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Hello, I am 2 days shy of being 5 weeks post-op. I had a tibiotalor joint fusion with 2 screws on either side. This is the result of a 22 year old fracture of my tib/fib that originally had a screw, 5 pins and a figure 8 wire. The hardware was removed 7.5 years ago when I suddenenly couldn't walk due to severe pain. I have been in pain since, developed severe arthritis, spurs, and floating pearl-like calcium deposits. The surface area of my tibia had become 60-70% hollow because when the joint collapsed and the cartilage was gone my bone absorbed the synovial fluid (joint fluid) within the bone for cusion; essentially the end of my bone was made up of 3 large cysts.
Now that I have that out of the way let me get to the problem. The burning and raw feeling I've had has been really intense. I told the doc at 1 week PO appt and explained I felt the cast was to tight around my metacarpals at the base of my toes and I was numb from my 3rd toe back and toward the outside of my foot. Numbness is pretty common (50/50), but the pain not so much. He said if it was looser I would likely get blisters from swelling; this made sense since I experienced blisters with the original break. At 2 weeks the burning intensified and I asked for more pain meds (I had Percocet) and I was denied and told to take lots of tylenol and Ibuprefen. At 3 weeks I called again for meds because I was having trouble sleeping and getting mentally drained from the feeling of rawness and burning and radiating pain. I thought I had blisters or sores but when I stuck a q-tip down to see if there was any evidence of that I couldnt feel it. He had me come in and removed my cast. I did have a few blisteres that dried up and minor bruising around the entire area that I have pain. I was sent home with my foot wrapped in cotton, ace, and self-adhesive wrap with a boot, but of course I am still NWB.
Even the pressure from the boot causes irritation. Being upright feels better but it swells, having my foot elevated is nearly intolerable because the nerves don't stop firing. Ive got to the point where I am often laying or sitting with feet up level and no pillows for my foot and no boot. I will be fine most of the day but the moment I lay down my foot starts with the nerve signals. Last night I had been sleeping on my stomach with a pillow at my ankle so that my foot hung square without pressure (no boot). I finally got up at 1:am and went to the living room to watch t.v. and the pain almost immediately was tolerable. I unwrapped my foot completely so that i could rub on it. It felt so good but I worry that I shouldnt be doing this. I'm really hoping this nerve pain with improve sooner rather than later. I an concerned it will affect my ability to walk after my ankle is ready. I am also hoping that as the bruising, which is almost invisible, is the reason for the nerve pain. I have noticed I am able to wiggle my toes more and sweeling has reduced significantly since being able to take off my boot. i am forcing my self to keep my boot on today because the past 3 days I have rarley worn it. I have no ankle pain and I'm not worried about the positioning of my foot because the ankle doesnt move, but I realize I need to keep it better protected from the elements for a few more weeks.
I know this is a lot of info. Sorry if I gave to many details.
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