Sunday, November 13, 2011

Snowboarder vs. Neuropathy

The leg has healed enough to finally take my first shower without my right leg hanging out of the tub since August 15th.  While I was pumped to finally get this leg washed, there were some unfortunate consequences.


When I had my accident, my tibial nerve was severely damaged.  I lost all of the feeling in my toes, the bottom of my foot, and the medial side of my ankle.  After about eight months, the feeling returned.  But in the first few weeks of my accident, the neuropathy was terrible.  It felt like an electric shock in the toes and the bottom of my foot would feel like it was on fire.

Dr. Jeng warned me that distraction arthroplasty could re-injure the nerve.  It did -- I lost feeling in my heel and some parts of the bottom of my foot.

Feeling has come back, but it's still partially numb.  I suspect the shower removed a ton of dead skin and exposed some sensitive new skin on the bottom of my foot.  As the nerves heal, sensations like a breeze or touch register as pain.  It's awesome.  And I imagine it's a million times worse than this when you get an amputation.

There are a number of ways to treat neuropathy, but from what I understand, most of the treatments don't stop the pain.

I think our best option is to desensitize the skin on the foot using things like capsaicin and a tennis ball.  There's not much else you can do but grin and bear it.


  1. Tony, be patient. If your foot still has some inflammation it is probably amplifying the discomfort/pain. For what I understand it is trasient and will improve as you said it happened before. I damaged my saphenous nerve with my ankle injury, so everytime I put my foot on the floor felt like I was walking barefoot on broken glass. After all these 4 months it has improved, with some residual pain in the heel and the arch. I mentioned it to my OS and he stared at me like I was talking sankrit, but then said it will go away eventually as I used the foot more. I am sure that if I mention it again provided I am elegible for distraction he will give that look one more time. BTW, that picture of the "retrovirus" feet with the pins is really cool. Carlos

  2. Forgot to ask you how does the foot smell now. No more excuses for daily soaping and rinsing. Carlos

  3. If it ain't one thing it's your mother. Lyrica works great for nerve pain. Love U, Mom

  4. nice to read.