Pain discomfort whilst in cast

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Hi, Just a quick question. I'm three weeks PS for Trimalleolar and ligament fracture (ORIF). I'm week one of having full cast on toes to knee. 

Is it normal for the cast to feel very very hard inside and against your ankle? whenever I move my leg the cast feels like it is rubbing against wounds although they have dressings on them. I know it's normal for the leg still to swell when I put my foot down and toes to turn purple but the constant ache and stabbing is driving me nuts.

😞😞😞

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi. Yes, it's pretty normal. I have one spot on my ankle where it feels like someone occasionally walks by and stabs me with a fork.

    I found elevating and ice packs directly on that area gave me relief.

    But, a few people on here had to go back in and have their casts redone, due to pain.

    If it's really bad, call your doc and see if it needs a redo. This injury is painful enough.

    Best of luck to you. 😀

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    • Posted

      The hospital in Arizona, (I live in California but fell on Arizona), sent me home with three HUGE ice packs. I can feel the cold after about 5 minutes of placing one of them across my leg. Cast and all. 😀

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    • Posted

      Thanks It works! I didn't use for the last 10 weeks, may be a reason my broken ankle healing so slow. How often do you use? i put on for 20 minutes until the ice pak is not cold any more.

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    • Posted

      That's great news! Yes, I would use it for about 20-30 minutes. Take an hour break then do it again.

      When I was three weeks in the cast I would try to do too much. My leg would swell. So uncomfortable. I'd elevate and ice immediately. Wow. Quick relief!

      Happy you're getting relief too.

      😀😀😀😀😀

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    • Posted

      Did you use in the middle of night as well? I often got awaken from the ankle swelling and pain every few hours at night.
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    • Posted

      I did for the first 5 weeks. Sleeping was the most difficult for me. My ankle would spasm and "jump" which hurt like crazy. If I had the ice pack on, it sort of weighted my leg down. It also helped to take half of a Norco.

      I know the docs don't want us to take pain meds to sleep but I was going nuts.

      It's much better now.

      Ice is always such a relief.

      My heart goes out to you.

      Take care. 💖

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  • Posted

    I had a similar feeling with my cast, I went back to the hospital who changed the cast as apparently the swelling on my ankle had reduced which meant the cast didn't fit properly anymore.

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  • Posted

    I had a different surgery (peroneal tendon repair) but the same issue as far as some cast pain.  At the incision, it felt like the cast was rubbing my skin raw, kind of like when you get a blister on your heel.  And I was non-weight bearing while in the cast, so it was all about how I rested my leg on the pillows (I learned quickly to turn my leg to the side so the cast didn't touch the incision).  It didn't really bother me until about 3 days before I was to see the doctor and have the cast removed, so I didn't bother calling him. Had it felt this way a week earlier or if I'd had the stabbing pains you have, I would have called the doctor and had the cast changed.  This was absolutely the only pain I had during this entire process, so I can't complain. (I was certain that when they took that cast off we'd find my ankle to be a raw and bloody mess.  Hmmm . . . nope, looked just fine, go figure!)   But your surgery is much more seriouls and you're doing a lot more time in the cast, so you need to be more comfortable.  I'd call the doctor and see what's best.  I've read a lot on this site and heard a lot of people say they have had to get new casts put on . . . maybe that's your answer as well.  Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Hi Hazel

    Please be aware of compartment syndrome. This is what I suffered after my cast was fitted.

    The swelling in my foot had continued after the cast had been fitted and at first it seemed ok but after 5 days the pain in my foot was unbearable and went back to a&e to have the cast split. The day after I went to the orthopedic clinic and they decided to operate on my leg.

    After the operation they put me in a boot which was so much better.

    Rubbing however also happens which could be due to the swelling going down and there's too much room in the cast. Either way if the pain is unbearable then seek medical advise.

    Hope this helps and that you get this resolved ??

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  • Posted

    I feel for you as I had a non-weight bearing cast on for 12 weeks.  It was so tight and uncomfortable that at night especially I had to sleep a certain way to get some relief so I could sleep.  My cast was changed 3 times to make sure it was 'tight enough'.  When the cast did come off I noticed some broken blood vessels around the inside of my ankle and a pressure spot that had turned a blackish colour.  Thankfully the pressure spot went back to normal eventually but the little red blood vessels will always be visible.  I was told that the cast had to be very tight as to make sure everything stayed in place to allow proper healing.  I don't have much advice except to keep the leg elevated and iced as much as possible and if you can, take anti-inflammatories to help with the healing.  Best wishes to you!

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for your responses, it is good hear from people who have actually experienced similar. Had cast redone yesterday unfortunately still feels very uncomfortable, but the wound is still not healing so I think that doesn't help either. Hey ho time is the great healer or so they say 😬😉

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  • Posted

    Iโ€™m so happy to have found this. I just broke my ankle fibula break this Monday and got my hard cast yesterday. I have been keeping my foot elevated as much as I can but when I put my foot down to crutch my way around it feels like the whole casts weight is placed on my ankle bone. My toes turn purple even though I am wiggling them after a few minutes the pain eases but I can sure still feel it. I was starting to think I needed to go back and get the cast checked but after reading this I see it sounds normal. My ankle if seriously still swolllen and my husband says itโ€™s part of the blood rushing back into the foot and toes after being elevated for so long. Why do the cast have to weigh a bloody ton. Lol.ย 
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    • Posted

      Hi

      I broke my fib Weber b last Wednesday. Just had the operation with plate on Monday, out Tuesday after collecting the pain killers and blood thinners. Sat on the sofa which has become my home. I have decided today to only take the dihydrocodeine given, as a last resort and just keep with good old paracetamol. Two weeks til the stitches can come out and six weeks till weight bearing allowed

      Meanwhile just the cast which for some reason does feel tighter in the evening even though I keep it elevated. Do you know why by any chance

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear that, I am now 4 weeks into it, went to the dr the other day and am going in for a cast change and xrays to see how mines healing at some point this week.  I to find that mine gets warmer at night and seems to fit tighter. I think its because our bodies are more relaxed. Not sure? The couch has become my second home apart from my bed ... I am at the point now where I borrowed a walker and I can sitting on it to be able to do a few things in the kitchen. One month of couch surfing can get taxing on a person. I was given Tramadol for the pain and I have gone to only 1 at night unless I need 2. I was told 6-8 weeks also in a cast, I never had to have surgery and I am grateful for that. I have been working my toes around as so they don't stiffen up to much. I have also found a way to massage my foot as much as I can to keep it from going all tingly with nerve damage.  I can't wait to be able to walk again but also scared after not walking for so long. Good luck with your healing. 

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