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Old 09-07-2004, 02:08 AM   #1
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3 months post-op, foot turning purple!

Hi,

I had surgery on May 25th that consisted of about four different procedures, a few fusions, some rebuilding of bones, and a tendon lengthening.

Anyway...I went to the doctor on August 23rd and he said everything looked great. I was told that I could be 100% weightbearing from then on and start getting back into regular shoes. (Heh, easier said than done.)

I started PT roughly 2 weeks ago. I'm making good progress so far as far as range of motion and strength go. They haven't been focusing on weightbearing so much. I was just told to shift my weight from one foot to the other, which I can do only on carpeted surfaces.

My problem: My foot turns purple when I put weight on it while I'm standing up. It first turns red and then proceeds to turn a nasty blue/gray/purple color. This discoloration involves the entire foot and goes up to a very specific area on the ankle. It almost looks like I'm wearing a bluey/grayish/purple ankle sock.

My mom is very concerned. She wanted me to call the doctor yesterday, but I haven't. I go to PT on Wednesday and I told her I'd ask the therapist about it.

I'm not entirely certain how long this has been going on for because I've only really been putting more weight on it recently.

It's relieved by taking weight off of it. It's even better if I can elevate it.

So, any opinions? Should I bother my doctor about this or just see if it resolves by itself?

TIA...
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Old 09-07-2004, 05:49 AM   #2
eko eko is offline
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Re: 3 months post-op, foot turning purple!

I'd give the Dr.'s office a call and talk about it. Sounds like there may a circulatory problem when your foot has weight on it. What do you have to lose with just a phone call!
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Old 09-07-2004, 02:31 PM   #3
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Re: 3 months post-op, foot turning purple!

I don't mean to scare you, but you really need to see the Dr. I had bunionectomy on 3/23/04, after 4 1/2 months of a lot of pain and my foot turning red then purple just as yours, I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I had all the classic signs of this disease and my Dr. and Physical Therapist missed it. Just having foot turn purple does not mean you have it, but Poor circulation is not a good sign this far after surgery. Please pursue this until you get good answers. I am now seeing three specialists for this condition in hopes to contain it from spreading. Early interevention is a must. My best to you and please keep us up to date...Beth

 
Old 09-11-2004, 01:08 AM   #4
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Re: 3 months post-op, foot turning purple!

Thank you both for your help. I did call the doctor's office and the triage nurse was less than friendly and concerned. She put a note in for the doctor and told me she'd get back to me.

I called on Wednesday and come Friday, no call, so I called back. The nurse claimed she did call and leave a message (if she did, I didn't hear it).

I actually called to schedule an appointment because my other physical therapist got to see the amazing technicolor foot and he said he's never seen anything that looks like that before and it looked like circulation was being cut off at some point. He told me to take it easy and call the doctor again.

So that's what I did...and am continuing to do (the take it easy part). I called back (still Friday) and the nurse claimed that she called and told me that the doctor said it was "normal bruising" and that I would have more pain because of my increased weightbearing status. They told me that if it's still doing it on Monday to call and they'd try to "fit me in".

I feel like I was given the royal blow-off. They didn't even look at the foot and he thinks he knows what's going on?! Doesn't make sense to either me or my mom, who's really very concerned now.

So, those of you who've had "normal bruising", I'm 3 months out now and the foot turns bright red, then purple, then bluish-grayish-purple if I stand up or put weight on it for too long and I have increased pain over the whole bottom of the foot. When it originally started (a week ago today), it only involved the foot itself. Now, the discoloration is creeping up the calf.

Does this sound like "normal bruising"? This is my first experience (and hopefully my last) with foot surgery, so I don't know what to expect or when to expect it.

Also, they told me to call back on Monday if it's still doing it. Do you think Monday is a long enough time to wait for improvement? I'd feel pretty stupid if I called on Monday, got an appointment for a few days later, and it magically improved or got completely better by then. This tends to be my luck, though. I get weird happenings and then they won't demonstrate themselves for the doctor.

Why do I feel bad about this? Bothering the doctor, I mean. Mom says I'm just asking them to do their job, but I feel guilty about being a bothersome patient, especially since I've done really well up until this point. They're not doing much to make me feel better about my situation, either.

I'm wondering if it's actually the doctor who's trying to make me feel blown off or if it's the nurse.

Anyway...

TIA for any advice and/or encouragement. It's always greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:18 PM   #5
eko eko is offline
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Re: 3 months post-op, foot turning purple!

Keep in mind that you are the patient, the doctor and nurse are not suffering with a purple foot, you are. Be persistant until it gets looked at. If it continues to happen and even worsen over the weekend, call first thing Monday and get in there. Trust your instincts that something is wrong. Sometimes doctors and nurses get a little insensitive, but it is their job to take care of you the patient. I can't imagine what kind of bruising you'd get three months post-op. Let us know what they have to say. Good Luck! -eko
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