Numbness of toes after ankle fracture surgery

Posted , 43 users are following.

Hi everybody, great forum! I am 51, broke my left ankle on a hiking trip on Friday, had a surgery on Sunday night.

Generally things are getting better : much less pain, can wiggle my toes, but there is a persistent numbness on top side of big toe and  second toe.

Looks like it might be some post-op nerve damage, because it is not getting worse and does not affect the mobility of toes. Decided not to go to emerg, that would mean sitting there for 6 hours before any doc will come to  see me. But if it would become worse, then I would go.

Also : feeling very unsafe with crutches, in particular when home alone. Using a portable wheelchair instead for the trips to the bathroom, getting food from the kitchen, etc.

Any thouhgts or advises on all this?

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  • Posted

    Hi.

    I'm 8 months post op and still have numbness on my foot and ankle.

    Gee I feel for you helping yourself so early on. I've heard the scooter is very good for getting around. Hope you have family and friends to help you out 🙂

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      I do have people to help me, but the loss of independence made me feel terrible, and it was so sudden! I think many people are struggling with the same issue after a limb fracture...It is more of a psychological problem to ask for help even with small things... Now after my pain is under the control and I am okay with using a wheelchair for couple of weeks I can start planning my activities at home waiting for that two weeks follow up appointment with the doctor. Good idea do use a scooter.

      Thank you for the reply, I wonder how long it was before you started to walk post-op? I have fractures on both sides of my ankle, don't even know what bones are involved exactly.

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    • Posted

      Hi Olga. I was post op 5 months before I walked unaided.

      I broke tibia, fibula and inner ankle bone with dislocation but it was very complacated as my bones are bad quality and my ankle smashed. I have 2 plates with screws in tibia and fibula and 2 long screws in the inner ankle break and the surgeon told me I am the worse end of the spectrum of ankle breaks. I have pain and can't walk far. The inner ankle bone hasn't healed yet and it's no longer the normal shape. You will get there Olga and I do wish you the very best 🙂

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    • Posted

      Hey I broke my ankle 3 days ago slipping on wet floor, the X-Ray wasn't very good as there was so much swelling so need to go back to find out exactly what I've broke and if I will need surgery! 

      Was extremelly painful as soon as I had done it but after 2 hours or so the pain reduced, with the help of gas and air. 

      However now my leg feels like it's swelling inside the cast and three of my toes are numb don't know if anyone could help me with whats going on.

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  • Posted

    Hello

    your early days, I think this is very normal. If crutches don't work you use whatever works for you, there are no rules. Some use chair, knee scooter, walker or Combo for all three - just take good care and don't rush, it's not worth an added injury.  I'm not having much luck with crutches so use walker and chair.  Works for me. Happy healing 👣

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    • Posted

      Thank you! The main thing with crutches that I was afraid to have another fall and a subsequent injury...the wheelchair is working great so far 
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    • Posted

      I only used a wheel chair for the first 2-3 weeks (great place to start), then healed a little and got used to the knee scooter and fell in love with it. I finally got used to the crutches, but only after being forced to use them 7 weeks later, due to having to do WB walking. I remember early on that any bumps I would go over, in the car, scooter or wheelchair would hurt a lot...that gets much better with time. Seems like forever ago, even though it's only been 2-1/2 months.
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  • Posted

    Hi Olga! Welcome to the group. Where are you from? I'm from California in the US. Everything you said sounds very normal to me. Are you in a cast? Keep wiggling your toes to get the blood flowing to them, and also to heal the area, and keep them moving so they don't freeze up too much more. Massage them as much as you can. I'm 10 weeks out (had 7 in a cast) and the numbness is still there and on the top of my foot, but getting better daily with massage with Christopher's Tissue and Bone ointment (has comfrey in it). Do warm water soaks with Epsom salt (once out of the cast and after your incision, if you have one, is thoroughly healed), and lots of elevation and ice. Pile a bunch of pillows up so you can keep your leg elevated while you sleep. Learn to sleep on your back. You will get used to sleeping this way; but it can take a little while. As you have probably heard in real estate it's all about location, location, location...well now it is all about elevation, elevation, elevation. Don't worry..if you forget, your foot will remind you, I promise. Remember...this is temporary and you will get better, but you have to be patient and not mind at home when people help you..it's very hard for active and independent people! Eat as healthy as possible. Look up foods that promote bone growth in your body. Keep your upper body moving with exercises. I am convinced it is making all the difference in helping to make me heal faster, to get the blood and oxygen pumping through my body. When you get to the third week and you feel like you are going a bit stir crazy, don't worry...talk to us. You'll love this site for info and support. I agree with Ms. Camboot- it's all about the knee scooter (get one as soon as possible). I also got a basket and cup holder and it has made all the difference for me. Regarding the crutches, see if you can get gel pad covers, because they can really hurt the palms of your hands at first. There are some videos on you tube to help you figure out how to use the crutches. Later when you can bear weight on the leg, you will need to pull them back out and use them. Hopefully it was not your right foot, so you can drive. If you can, be sure to get a temporary disability plaque so you can park in handicapped parking, if you are in the states. Hang in there!
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    • Posted

      Thanks a lot, I feel so much supported by your advise! 

      I am in Canada, Vancouver area. The whole event was quite dramatic : I slipped and fell going down a mountain trail and was rescued by a helicopter...Mentioning this because I feel like only now coming back to my senses. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Olga

      im from Vancouver, we moved recently in past few years to West Kootenay. At least your injury was eventful, I slipped in shower....haha   Take good care 👣

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    • Posted

      Snap Olga!

      That's how I too was injured and I too was airlifted by helicopter to the trauma unit in Sheffield. U.K. I was on holiday over there, although I'm a Pom. I live in Australia 🙂

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    • Posted

      I went on a day trip with a group,  it was not too far from vancouver but quite a steep trail. When the injury happened it was still 1,5 hours to the trailhead, ambulance couldn't do it so mountain rescue came with a helicopter. I actually was outside in a sling, short ride down but very spectacular. The guys who were helping me were awesome, great job!

      UK is great, never been there but it is on my wish list.

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    • Posted

      Hi Olga.

      You story is like mine. Well, we have more in common lol. I was so thankful for the mountain rescue team, very dedicated team.

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    • Posted

      Hi Olga,

      I'm in Halifax in Nova Scotia!

      The numbness is normal. I broke 3 bones in my left ankle and dislocated it and had surgery the next morning. The entire left side of my foot on the side is numb all the way to my ankle it tingles a lot so I know that it will eventually get better.

      Keep elevating and ice. It will help tremendously! Good luck hun!

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