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Numbness of my right foot 2 weeks after a 5th metatarsal fracture

by Kim
(Colorado)

I was working out just over 2 weeks ago, and felt something snap in my ankle. I saw my ankle surgeon who I have a history with, and he put me into a walking boot for 2 weeks. I am now back in regular shoes, and I still am experiencing pain, but I have been told that is normal, even for a nondisplaced stress fracture. However, my foot will randomly go numb, and it gets really uncomfortable and cold, to the point where I have to take my shoe off and just move my foot around until I get feeling back. It happens randomly and then will wear off, and then it comes back. Any ideas on what's going on? I've had 5 ankle surgeries, so I am familiar with some numbness from nerve damage, swelling, etc, but this feels like something else entirely. Thanks in advance for your help!


RESPONSE

Hi Kara,

I am not clear on your story as you state you felt a snap in your ankle and ended up with a stress fracture in your fifth metatarsal bone as I cannot imagine a fifth metatarsal fracture manifesting itself as pain in the ankle.
So, this begs the question, was any damage done to the actual ankle itself while exercising? You say you have a history of ankle issues so there is real possibility that you could have done some actual damage to the ankle and when your surgeon happened to notice the fifth metatarsal fracture, that became his diagnosis.
As long as we are on the subject of fifth metatarsal fractures, the location of the fracture on that bone can go a long way in determining how long it will take to heal. If the fracture is in the area of what is known as the fifth metatarsal base then in my opinion, two weeks in a walking boot is not long enough. If the fracture is elsewhere in the bone, then two weeks might be long enough.
I am also concerned that your foot goes numb and can get cold; that is not normal and may be an indication of a more severe problem. I think a condition known as RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) has to be ruled out.
I guess my best advice to you is that if your surgeon in not willing to pursue this further than you would probably be wise to seek a second opinion with a local foot and ankle specialist and voice all your concerns to he or she.

Marc Mitnick DPM
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