Help! ORIF Ankle - Post Op

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Hello!

I took a spill on 1/12 and fractured my tibia and fibula. On 1/23 I had an ORIF with a plate and 8 screws put in (one is connecting the bones together - the other 7 are along the fibula). 

The first few days post-op I thought I was getting off Scott free. I had a nerve block which helped minimize the pain in the subsequent days. I was sent home in a splint. 

I had an appointment to see the surgeon on 1/29 where we took new X-rays and put me in a hard cast until my next appointment (scheduled for 2/7). Up to that point, there have been zero complications.

A few hours later on 1/29, my toes began tingling and my fat pad was tender. I called the next morning and was told to go in. The ortho tech tried to loosen up the cast a bit around my toes. The tingling did not go away and I began to feel so numbness on the top of my foot and my pinky toe.

I went back to the surgeon on 1/31 and the ortho tech removed the cast so my surgeon can take a look. Eyed my calf for blood clots (doesn’t seem to be concerned about that) and ultimately dressed me with a new calf.

Has anyone experienced numbness in their pinky toe and the top of their foot post surgery? 

I’ve also got a burning sensation on the out and in- side of the ankle bone. The best way to describe it is that feeling with you have a rash or scab and it rubs against fabric. I’ve got a lot of tingling in the ankle. It’s the worst at night (hence, it’s 1am and I can’t fall asleep it’s bothering me so much).

It’s not quite “painful” (maybe a 2) but extremely uncomfortable.

Am I alone in this or is this “normal”?

Thank you in advance!

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Yes. Extremely uncomfortable. I sleep in the day time now.
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    • Posted

      It’s a relief to know I’m not alone here. I’ve been terrified googling the symptoms and not coming to any real conclusions. It’s frustrating!
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  • Posted

    It all sounds par for the course to me. The numbness and tingling for me was the nerves healing. Numbness on top of foot went away first. I’m still dealing with nerve healing and it’s been 11 weeks for me.
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    • Posted

      Thank you! I’ve just been so worried that it’s not “normal”. I was real spoiled to have Week 1 post op go so smoothly that now that week 2 is a little more trying it’s making me nervous. 
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  • Posted

    Agree with the others...the first 2 1/2 weeks after surgery were the worst. I also had a nerve block, and although my leg was entirely numb, I wasn't prepared for the pain when it wore off - and it took 3 1/2 days for it to wear off entirely! That was unexpected. The first couple weeks I slept on the couch and elevated my leg constantly. Also iced it. And took pain meds. I had all sorts of feelings in my foot - tingling, numbness, aches, stabbing pains...good news is I'm on week 4 and most of that is gone. After having a too-tight splint put on in the ER, I was paranoid about having lots of swelling in my first hard calf, so they "bi-valved" it...after it was on, they cut it into a top and bottom half and used ace bandage to keep it on. I think that made a huge difference. Best of luck to you, and hang in there!!!

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  • Posted

    Yes, the first 3 weeks were the worst for me until I was off narcotics. I was a mess physically and emotionally. I’m now in week 11 and was just thinking that yes I survived it and being able to look back it really wasn’t that bad or as long as it felt when I was living through it. Mine was elective surgery but very necessary if I wanted to continue to walk. I’m walking around my house bootless and I think the surgery is going to make a big difference. I’ve got lots more to go but definitely seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there and be good to yourself! Spoil yourself! You deserve it!
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  • Posted

    I feel and felt all that you are saying. Every bit . I'm in a boot now and my ankle rubs it . Ouch. I am 11 weeks out of broken tib and fib. 

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