Is two minutes of numbness in the toes of right foot sign of stroke?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 22, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Is 2 minutes numbness on the toes of right foot sign of stroke? What must someone going through this do?


Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

It is hard to say with certainty what this episode represented. It is true that a stroke (or in this case, it would be better defined as a TIA - Transient Ischemic Attack - since it lasted less than 24 hours) can cause numbness to the toes, but that would be a bit unusual. Symptoms of TIA usually last at least 20 minutes. 2 minutes seems very brief, and may indicate that this was caused by pinched nerves or poor circulation in the leg rather than TIA.

One major symptom of importance would be whether or not there was any pain, tingling, or burning with the numbness. If there was, the symptoms were unlikely due to a TIA.

I would set up an appointment with your doctor, so the symptoms can be thoroughly described and you can be examined.

Again, chances are this was not a TIA (stroke lasting less than 24 hours), but it is best to get evaluated by your physician to make sure.