle support. I did not notice that much pain the next day but now two weeks later my foot has extreme numbing and cramping pain with swelling. Anyone else have this problem? And please tell me if you have that it will go away soon.

Nov 27, 2016
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Nerve pain
by: David

Replying to the guy in Sydney Australia...I had a subtalar fusion surgery 2 1/2 years ago and I still have nerve pain on my ankle. Going to be very honest with you. You and keep are in a world of s**t! There's not much doctors can do for nerve damage. All I can say is hang in there!! It's not going to be easy ! So sorry for your pain !

Nov 26, 2016
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Severe nerve pain six weeks after ankle surgery
by: Ziya

Hi all. Was reading the posts on this site. WOW. This makes me feel so comfortable knowing that sum of the pains I'm feeling, sum of you guys are to. Best of luck to everybody with there recovery. Long story short, I'm from sydney and about six and a half weeks ago I fell from my truck while I was getting out. Bang! Two broken ankles.. The right foot not so bad, so they just put it in cast. But the left foot got the full treatment of all the bells and whistles.. I'm not even sure what kind of fracture it was, all I know is that I now have a płate and god knows how many screws in my left leg. Is my dr, is such a good guy that he had the courtesy of not telling me or even giving me information about my surgery. Anyways that's for another time.. Been six weeks now, got stiches taken out and In fibreglass cast now. The other day I was goofing around with the misses on the bed "nothing sexual" endone makes sure of that!!! When she accidentally kicked me and I went flying backwards and actually landed on both my legs. So both legs bored weight when I'm not suppose to. Standing there like a deer caught in headlights, the misses grabbed me and threw me back on the bed.. Sitting there freaking out, I realised I wasen't feeling any pain what's so ever. It was more like little electrical shocks "no pain" running threw my foot. Actually felt pretty nice. Now fast forward to the next day. OMG my foot has been killing me all day. Being a Saturday can't get a hold of my surgeon till Monday.. Called the GP told them what was going on, there answer to me, go to emergency.. The pain feels like my big toe is about to burst.. Up untill now I was going ok with the recovery. But this just knocked me off my feet.. The misses and I have come to the conclusion that cos I put weight on it when I shouldn't off, this probably caused sum swelling in the cast and that's why I'm feeling all this nerve pain.. I was wondering has anyone had sumthing like this happen to them. I mean it's 4 am now in sydney and the pain won't let me sleep. Taking endone every 3 hours and even took 2 tegretol 200mg when I'm suppose to take one. Nothing..gonna go get x-rays taken in the morning. Just when I was making sum progress this happens. People don't understand what a simple set back can do to a persons moral when dealing with this kind of injury.. It's heartbreaking. Wouldn't wish it on my enemies..

Aug 26, 2016
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Thought I was the only one
by: Steph

From the comments I have just read, sounds like a lot of what I have been going through since I broke my right fibula on 7/16/16. Had surgery on 8/2/16, with a plate a 5 screws. I've been non-weight baring since my accident. My toes turn reddish purple, swelling, numbness and tingling. If I stood too long then my leg started to turn purple up to my hip. Had my cast split and ace wrapped to relieve a little bit of the pressure until my appt on the 31st. My gut feeling is that when I had my accident and broke my leg, I also did some other damage which is now showing up which does not show on an x-ray. At what point is "normal" swelling, tingling, discoloration part of the healing process and when you've called the Dr several times for your concerns and still tell you it's normal...until I finally went in myself and said this isn't normal and the split my cast to relieve pressure but still have the same issues when you get home?

Aug 07, 2016
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Still pain after op
by: Paula

I broke my ankle in 3 places on 8th July,had operation on the 10th July put plate and screws in,I had my back slab removed 29th July and was put into a boot.Since the cast has been removed the pain is worse mainly across my foot and where the scar is also there is a bit of numbness is this normal.
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Hi Paula,
This is a question best suited for your surgeon, as he or she is most familiar with you and the surgery you just had.
Your surgeon will be able to decide if this part of your "normal" healing, or if this is a set of symptoms that need to be dealt with.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Aug 07, 2016
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Years later?
by: Rhonda

I broke my balancing bone of my ankle/leg in February 07. I had surgery which placed a rod between the two leg bones a plate 6 screws down the outside and a pin from the front to the back.
It worked wonderfully except for the nerve damage and lack of movement with my big toe bending. I have had continual numbness and tingling and nerve issues from the onset that I have learned to live with and barely noticed.
Now this past month I have had severe burning along the side of my ankle and foot which runs also up across the top of my foot. This is almost a constant like a bad sunburn or acid burn kind of pain that feels like it is in the skin. I assume it is the nerves still in a different way now. Any suggestion as to what it might be or if this is a typical side effect of this type of surgeries 9+ years after the initial break and surgery?

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Hi Rhonda,

Hard to know exactly why you are experiencing this new type of nerve pain, but after nine years it would be hard to argue that it is a direct result of your surgery and nerve damage as a result of the surgery.
I would venture to guess it is more a manifestation of the "new" way your foot and ankle functions as a result of the surgery.
If it bothers you bad enough I would suggest you seek treatment by a doctor in your area. If it happens to be a new nerve entrapment, early treatment may go a long way in reducing the symptoms.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Aug 01, 2016
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Ankle numbness
by: Anonymous

It will be 3 years in Feb since I had fractured my ankle in 3 places. I have 9 screws and a plate. Every day I still feel some discomfort if I walk long distance and still gets swollen.

Aug 01, 2016
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Numbness
by: Jodi

I broke my right above left ankle on july 10, surgery on july 14 with 7 screws, plate. got staples removed last week and recovery seems to be going well. I am, however, having numbness in bottom of foot, though can feel if touch foot. Also, tightness on top of foot--feels like a wrap is on it but its not. Is this normal? Will it go away with physical therapy, etc.? I did tear tendons also so thinking that's part of problem. Dr was a bit surprised, not overly concerned and said there could be lasting numbness...time will tell. thoughts?
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Your surgeon is your best source for answers concerning your recovery. Opinions by anyone else is just conjecture.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jul 31, 2016
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Ankle numbness 9 months PO
by: Colleen

I had a closed fracture of the lateral malleolus November 5, 2015. Five days later I had surgery with a plate, 9 pins, and a long screw placed in my left ankle. The numbness around the ankle is constant with a perpetual tight feeling, especially at the Achilles tendon. When my PT massages the incision it pinches around the plate. Also, my big toe on the same foot does not bend. It moves up and down but will not flex at the joints causing me occasional issues with balance. PT think it needs strengthening. My surgeon says the nerves will continue to heal for up to 2 years, although he says my ankle may never feel normal again. I would have never agreed to surgery if I had thought I couldn't walk normally. Has anyone else ever experienced anything similar?

Jul 27, 2016
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ORIF left fibula
by: Mike

I had surgery July 16 and everything has been as planned, the last two nights I've had extreme heat and pins and needles in my toes and foot. The dressing is loose and I'm not sure this would be happen as it also only happens at night time. I've lowered how high I'm elevating but not sure if I should call the doctor or not. I'm concerned this could be an infection but need some advice.
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If you have any concerns, you should always call your surgeon.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Jul 17, 2016
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I had the same thing
by: nancy

I had the same thing, the wrap was so tight it compressed the nerve on the top of my foot. I had no feeling in my big toe and the one beside it.. But the good news is the feeling did return, it It took about 6 months.
I had my ligaments cut and shortened on my right ankle. It took about a year for it to start feeling better.

Jul 13, 2016
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Same problem here
by: Anonymous

I am in the exact same situation!! Wrap was way too tight and they finally believed me on day 7. My toes and top of foot are still numb and tingling, the only thing that got better was my swelling. Toes no longer look like sausages! I too, am concerned about nerve damage.

Jun 29, 2016
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Tingling and numbness
by: Vanessa

Post Surgery 5 days no pain just intermittent numbness in foot
Happens each time I elevate too

Jun 24, 2016
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Weber b fracture
by: Anonymous

Hi my injury is a weber b bimalleolar fracture

Only 5 weeks ago but im telling ya my foot looks so purple some days and its stinging like crazy and if i put a finger on the outside an electric shock hits it.. i cant walk on it for another week but these things are scaring me. Dr just says its ok it just healing we im sure he hasnt had this injury to just say that.. im worried help and answers ?:

Jun 12, 2016
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Broken ankle
by: California

I broke three bones in my ankle in early March. Surgery five days later. NWB cast for five weeks. My concern is three months since surgery foot swells during the day and top of foot and three goes numb all the time. My surgeon now says done all he can for me and said I might have Regional Chronic Pain Syndrome for the rest of my life. Being sent to pain management . I think surgeon is premature in that prognosis
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Regional pain syndrome is a condition that is very common after situations like yours.
The earlier it is diagnosed (and treated), the better the prognosis, so do not delay seeing the pain management specialist. Be sure to ask the specialist if he or she has experience treating regional pain syndrome as not all pain management and neurologist do, and improper treatment may make matters worse.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Jun 06, 2016
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Foot numbness and pain
by: Jen

I shattered my talus bone on November 30, 2015 which then resulted in two surgeries one including a bone graft and a subtalar fusion. I have screws, plates and my peroneal nerve had to be fixed and pinned in place. At five months I finally started giving up on feeling coming back to my toes and the front of my foot. Up until then I had a continual frostbite feel and could bend the toes as a unit but not individually. I kept massaging them every night though from the time of the injury and at the 6 month mark suddenly sensation started coming back. It was extremely painful for several days and seems to be coming back in chunks. As for the pain walking, my experience has been that everytime you do something new or push harder you have new pain but if it's something that feels extremely different than something you've already experienced probably best to check with your doctor. I'm now in my 7 month since surgery and while my foot still hurts every day, and some days unbearably so, it is starting to mostly feel achy like I did an extra hard workout or banged it against something. I broke my wrist and some ribs in the same accident where I broke my ankle and I have to say by far it has been the worst for pain and taking its time healing. I'm Sending healing thoughts out to anyone who is reading this and hope your recovery is quick!

May 31, 2016
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ankle surgery
by: aj

may2nd broke my ankle, had surgery done on the 10th, took out stitches and new dressing done on the 23rd. Has to be i n cast for, 4 more weeks. I am walking on crutches. I can wiggle my toes. But yesterday and today I found the two sides of ny ankle where the surgery was done is paining more than before. Also my instep and first toe after the big toe is also lancing me. Is that normal. Should I call my doctor. Maybe I need stronger pain killers.
my husband said could be nerves.

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Call your surgeon.

Marc Mitnick DPM

May 01, 2016
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broken ankle at 71
by: Michele

I am a 71 year old female-broke left ankle 1/28/2016 had surgery 2/1/2016-in splint for 12 weeks due to excessive swelling.Pain was not bad but still unable to put weight on foot and will need pin removed after PT before I can try and walk. Now having severe hip and groin pain which I fear will further prolong walking

Apr 27, 2016
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Tarsal tunnei
by: Toni

I had a tarsal tunnel release and a plantar release on my foot and ankle July 29, 2014. My heel is still numb. Right above my ankle if I touch it I get an electric shock feeling. Doctor thinks it's due to a trapped nerve, however whenever I sit too long or stand/walk to long my foot goes completely numb and it hurts like hell when I have to straighten it after I'm sitting for a while. I'm scared cause they have to do the other foot and I don't want both feet with the same crazy tingling feelings.

Apr 16, 2016
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Foot surgery
by: Anonymous

Hi I had quite alot of surgery too on 29th March 16..so 18 days post op.I have had my heel bone broken and moved and screwed back into place,ankle reconstruction,ligament shaving,calf muscle lengthened and general nosing around in there haha.I had a nerve block put in during surgery which was good for pain relief for a few days.once it started wearing off the pain I felt was that my ankle was in the wrong position(guess it was tho as it had been moved) some days the pain is unbearable around my ankle where the majority of the work was done but it's my toes where I'm getting the most pain.my 2 little toes are still numb to touch but my others are sometimes excruciating,I get alot of funny feeling in them pins n needles,burning and then other feelings I can't explain.I'm already fed up with the feelings in my toes and hope it soon disappears altho iv got a feeling it will last a while yet.I also get a feeling that something is pressing into my arch altho there isn't.sometimes I regret having the surgery but think in the long run it will hopefully be worth it. I am thinking my other foot will need to be done after so all these joys again.I am still in a cast but had it changed 4 days ago where they discovered a pressure blister on my leg and my wound looked abit bad so gotta have cast changed in just over a week.foot surgery is not easy but hopefully worth it.
Hope u all have a good recovery

Apr 04, 2016
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Broken ankle on 23rd June 2015
by: Anonymous

My progress since writing to this page 28th December 2015.
12th Feb 2016 I had 2 long screws from my ankle removed without having to stay overnight in Hospital..Needed no pain killers afterwards. Still have a long screw in the center of my foot holding things together,plus other plates and small screws.I won't say I am completely free of any complications.I still limp a bit and my ankle is still much bigger than my other one,but the orthopedic surgeon said it will take a year for my ankle to get back to normal. I find wearing my sneakers gives a good support to my foot fo walking great distances.
I am not too good at walking down driveways or stairways.Still have that fear that I am going to slip..Going into our winter soon,so hope I don't get any rheumatism.
There is nothing worse than a broken ankle.By the way my swelling has gone down quite a bit in the last 3 months..

Apr 01, 2016
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Ankle pain
by: Anonymous

I had ankle surgery on 8 March. I am still not to put weight on it until I see the surgeon in April. I get pain that feels like everything is pulling on the inside of my ankle. Does this happen to anyone else

Mar 31, 2016
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Ouch !!!!
by: Anonymous

Wow ,,, I hate to say it , but I'm. So glad I'm not alone ☺ I broke my left ankle .... fibula & got seven screws & a plate ,,, I'm still waiting to have the main screw removed ,,, I have numbness on.the top of my foot ,,, & it still hurt like hell ... I new this was not going to be a quick fix ... it's gonna be a slow road before I'll have my confidence back again ,,, I'm grateful it wasn't any worse ,,,

Mar 22, 2016
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scared and nervous chick
by: Anonymous

hi everyone,
happy to say that im not in severe pain yet. i had sergery at 11:00am slept all day now im.wide awake. i did have a nerve block and meds before the anesthesia.i had a cyst removed scaping of the bone in ny ankle followed by a bone graft and a plate with o dont know how many screws. my feet and toes are so numb with this cast with a pin and needle feeling so uncomfortable im 26 was told i should heal fast but im so nervous about any complications

Mar 19, 2016
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Numbing and red foot
by: Broken wife

I broke my tibia, fibula and ankle on February 5,2016 while ice skating. I had surgery that night to set my bones back in place and the following day another surgery to put a rod in my tibia and several screws to hold it in and keep my ankle together. My os decided not to do anything with my fibula. So I've been nwb this entire time and go to doc on March 24, 2016 and hopefully he gives me the go to put weight on my foot. My main problem is I'm still numb on the bottom of foot and all my toes!!!! I can wiggle them and do my range of motion exercise but still no feeling. My question is has anyone had this and once I get weight bearing will that help? I also can put my leg up most of day but it is still red. Not swollen really just red.any ideas what that is or what's causing it. I'm in a boot that I can only take off while doing exercise or showering.
Thanks for any response. It is very discouraging having a broken leg/ankle.

Mar 16, 2016
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Toe Irritation/Foot numbness post ankle surgery
by: Anonymous

I shattered my talus on Nov 30,2015 and had to have two surgeries on my ankle in December. A graft replaced my talus and I have numerous screws and a plate, and then had a subtalar fusion. As far as I have been told both the toe irritation and the numbness are relatively normal. For the first three months following the injury, I experienced what I would describe as the chronic feeling of frostbite-a burning pins and needles feeling and numbness. Over the last month that feeling has subsided. I am still experiencing numbness and decreased sensitivity to heat and cold. I have been told that this will likely continue to improve over the next several months and that the eggplant colour my foot turns when i have it down for a bit should also settle down. I still rely a fair bit on painkillers and ice my ankle regularly and that seems to help the worst of it.

Mar 12, 2016
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Numbness after ankle surgery
by: Bob

46 yr old male was injured Jan 18th and surgery on Feb 4th of the left leg and ankle. Had 2 long screws on both sides of lower tibia and a plate with 4 screws about 6 inches up on fibula. Had a nerve block above the knee the morning surgery and that lasted 2 days. That was the most uncomfortable feeling. At times I could swear that it wasn't my leg attached. Luckily my leg is feeling great but the top of my foot and two big toes are still numb and at times hurt to touch. After reading all the comments I feel better in believing this is a common ailment. I've been out of surgery now for five weeks and in a walking boot so I can do some simple stretching by doing figure 8s and trying to write the alphabet in the air with my toes and foot. Follow up on March 23 to see if I'm gonna be good enough to start pt. Some of the commenters have said ankle surgery is the hardest recovery time and I'm gonna second that. When this first happened I was okay with it since I would be out of work during the coldest part of winter. Boy was I wrong. This is aggravating sitting around all day with my leg elevated. And living in a raised ranch makes going out side damn near impossible. Almost fell backwards down the stairs due to those stupid crutches. Long road ahead for recovery but glad to know I'm not alone in feeling worried. Hope you all recover good as new with some great stories to tell about being injured and some great advice to tell others that may find themselves in our predicament.

Feb 28, 2016
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Toe irritation
by: Anonymous

I am 15 and i broke my ankle in 3 spots in a snowboarding accident on Feb 21, 2016. I had surgery and they put in 3 plates, lots of screws, and closed up with staples. My big toe and top half of my foot have been tickling and kind of almost like a burning feeling. It's been going on since the day of the surgery, but today it's been happening since I woke up this morning at 6:45am and it is now 4:00pm. I don't know how to stop it and it is very irritating. Does anyone know how to stop it, other than elevating and iceing?

Jan 27, 2016
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Broke Tibia and fibula
by: Anonymous

I recently broke both tibia and fibula and need open reduction surgery had 1 metal plate and 11 screws put in had a splint the first 2 weeks now in a air boot .. but when i put my foot down from being eleveated it still turns a purple black anyone else with this issue

Jan 24, 2016
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Broken ankle
by: Anonymous

Oh you poor thing.It sounds as though you have very bad circulation.You didn't say how old you are,but I am over 70yrs.I have 2 of my screws out on the 12th Feb,so hopefully the stiffness will go..Going down stairs I use my left broken ankle leg first all the way down our 16 stairs,coming up I use alternate leg which is good.
My left foot is very swollen and I have had to buy a size larger in shoes..
I know it takes a long time for an ankle injury to heal,so hang in there ,do exercises and in another 9 / 12 months you might be right.

Jan 23, 2016
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Broken ankle
by: Anonymous

I broke my fibula on Feb 24 2015 - it was a Webber B fracture. I after almost a year am still unable to walk without support, and have fallen numerous times . I still have burning and tingling on the top of the foot, and beneath my ankle bone. The cast I was put into had to be removed - as my leg, from toes to mid calf went almost black ! I am still unable to lift my toes and upper part of foot. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Dec 28, 2015
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Broke ankle in 3 places
by: Anonymous

Broke my ankle in 3 places on the 23rd June 2015,including the fibulae.My progress seems to be going so slow,although have been walking without crutches for about 3 months now.With plates ,screws etc in my leg my foot is very stiff and gets quite swollen.Due to have 2 long screws out early 2016.,so am hoping this will make a huge difference to my walking.I am trying to not limp ,but with the tightness it is hard not to.Should I be wearing an elastic stocking to keep the swelling down during the day I wonder..I have been going to physio regularly and that has helped .
Breaking one's ankle is the worst possible accident one can have.I broke my ankle slipping on black ice.

Nov 26, 2015
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Toe Numbness
by: Anonymous

I broke my ankle 12/24/14 but did not need surgery. I had a cast and then walking boot. My sister broke her ankle a month before I broke mine. She had plates and screws that were later removed. I am 11 months from the break now and finally, about a month ago, the stiffness after sitting has stopped; however, my three middle toes feel like they are asleep. My sister is having the same issue. I don't know the cause but I'm assuming that because we have the same issues, it is probably just taking time to heal.

Nov 09, 2015
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I have same pain and more from shots/surgery
by: Anonymous

In Sep. 2014 I had ankle fusion, subtalar fusion, bone grafting (used fibula), bone spur removal, and an IM rod put through bone (about 4.5 inches) with 5 screws. I had end stage severe traumatic osteoarthritis from prior injury/surgery 30 years prior. Was a salvage operation.

Fast forward a year. Had to go back in July 2015 to have one bottom screw (too big pushing on inside of ankle) taken out.

So, total numbness on right side of foot and around new scar...ok, I'll give it a year; but, prior to surgery I had a cortisone shot, following that shot, I started having foot spasms (toes), uncomfortable but not a 10...after all the past 2 surgeries, my ankle is a mess.

Contractions all the time, almost like I have morton's neuroma, and I did incur a fibroma somewhere in the process of shots and surgery, who knows, just know that it's been more than a year for me, and now I'm just getting ready to go to a neurologist.

I walk with a limp, need a cane, can't walk for long periods or for far, no ROM in ankle, just the toes, and even those now are feeling really stiff and numb.

The ankle itself is ok, go figure, although I can't walk barefoot as 3/4 inch off heel, so deformed that way now, and surgeon set my foot in equinus, so I also always have to have a lift in shoe, or outside, or wear heels or wedges.

That puts weight on front of foot, which mechanics of walking not good; can you say major gait disturbance? So, I have my problems cut out for me, and I really don't want an amputation.

I'm only 56, and was prev. very active, had to rehome my horses, can't do much of anything anymore (I do go to YMCA to get in pool). It's been very hard mentally, physically and emotionally, so I can relate to some of the posters.

I see no relief other than maybe medication, and having to go on disability. Has really ruined my quality of life. Well, at least not in a wheelchair or amputated yet.

I get told, be glad you have your foot. What good is a foot when you have no quality of life due to chronic pain, can't walk far, and horrible gait?


Aug 26, 2015
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Foot pain post fractured ankle/fibula repair
by: Anonymous

I believe the problems I am experiencing is similar to others here and due to nerve irritation/?damage?
On 8/9 I took a freaky fall down a short but steep bank, experienced a communated fracture of my right fibula and bi-malleous ankle fractures. I have plates 1/3 way up the side of leg on the outside,multiple screws and pins to keep it all together.
I DID NOT have a nerve block postop as the nurses told me that I didn't c/o enough of pain in the recovery room to warrant it. Then two hours later as they are assessing my readiness to go home I could not move my leg/foot without a burning, stabbing pain of a 10+ on top of my foot to the right.
On direction from the ortho surgeon the nurses loosened the ace wrap and pulled back the dressing which gave me immediate relief.
Plaster immobilization cast off 6 days ago, yesterday had a terrible bout of burning pain on the top outer portion of foot. Since early on I've have tender "touch" pain to my 4th toe and while I have sensation in the toe, I cannot move it very well. Most of the swelling from this ordeal is in my foot now and in the area of the pain. I went into an aircast boot 6 days ago as well.
I believe this is nerve pain and it responds to Vicodin that I'm trying to wean off of. I know it's early but not sure this leg will ever be well again. The outer leg incision required 34 staples to close and the interior ankle incision took 10 sutures.
The surgeon has already told us about the risk of post-traumatic arthritis due to the type of injury plus it was dislocated which I reduced my self at home so the fact that it was only dislocated for about 10 minutes is a plus.
The pain in the bones is not my problems right now but the top of the foot.
What is the best actions I can take right now to minimize further damage? I am 57 yo caus. female who is very active with walking, hiking, gardening, caring for animals. 1/2 my life is lived outside, frustrated with visions of not being able to move as in the past.
My extended family is of little support as I feel like they view me with a "leprosy" type situation. Just my husband, son who lives 1.5 hours away and supports so much. The ortho surgeon told us we need to make it clear to people that this is just not your everyday broken ankle but was a severe fracture that is going to take time and ignore all the snide comments about when people walked and to get over it etc.
Need support from folks dealing with similar issues. Thanks.

Aug 19, 2015
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nerve pain
by: Anonymous

I had surgery to repair broken ankle. 2 plates and 20 screws. I am having relentless nerve pain in my foot and small toe. It keeps me up most of the night. During the days things feel fine. Its has been 10 weeks since the surgery. will this go away?

Aug 18, 2015
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9 months since surgery, still have numbness
by: Anonymous

After dislocating and fracturing my ankle in November 2014, the entire episode being a trauma. The ambulance took 3hours to get to me and because of the terrain was so wet the ambulance got stuck in the mud! It took a helpful by stander and his landrover to tow us out. It was a good 4 hours before I reached hospital.

The surgery was scheduled for the morning and although it took a lot longer than expected it went well. A nerve block was used a rod, screws and plate were inserted to stablise the bones.

During recovery I noticed that some of my toes were numb and later once the cast was taken off I realised the inside of my knee was also knumb. 9 months on the numbness is still there in the foot and knee,the ankle is still swollen and I walk like a cripple first thing in the morning.

I have knee weakness and my ankle feels extremely tight most of the time. Don't get me wrong I can still walk to work and stay on my feet much of the day and walk the dog but I watch every step, and by the end of the day I am sore and swollen.

will this ever get any better? should I get the hardware taken out?

This is so frustrating.


Aug 03, 2015
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Clayton
by: Mickey

if you're using Gabapentin it will help with the sharp pain in your big toe if related to nerve sensation. i have been on Gabapentin since May and still have very sensitive skin feel in my foot so i have not gotten 100% but i have come a long way but my big toe is more of my problem but you just have to make sure you take it every night like stated and don't skip a night... hope i helped bro

Aug 01, 2015
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never be the same
by: Anonymous

male 46, very active before surgery and "rolling of my ankle". i had ankle recon surgery about 2 years ago, after the doctors dragged out rehab about 1 year (joke). the post surgery time was difficult, horrible but my i couldn't really walk before the surgery, so no choice. i am now able to walk and run about 6-8 miles no problems, but scared the whole time, watching every step i take. my ankle is tight, clicks some times, especially going up stairs. i rotate my ankle everyday and it clicks...no pain though. i'm mentality damaged and will not be able to regain full use and do somethings i like to do. never want to go back thru this again, life changing event....so careful all the time

Jul 11, 2015
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Sharp pain in ankle and toe
by: Clayton

Hey all, so I am 25 I work out 4-5 times a week and am in pretty good shape (prior to surgery). I just had surgery on June 24th on my front ligament (I think its called the Ant. Lat Malleol ligament?), the lateral ligament (Interos. talocalan. ligament?) the both tendons running up the outer part of the ankle and he also cut a muscle belly because I was rare and had it going down to the bottom of my foot and everyone else has it stopping at their calf (Doctors words). They prescribed Gabapentin and 800mg Ibuprofen this past tues. Every time i scratch the bottom of my big toe (on the foot I had surgery on) with my other big toe I get this sharp pain in my toe. Also, I can feel where I think he rolled up my muscle belly in my ankle or the tendons he repairs and it hurts really bad! He cut me off of pain medication last week and sometimes I am seriously in tears. I don't know if anyone else has ever had their muscle belly cut and rolled up but if some one has will this pain go away? Also, will the sharp pain in my toe go away? I am 2 and a half weeks post surgery and still have another 4-6 weeks of no pressure on my ankle and then 3-6 months of physical therapy after that getting back to walking again. Please get back to me and help me with any info you might have on this and to whether I might have short/long term problems from this.

Jul 09, 2015
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foot numbness an very sensitive
by: Mickey

hello all, i myself is suffering with the same similar issues I'm hearing on this feed. had ankle surgery in may and now healing from it. i had a pain block installed in my thigh an once removed i had numbness, sensitive to touch, and spike pains shooting in my foot. my old Dr from my shoulder surgery gave me meds called Gabapentin for my nerve issues and it helped clear those issues in my shoulder so i am using for my foot. it works just takes time to correct the issue. please request Gabapentin for aid in helping your nerves. Good luck an hope it helps

Jul 06, 2015
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Broken Fibula, numbness in foot
by: Anonymous

Hello all,

I got out of surgery on the 30th of June. I was about to get the nerve block but I saw them getting ready for it, and the amount of liquid they were going to inject into my leg made me refuse the treatment. I am really glad I did. I went home and tried to elevate my leg, but the pain was excruciating. I noticed that it felt better when I lowered it. That first night and the rest of the day I was in tremendous pain- the meds were not keeping up with it- oxy and vicodin. Eventually I got back to the ER because I couldn't stop crying. If I had received the block, I wouldn't have noticed there was something very wrong.

The ER unwrapped my ankle and voila! Pain reduced from an 11 to a 2. Yes- a 2! Most of the time I dont hurt at all- there are a few spasms as I fall asleep and a little achy from time to time, but nothing major. I do have the numbness in my toes as well, and I am a little scared to flex or bend them. I found this site because I am a little nervous about the numbness, but I realize there are so many of you that have had the nerve block and didn't realize the bandage was too tight. I think I was lucky. Please, don't let the doctors convince you that the nerve damage was something you had prior (WTF?) or wasn't something to do with tight bandaging. It might not be, but if they realized your bandaging was too tight this is a major lapse on their part and they need to be held accountable.

BTW, When your bandaging is too tight (effectively creating a tourniquet) it needs more circulation- this is why it felt better when it wasn't elevated. Your foot needs blood to heal! Find the elevation that works for you- pay attention to what your body is telling you and don't stop bugging the doctors. They can't feel what you feel, and coming out of surgery should not feel like your leg is about to explode.

Good luck my little lame ducks...

Jun 26, 2015
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Me too
by: Anonymous

My surgery was 14 months ago. I too fear the nerve block caused some damage. I had a screw put in my fibula. I was in an insane amount of pain at the time of injury. My tendons are sore, and I still have swelling behind my ankle. It all sucks, but the numbness that never went away is worrisome. I have seen some improvement as I passed the year mark. I am seeking a second opinion.

Jun 11, 2015
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Re Xander
by: Anonymous

I broke my ankle and exploded my heel bone in September. Surgery October 1st with a plate and 8 screws. My toes have been numb since the day of my injury. I had a 2nd surgery May 4th to remove the hardware. Last week, I was back in for an emergency surgery because I developed a hematoma after the 2nd surgery which caused my incision to open after the stitches were removed, causing infection. I now have 2 walking boots, a night splint, and a walking shoe as part of my injury collection. The numbness may never go away, but don't let it scare you. You had a traumatic injury, as I did. It takes a minimum of a year for things to start getting back to normal. Be patient.

Jun 11, 2015
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15 screws one plate
by: Lisa

Xander,

I also received a nerve block and felt the same sensation as you. This will take a few days to wear off. It was the weirdest feeling not being able to feel my toes or the top of my foot. They numb you up pretty good so you don't experience the surgical pain that you would without the nerve block - I think it last about 7 days. I now have sensation and can move my toes. I had a spiral fracture to my fibula and joint and tendon damage - which is what the screw is for. I've been non-weight bearing for 3months now.

My bad experience is I am still numb along the inside of my foot and big toe area. The top of my foot is so tender even if you lightly brush your fingers over it. I saw the surgeon yesterday for my follow-up surgery to have the screw removed and he was perplexed by this. He said I should have full feeling on the inside of my foot. He thinks I had this feeling when I broke my ankle and that I didn't recall it. HMM!

Jun 10, 2015
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15 screws one plate
by: Xander

Hello I had my surgery today 6/9/15 I dislocated and broke both bones in my right able on 6/6/15.

I got a nerve block to help with the pain but now I can't wiggle or feels my toes in my right foot, it's rally scaring me, I keep having a twitch on the outside of my right thigh.

I'm going to call the doctors office tomorrow and see what's up but reading these comments has got me concerned

Jun 08, 2015
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To frustrated
by: David

It's sad ! I have that too. Go to FB ankle fusion group and join.lots of answers to your questions

Jun 07, 2015
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frustrated
by: frustrated

Its almost 3 months since a Webber C fracture. Have the plates and screws in. Ankle pains almost gone but front of foot numbness and tingles and pains. Big toe and one next to it pulls in. Im not getting info from anyone on this. Is this normal? Will i ever get feeling back. Cant drive as i dont feel anything under my foot.

May 26, 2015
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Numbness in toes
by: Anonymous

Updated: saw the doctor on May 14. His response was that he thinks it is still the swelling around my foot. I do swell throughout the day but when I wake up after all night of elevation, my swelling is minimal but my toes and foot are still numb and it is extremely frustrating. Will it ever go away?? I haven't walked since March 19 and haven't had a pair of shoes on as well.

I am still NWB until the screw comes out of my ankle which I was told won't happen until the end of June. I am hoping that maybe the screw is compressing against something and once it is removed, I might have the right feeling back in my foot. Could this be a possibility? Or maybe there is nerve compression as a result of the plate along my fibula?

I will update after June 16 when my next appointment is...


May 25, 2015
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Nerve damage after ankle surgery
by: Laura

I am a 43 year old female who had ankle surgery on Dec 31, 2013 to repair a fibula fracture. It has been a year and a half now and I am still having problems with the nerves in my feet. I have been to two neurologists, had acupuncture, been on lyrica, gabapentin, and most recently trazadone. I have had verve blocks and steroids injected into various locations of my foot. I was a runner, a skier, loved to hike, dance, exercise, etc...I can't do any of these things anymore. I have developed tarsal tunnel, a huge bunion, and i have the weirdest sensations on the bottom of my foot (between my toes) and the top of my foot ALL DAY LONG! I have permanent contractures in all of my toes, except the big one, and I have had to have a tenotomy on the second due because I developed hammer toe. This was ALL a result of my ankle surgery a year and half ago! Is there any hope for me? Or is this permanent?

RESPONSE

Hi Laura,
In most cases, the more time that passes, the more likely your symptoms will be permanent. Having said that, it should be noted that nerve is one of the few tissues in the body that actually regenerates itself.
If the neurologist can pin down whether your problems are the result of damage to a specific nerve, there might be hope for you (to some degree).
Additionally, if you have a true tarsal tunnel, that would be causing some of the neurological sensations you are getting on the bottom of your foot and certain parts of the toes.
Tarsal tunnel is a condition that can be addressed, sometimes through surgery. You may want to explore that avenue.

Marc Mitnick DPM

May 11, 2015
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Foot numbness after ankle surgery
by: Anonymous

Hi Nancy,

I am sorry for you and it is very frustrating - I can honestly say that I understand. I can tell you that after 1 week of my surgery, I had them take the cast off because it was way too tight. I couldn't stand it anymore. They cut it off and gave me a boot. At least this allowed me to ice the wound properly. Just a suggestion for you. I will be in touch after my appointment this week. I intend to get to the bottom of the numbness in my toes.

Hang in there...

May 10, 2015
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numbness in toes after ankle surgery
by: nancy

Hi, I'm am dealing with the exact same thing (numbness exact, surgery & dressing too tight with pinched skin on top of foot).. been 3 1/2 weeks no improvement.. I can't stand it... talked to dr.he said the same, dressing to tight.. I am beyond frustrated, worried & still having pain in some toes.. ugh!

May 08, 2015
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Numbness after Ankle Surgery
by: Lisa

Lisa here... I am almost 8 weeks post op. Ankle feels good and I am still NWB. Swelling comes and goes but feels minor compared to a few weeks ago. I was told to do range of motion exercises which I do all throughout the day - without the boot. The biggest complaint is the numbness of my big toe, the toe box and bottom inside of the foot. It feels like there is a rubber band around all these areas stopping my circulation. If I put any pressure on my toe, it feels like it will explode. Oddly, no complaint about the ankle repair - only about the foot issues now. I see the surgeon on Thursday 5/14. I will post again to let you know what I find out. Can anyone relate? Fear is damaged nerves or compressed nerves by the hardware - 6 pins, plate and screw.

May 08, 2015
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Way Too Early
by: Anonymous

Give yourself a chance to heal! This was major surgery, not a cavity repair with novocaine! You will see the surgeon several times in the coming months and you DO want to think positive in during that time. Don't push it, don't test it, just breathe, smile and relax. That's all we can do as we recover.............

May 07, 2015
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Foot bottom numb / pins and needles toes
by: Anonymous

Almost two months after surgery. Pilon fracture. Broken tib/fib in 6 pieces. 4 plates, 24 screws later my foot is still very swollen. Cant wiggle or feel my toes or lower foot. Not weight bearing yet. Haven't started PT yet. Surgeon says swelling may be present for a year! Not sure about numbness or pins and needles but I'm sure there was some nerve damage.
Anyone else experience something similar?

Apr 16, 2015
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Numbness and spasms of the foot
by: Anonymous

I am 3 weeks post op, I had a tendon transfer ( taken from the big toe to the ankle ) and was told the pot was on too tight, I have numbness under the foot and in the toes also spasms under my foot that really hurt. On tramadol for the pain but it hasn't helped. Any one know how long it will hurt for.

Apr 09, 2015
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numbness after ankle Surgery
by: Lisa

Did your toes ever come back to life? I have the same exact problem and it is exactly the same way you described it to the "T". Any answers would be great. I have a bad feeling it is due to the nerve block. Not sure what to do but I am 2 weeks post op. It has night gotten ANY better. The reasons I was told were due to swelling. I am not swollen now... HELP.

Mar 31, 2015
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by: jim mcdonald

I am 66 and 26 years ago I had a cyst taken off my right ankle. In the process the Doc. nicked the nerve and I have been in severe pain every since. I went back to the doc. a few times and he said I had to live with it. I have and now it driving me nuts what can I do?

You could certainly get a second opinion in your area, but my guess, with all the time that has passed, there is not much that can be done, other than oral medication to mitigate the pain.

Marc Mitnick DPM