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Broken leg: all healed, but now have strange big-toe problems while climbing
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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
Dec 31, 2013

I broke my right fibula about four months ago. The doctor put some steel screws in, a plate, a Kevlar band, and then sewed me up. My leg is now pretty much healed. I have ran numerous 5ks without any pain. However, every time I try to bend my right big toe (Hallux) down, I get some pain, and the toe has limited downward mobility. Normally this does not affect me whatsoever—until I climb. After two climbs, I experience constant pain in on my toe while I am climbing, and the pain increases as the load on my big toe increases. It feels just like an ingrown toenail pressing into the corner of my skin skin, except that I dont have an ingrown toenail.

This condition has been rather confusing to me because I did not injure my large toe in the accident, and my other four toes can move freely in any direction without problem. I started PT about 1.5 months ago and I have since completed my PT program, but the toe does not seem to be any better. Any suggestions before I see the doc?


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By Pete Spri
Dec 31, 2013

How did you break you fib? Fall? Could you have hurt your back during the same accident?


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By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Dec 31, 2013

While in a cast you did not use your foot normally. Thus there was atrophy. Gotta get it working again.


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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
Dec 31, 2013

Pete Spri wrote:
How did you break you fib? Fall? Could you have hurt your back during the same accident?

I slid down a steep embankment/ cliff 25' onto a rock. My leg was pretty messed up. The foot was twisted almost completely sideways. I did not injure my back in the fall though, and I did not injure my toe.


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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
Dec 31, 2013

Allen Sanderson wrote:
While in a cast you did not use your foot normally. Thus there was atrophy. Gotta get it working again.

That is what I figured. I am just a bit confused as to why the other toes would remain completely functional if that was the case.


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By Buff Johnson
Dec 31, 2013
smiley face

possibly deep peroneal nerve still needs to recover.

sorry to hear, that sucks, but at least it keeps you playing on the Proj.

HNY


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By ErikaNW
Jan 1, 2014
Rapping off the Matron October, 2010

+1for deep peroneal nerve - innervates the big toe and it makes sense with a fibular fracture. You must have had quite a bit of soft tissue damage and some scarring as well that could be affecting the nerve. Pain that feels like an ingrown toenail but when you look and it's fine could definitely be nerve pain. You might consider trying some peroneal nerve glides (there are videos on line or ask your PT) - just don't overdo it as you can really piss the nerve off easily with these. Start with 3-5 reps only - take the movement just until you feel symptoms then back off, symptoms should go away completely in between each rep. Good luck!


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By crankenstein
Jan 1, 2014

Sure sounds like nerve damage. I have had some in both feet from ankle surgeries. They both got better over time and especially seemed better after some months of strengthening. Good luck with that.


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By Peter D.
Jan 1, 2014

In addition to what Erika said I would look for a PT or massage therapist that does myofascial release, with the hardware surgery etc, you have a lot of scar tissue in that area that needs to be addressed. You can self treat by resting your lower leg ( outside) on a tennis ball, find the tight spot(s) and stay there for at least 2 minutes on each point then move to the next one. You also want your PT to check how freely the fibular head moves, this is about 2 " below the knee joint line, often after surgery, plating, casting etc the fibula gets stuck which affects the nerves muscle and everything in between. Where you in a walking boot? Often times this will throw the pelvis out of alignment, one hip is higher then the other, this puts adverse tension on the SI joint and lumbar spine. So just because its your big toe you need to have the entire kinetic chain assessed.

Google JFB MFR on this website you can search for a therapist in your area. Hope this helps, HNY.


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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
Jan 3, 2014

Good info. Thanks for the advice everyone.


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