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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

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My foot was casted for 10 weeks. When I first washed it (soaked the goop off for a long time) it turned quite purple and continued to be purple in the shower for a while. I had 2 minor, stage 1 pressure sores on my heel from the surgical cast and they were healed by then but that area especially was purple in hot water for quite some time. It seemed to gradually get better.

Stretching very gently and only in approved directions made a huge difference in pain and ability to walk for me. I stretched as much per day as I could and as it helped the scar tissue loosen up my foot felt better. I still stretch at least daily, often more often. I have even gotten in the habit so much that I will stretch it when I'm sitting around talking to people without even realizing what I'm doing. It is still not happy to be in one position for too long so I try to make sure that if it is, like if I'm driving, that I stretch as soon as I can to keep it comfortable.
The nerve pain stuff is so hard to deal with because it is so random. At one point I was stretching my foot (I wound up doing a lot of thing because I had a lot of scar tissue around my arch and across the forefoot, I think from the position I was casted it) and felt the scar tissue tear loose a bit. My foot immediately turned bright red and strarted burning. About 30 seconds later the redness and burning stopped. Apparently I had a nerve trapped in the scar tissue and when the scar tissue loosened up the nerve reacted. It was bizarre.

That and my difficult putting weight on my heel when I first was allowed to were the only serious nerve pain I had. I didn't have as much as a lot of people, I suspect related to the 10 weeks in a cast. I still have places the sensation is weird around my incision and one day I stepped on something that triggered some nerve weirdness. Instead of just feeling like "ouch, I stepped on something with edges" it was was more like "I stepped on that and it burned and I know that wasn't quite right". That happened just in the last month or two so obviously the nerves haven't quite decided that they are calm again.

The sores I had were covered with a lot of extra padding through all the hard casts and by the end were just kind of bruised looking with some loose skin around each one. I didn't do anything (aside from making sure they remembered to pad the casts) and it's fine now. But I didn't have surgery on the heel itself and I'm sure that makes it much worse. In fact after fighting with my heel and its' lack of interest in weightbearing I am pretty glad that wasn't really affected much because it is a lot easier to accidentally avoid using the heel completely because it doesn't feel good than it is the lateral ankle/foot (since it's easier to walk on your toes than the inside of your foot).

Just go slow. And if my dr said PT wasn't needed I think I'd push for it. I know I would in fact. It helps to have someone else push a little when your body is trying to avoid pain, it helps to make the "new foot" feel normal, they can make sure you are walking correctly which you can't and it's just easier to gain stength if someone is giving you the exercises. No PT after any of these surgeries on this page seems like a bad idea. I don't know, I just know I was very grateful to my PTs all along the way and I don't think I would have healed as well without them.

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