Painful numbness 1 week after ORIF surgery on ankle

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Hi, I had ORIF surgery on 8 June after a freak accident, I went from standing to sitting on the floor and in doing so caused a bimaleolar fracture of right ankle, shattered in 3 places! Doctor was quite shocked how much damage from such a simple act. In less that 12 hours I went down for surgery, 4 hours later with a plate and many pins I was into recovery. First 2 days were absolute agony, never felt pain like it and have had surgery many times before for other things.

I was discharged on 11 June, staying with family who have been great. Had a back slab cast which on 14 June felt like it was crushing my ankle, couldn’t ease the pain. Went to fracture clinic who changed cast for a synthetic one which is half the weight of the original and make moving around soooo much easier!! I’m keeping my leg elevated at all times, however, my foot and ankle go so numb it becomes painful. It feels like it’s a burning, intense, heavy pain and makes sleeping difficult. I wiggle and massage my toes but the 3 smallest just seem numb all the time. Lowering the foot to go to the toilet is quite possibly the most horrid thing ever, the pain and pressure almost becomes unbearable and I can’t wait to put it back up! There seems to be no happy medium?? I am taking paracetamol and codeine but doesn’t seem to do anything other than make me a bit tired. Is there a specific height I should be elevating my leg? I know they say above heart, just wondered if there’s such thing as too high? I seem stuck between horrible numb, burning pain when foot up and horrible intense pain when foot down!! I’m heading home today, going to learn to look after myself! Pretty good on crutches and have got a knee scooter on the way smile didn’t quite realise just how long the recovery is for this type of injury and just how much independence you lose. Positivity is key I suppose!

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  • Posted

    I feel your pain I also broke my ankle while where I thought it was three different places but it was too for multiple cracks here and there my bottom of ankle but doctor said it was pretty messed up he showed me the X-ray I have to Long plates in front of my lower leg and front of my lower leg and seems like 50 long screws in them and I did have a sharp ignore Miss bothering painful pain yesterday it's just like nothing work. I also try to rub my toes but it was so numb I did get my fingers in the bandage and revvl little bit all my top of my foot it didn't help but it don't hurt to rub a little bit it went on for 2 hours and finally my orthopedic surgeon came in and I told him about it and he jumped me up on my medication and the New York Minute when it came back with the morphine shot that pain was gone for the rest of the day but I also are going home to today he told me I do construction so I'll be out 4 to 5 months that is crazy I got a family to go they're going to take care of me but I got three boys at the house and three boys at the house summer time they fight with each other and it's going to be one Wild Ride the summer over there but anyway like I said just do what the doctor said do keep your ankle elevated at all times it keeps a swollen down and a better recovery I'm going to see if I can add ice to it time to time to help the process of the healing but good looking on your injury and hope everything goes well

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  • Posted

    Ouch we know your pain.I took narco and percocet for the pain. One pillow was best for me when elevating on bed. When sitting on couch had a shower chair and pillow to prop my injured leg on. The bed and couch were adjacent to one another. The pain you are experiencing while lowering your leg is the blood rushing down there is quite intense. It lasted for three weeks. Hope you have someone to help. Hang in there it gets better with time.
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  • Posted

    Almost exactly 3 months ago I had almost the same fracture with the same kind of operation as you had. Today I walked almost without.limping and my pre-accident speed for just over 2 miles. This was the longest distance since I came out ofbthe air boot in the first half of May. I am not fully recovered and some of screws are to be removed soon. I hope to be able to walk in the mountains in the autumn!

    After the surgery I had pain, numbness and all nasty sensations that you are experiencing. It all gets better but I agree that lack of mobility for weeks is depressing. For weeks I almost stopped believing in recovery. But like me you WILL get better but be patient and keep wiggling your toes. All.the best.

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    • Posted

      Thank you all for your replies smile I’m back home and coping better than I thought I would. I have my 18 year old son running round after me and my partner is back from working away in a weeks time. I could cope if it were just pain that could be dealt with by taking painkillers but it’s this horrible numbness that I can’t get rid of that’s driving me mad! I’ve had many pelvic surgeries including a hysterectomy 2 years ago but nothing compares to the pain and complete hopelessness I feel at the moment. I know it will get better in time so just have to keep my focus on that and hope for a straightforward (as possible) recovery. I guess I will know more at my 2 week check next Friday, fingers crossed! Good luck to all of you in the same or similar position. 
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