8 weeks post Orif surgery- had cast off why does foot feel strange and numb

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im 8 weeks post op from orif surgery, had cast off today my foot feels really weird like its not mine quite numb and hurts a lot when i try to gently move my ankle as per consultants advise, has anyone else had this if so how long does it take to feel normal. ive never broken anything before im finding this recovery so daunting after reading other posts.

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  • Edited

    I broke my left ankle in November last year and remember a similar feeling once my cast was removed. I had ORIF surgery and have 2 plates either side of my ankle fitted with screws.

    I found putting my ankle in warm water was both soothing and helped with movement.

    Before this I had never broken a bone either and remember how daunting the process felt - feeling like every stage of recovery took forever!

    Happy to say that the movement in my ankle improved within a month or so with physio and plenty practice of movement with different exercises. I was signed off about a month ago! I still have some numbness in areas of my ankle around my scars, I was advised to massage them to encourage the sense of feeling back - that hasn't worked much but I pretty much feel like my old self again now.

    I know how hard and lonely it can be but persevere and hopefully you will be back on your feet soon

    • Edited

      hi thanks for your reply really helps to know someone else has had similar experiences, by the end of the next day my foot started to feel more normal, swelling was starting to go down but today ive noticed top of my foot is quite puffy wonder if its because i tried some standing exercises with my air cast boot on im waiting to hear when i'll start outpatients physio ive just been seeing the orthopaedic discharge team that’s who gave me the standing exercises, i really struggle when you have to lift the good foot and leave the bad one on the floor my brain freaks out lol i get so scared what will happen. how long did you have to have off work ive been signed off till 18th september so that will be about 14 weeks. Its good your feeling more your old self

    • Posted

      My swelling was bad when i first started exercises but just rested it when i needed and it would go back down again.

      I was on maternity leave when i broke my ankle, but I went back to work early March after my surgery in late November if that helps. I work in construction so it took me a while to make sure it was safe for me to go back.

      I was so nervous to stand on my bad foot as i kept thinking it wouldn't be strong enough - but personally I found it to be mind over matter! A friends little girl told me 'don't think about it too much, just do it!' - silly as it sounds, it was great advice!

    • Posted

      i bet that was challenging having an injury and a new baby must of been very hard for you,

      great advice, children are great they can see things more simply than us adults. i definitely overthink it. I work in a supermarket doing the home shopping so I'm on my feet all the time pushing very heavy trollies I'm wondering when I'm going to do that again reading some other discussions people suffer a long time with swelling and stiffness.

      when you first had the cast off were you told you could put your foot on the floor? I've been keeping it elevated when not in my boot as i wasn't told anything by the consultant only to gently bring ankle foward I'm not sure if i should be putting any pressure on it without protection yet i suppose it's only been 3 days I'm probably getting a bit ahead of myself.

    • Posted

      I kept my foot elevated as much as i could. I would try to put my foot flat on the floor when i was sat down (my ankle wasnt set at exactly 90 degrees in my cast) but I didn't try to put weight on it without the boot for a while. When i did put weight on i was told at first for it to be 20% of my body weight or enough to crush a creme egg but not enough to flatten it! This could be the most complicated advice I received!?

      Once i started putting weight on my foot with the boot and gained more confidence things began to move more quickly with my healing and progress.

      I still get a little stiffness from time to time but for me now it often feels better when i am walking or moving.

      I have read a lot of the things people have written on this site and some are a little scary - but everyone heals differently and has their own motivation to get back to normal. Try to do what feels right for you and rest whenever you need it

    • Posted

      ive had a good good day today felt a lot more confident doing the standing exercises in boot not so scared,

      thats definitely complicated advice regarding a creme egg.

      thanks for your advice really helps me no that im not alone

    • Posted

      did you ever end up doing outpatient physio? I'm in the same boat as you are where I've only had my orthopaedic discharge team give me exercises to work on asap. I'm currently 2.5 weeks post-op and was told that I can start putting weight on my right ankle on 11/6 and I'm not even sure how much weight that means and whether or not I'll be on target to do that with my at home exercises. My next appointment with my ortho surgeon isn't until 11/21 two weeks after I'm supposed to be able to put weight on my foot.

    • Posted

      Hi yes i started physio end of august after i was allowed to fully weight bear and stop wearing the aircast boot 12 weeks post op, it has helped quite a lot ive got much more movement in my ankle but im still having some pain in my ankle when ive been walking around the shops for a while and my ankle swells up i am finding this quite frustrating as i didn't think it would take this long to heal im now 20 weeks post op.

      do you still have a cast or boot on? have they said your to partially weight bear? i was allowed to do this after 4 weeks post op with my cast on i had to wear a funny shoe on my cast and could only put a small amount of weight on ankle with the aid of a zimmer frame i couldn't get on with the crutches until i was in the boot this was 8 weeks post op and could fully weight bear with that on.

      i know everyone is different with their injuries and healing so hopefully you'll be quicker than me.

    • Posted

      I'm glad you're getting more movement now! I took my cast off 4 weeks post-op, and have a fracture boot to wear if needed, but my surgeon has told me to wean off of it ASAP and start wearing normal shoes.

      I've been told that I can start putting weight on my foot this Sunday, although I'm pretty sure I won't be able to put 100% weight in it right off the bat. I'm now almost 6 weeks post-op now, but my ankle is still pretty swollen. Was that your experience too? I think it's only swollen around my ankle so far, but I'm expecting it to continue swelling as I start to put weight on it as well.

      It's crazy to see that even 20 weeks post-op there's still swelling, but I'm glad your recovery is going well!

    • Posted

      hi i spoke to the physio about why im

      still experiencing some pain and swelling they said that this is normal for the break i had and it can take up to a year for the ankle to be fully healed and the swelling can take about 6 months to go, my swelling is only round the ankle now whereas it used to be the whole foot, even since my last reply to you my ankle is much stronger, my walking stride is still not back to normal i walk with a bit of a limp as i need to loosen up the muscles in the middle of my ankle it feels tight when i walk. the physio is going to give me more exercises on Wednesday to help with this

      good luck with your next stage, keep elevating your foot in between walking and exercising

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