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Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic

Do you have pain after foot and ankle or knee surgery?

Comments (5)

One major cause of complications after surgery in the lower extremity is nerve entrapment (nerve compression) in or near the scar. This can be the cause of much frustration for the doctor and especially the patient. Some typical examples we see every week are: pain in the ball of the foot after neuroma surgery or pain radiating down the leg to the foot after knee surgery, or persistent heel pain even after plantar fascia surgery. Lateral ankle surgery can be a problem as well. Nerves are very touchy and a perfect surgery can result in nerve irritation that feels just miserable. 

Nerve Pain

How is nerve pain diagnosed after surgery?  What does it feel like?   

The pain starts fairly quickly after surgery and feels differently than the pain before the surgery. Most often it is a burning or tingling pain. A good clinical exam will identify the level of the problem.  Usually the nerve lesion area is very sensitive to the touch and causes pain to radiate either up or down the leg or foot.  Sometimes there is loss of sensation.  Sometimes the skin looks different.  

What can be done? 

That depends on the nature of the injury and the length of time since the injury.  Sometimes (especially after knee surgery) the fix is simple.  Just take pressure off the nerve it usually heals quickly without much interruption in your life.   In the case of neuromas that have been taken out and come back or still hurt this can be treated with a “mini-neurectomy”.  This is really rewarding to do because the incision is so small the patient can walk out and take the dressing off in one day and return to normal shoes with a band-aid.

In the cases of nerve damage sometimes the nerve needs wrapped with something to keep it protected from scar tissue.  There have been remarkable improvements in nerve repair and now with microsurgical techniques and instruments and innovative products the success of these surgeries is becoming much more favorable.

So if you have chronic pain after a surgery or injury that is affecting your feet please give us a chance to help.

5 Comments:
I had knee surgery 5 days ago, obviously swelling and bruising normal, I'm walking fine with 1 or 2 sticks, my ankle is very clicks and feels like a bad sprain more than just swellings have had problems in the past with bad ankle sprains and wondered if the previous damage as been disturbed and causing the pain, feels different than the knee joint pain..Do I need to strap my ankle up and treat as a sprain, or am I just confusing things? I was awake all through surgery with a spinal injection and no sedative was aware of how much my limbs were being tugged, pain free of course. The best thing that seems to of happened is that 30+ years of back pain has disappeared over the moon. Will this eventually wear off? If so could I have injections for my back in the future? Thank you
Posted by Michelle on July 8, 2018 at 09:42 AM
I had a partial knee replacement about five years ago. Shortly after that I developed a pain in my foot. I recently went to a podiatrist and he informed me that I have plantar fasciitis. Is it possible that this foot pain is from my PKR?
Posted by Paz Martinez on June 20, 2018 at 12:09 PM
Dear Sir, I had knee joint surgery on 2 March 2018 . After the surgery my ankle joint is burning & jam, little finger movement is there. Joint is moving it is paining please help me. Regards Manoj patil
Posted by Manoj patil on April 26, 2018 at 11:38 AM
Hello in 2015 i was hit by a car while crossing the street. I got hit on the left side of my body which end up to me receiving a fracture ankle which i had stainless steel put in on both side of my left ankle, torn three ligaments in my knee ACL, MCL, and LCL. Fracture my inferior pubic ramus. I recently had surgery to repair my ACL March 14, 2017 and had the stainless steel removed from my ankle in August 18, 2017 due to not being able to walk comfortably without feeling pain on the left side of my ankle. During surgery the doctor notice that the pin had damaged my tendon, the pin kept pinching it. I've had my boot on my foot since then but i still feel pain, discomfort, still swollen on the top of my foot and around my ankle. Part of the knee feels numb. I am not sure of what help you can do or suggest but anything can help me in a huge way. Thank you
Posted by briana parker on January 4, 2018 at 03:06 PM
I have idiopathic neuropathy from being an alcoholic I've been sober now for 1 year six months my feet are constant pain burning electrical shooting pains I've had tarsal tunnel surgery on my left ankle with no results I have taken Gabapentin Lyrica Savella ampatriptyline Percocet B12 shots folic acid Physical Therapy that involved infrared light heat something or another. I am currently taking 300 mg a day of Lyrica and two Percocets 7.5 I am still in excruciating pain every single dam day please help sincerely Jason Hubbard
Posted by Jason H Hubbard on November 21, 2017 at 01:48 AM

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