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Big toe feels frozen and numb. Had a ankle replacement and got an infection, mobility is poor. Advise?

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my big toe is going black and feels frozen and numb i had a ankle replacement 2 years ago and got an infection and now my mobility is very poor
Posted Fri, 31 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 2 hours later

Thank you for the query.

Black toe which is cold and seems to be numb can be a very serious symptom. The main reason for our body to be warm is blood flow. When the blood flow is impeded or blocked, the part without blood flow gets cold. Such part usually gets pale, painful and paresthesia appears. If the blood flow blockage lasts long enough to damage nerves, pain and paresthesia goes away and numbness appears.

Black color of tissues usually indicates its necrosis. Sometimes it also appears due to bacterial infection.

The most probable reason of your symptoms is acute arteries occlusion due to blood clot. Please check your foot and compare it to the other one. If it is cold, the occlusion is above the foot (can be under the knee for example).

I suggest you to visit your doctor (or ER) right away. General surgeon (or vascular surgeon) should see your foot. Doppler ultrasound scan seems to be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Based on the findings management can be planned.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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