Ask The Experts

I had an ankle and fibula fracture with a syndesmotic ligament rupture which required surgery where metal hardware was placed. Since, I have extreme pain on top and bottom of my foot, where the foot meets the toes, at the 4th and 5th toes. In the 4th toe, I also experience a scalded like sensation upon touch and pins and needles sensation as if it's going to sleep frequently. The pain is constant but intensifies upon prolonged standing, walking, or activity of any kind. My orthopedic has x-rayed and says there is no stress fracture. He recently injected steroids in the painful area, however, that did not change the symptoms in any way. What could this be? Is this serious? Should I seek a second opinion? Should I see a foot doctor instead of my orthopedic surgeon?

Thank you for contacting IPFH. We do not diagnose or give medical advice on line. It sounds like you incurred a serious injury, and your inclination to get a second opinion and/or to see a specialist is probably a good thing. Consulting a specialist medical practitioner or pursuing a second opinion in cases that are difficult to resolve can be an effective approach. Based on the symptoms you describe, there may also be something going on with the nerves in your foot (several of the primary nerves pass through the ankle area and terminate in the area of the toes). Therefore you may want to include a consultation with a neurologist, especially given that imaging appears to have eliminated the possibility of other fractures in the area. Your best course of action would be to talk to your orthopaedic surgeon and tell him that the measures taken to this point have not provided you relief, and ask him if he could refer you to a neurological or foot specialist for a consultation. Often, diagnosis of a condition is the most challenging aspect, and until it can be determined what is causing the pain and the symptoms you describe, it is difficult to recommend an effective treatment regimen. We are sorry to hear that you are experiencing this pain and discomfort. We hope you will talk with your orthopaedic surgeon about seeing a specialist, and that you will soon be on the road to a complete and pain-free recovery.

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