Foot neuropathy after total knee replacement

Posted by norby @norby, Nov 26, 2018

I had a right total knee replacement 10 weeks ago and came out of surgery with numbness and intermittent pain on the bottom of my right foot. However, I do have good motor function in that foot. The knee has been healing and with PT, movement is on track, but the foot is a major challenge. The foot pain at times is worse than any from the knee. I have been able to generally manage the foot pain with gabapentin. My surgeon believes this may resolve in time but may take from 6-12 months. However there is a possibility that it will never go away. Has anyone else experienced foot neuropathy following knee replacement? If so, what was your experience with it?

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@rah2435

OMG – I have pretty much the same condition. I had three operations to try to correct instability after TKR on my left foot The last one has left me with numbness and tingling in my left foot. Nerve conduction studies found nothing but MRI of my back shows shows that it's possibly coming from bulging disc or arthritis in my back. Surgeon sent me to pain management. Of course the X-ray of the knee looks good so the ortho see's no problems. But I suffer in a similar way as you. When I stand or walk I get numbness in my left foot and the knee still feels unstable. I'm trying PT for my quads and my back but nothing is working. It's been two year now! What to do…????

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I am suffering so much. Orthro
dr. Says nothing to do with knees.How can that be. Came on 3-4 months after first knee. Seemed to go away with PT ONLY TO COME BACK IN VENGEANCE after second knee 10 months later. I am 4 plus years into this and it is terrible. Had3 surgeries on inner ankle to release nerve but NOTHING has changed. I need HELP.

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I had my knee replacements 11 months apart in 2016;and 2017. I have had numb, tingly, burning in both feet since 2:weeks after my second knee. I had tarsal tunnel decompression in the worse foot 3;yes 3 times since with no relief. I am so sorry I didn’t just leave it be. My left foot is so bad from nerve damage from the surgeries. Nothing really helps in fact most topicals I try make the burning worse. I am on 1200 mg of gabapentin which I am trying to wean off. Side effects are terrible. Not in a good place but just glad I can walk. Feet are strong so far fingers crossed .

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@kp6350

I had my knee replacements 11 months apart in 2016;and 2017. I have had numb, tingly, burning in both feet since 2:weeks after my second knee. I had tarsal tunnel decompression in the worse foot 3;yes 3 times since with no relief. I am so sorry I didn’t just leave it be. My left foot is so bad from nerve damage from the surgeries. Nothing really helps in fact most topicals I try make the burning worse. I am on 1200 mg of gabapentin which I am trying to wean off. Side effects are terrible. Not in a good place but just glad I can walk. Feet are strong so far fingers crossed .

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One orthopedic surgeon prescribed Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel 1% that you rub in. It does give me some relief and does not burn. I know I tried some over the counter creams that burned. Good luck hope you get some relief.

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@loriaakre

One orthopedic surgeon prescribed Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel 1% that you rub in. It does give me some relief and does not burn. I know I tried some over the counter creams that burned. Good luck hope you get some relief.

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Thank you

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@contentandwell

@gator1965 Something is definitely not right for you to be in so much pain for so long. If I recall correctly, the cause of the problem the woman I knew who had pain for two years was that it was from something in the extensions being too long. I really do not remember clearly but I know it was something like that. She did some research and found a top orthopedic surgeon and he was able to fix it. The new surgeon took the knee replacement out and put a whole new one in and she was fine.
JK

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I am having the same problem as gator1965. I had a partial knee replacement in 2017. It never felt right. I was back to the Ortho several time. He did bone scans and felt it, jerked on it and said it was fine. I know something isn't right. It is crooked as could be. It is very obvious and now I have horrible neuropathy pain. The last time he seen me, he said to see a Psychiatrist. I felt awful and humiliated. I keep get prescribed Gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta, and many many others. Nothing helps. I am so miserable, and most other Ortho doctor's won't touch a partial. I am so sorry I ever got it done. I am 61, ride horses, hunt, etc. I can't hardly do anything anymore since the pain and my balance is so awful. The neuropathy has moved into both legs and even burns in my back. I really feel helpless and been to every kind of doctor there is. Kidney, Rheumatism, Blood/Cancer, Neurologist, etc. Same thing, more medications. Anyone else have anything similar happen?

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@winkulery

I am having the same problem as gator1965. I had a partial knee replacement in 2017. It never felt right. I was back to the Ortho several time. He did bone scans and felt it, jerked on it and said it was fine. I know something isn't right. It is crooked as could be. It is very obvious and now I have horrible neuropathy pain. The last time he seen me, he said to see a Psychiatrist. I felt awful and humiliated. I keep get prescribed Gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta, and many many others. Nothing helps. I am so miserable, and most other Ortho doctor's won't touch a partial. I am so sorry I ever got it done. I am 61, ride horses, hunt, etc. I can't hardly do anything anymore since the pain and my balance is so awful. The neuropathy has moved into both legs and even burns in my back. I really feel helpless and been to every kind of doctor there is. Kidney, Rheumatism, Blood/Cancer, Neurologist, etc. Same thing, more medications. Anyone else have anything similar happen?

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If it where me, I would have tried an inversion machine, I have one and it helps at times, compression in my lower back plays hell with not only my lower back pain but foot neuropathy and leg pain also. Horse riding may not be helpful. I use a real tight belt when when pain gets bad and it helps big time. I take no meds, never did never will, I am 74 and lifted heavy more then a human was supposed to I guess. I still get out and bird hunt but the pain now limits the durations.

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@navyqas

If it where me, I would have tried an inversion machine, I have one and it helps at times, compression in my lower back plays hell with not only my lower back pain but foot neuropathy and leg pain also. Horse riding may not be helpful. I use a real tight belt when when pain gets bad and it helps big time. I take no meds, never did never will, I am 74 and lifted heavy more then a human was supposed to I guess. I still get out and bird hunt but the pain now limits the durations.

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Horse riding is the only time I feel half way decent. It's more like standing with my back straight. Thanks, I will try the inversion machine. I hate meds. I also lifted lots of heavy things when I was younger too.

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@winkulery

Horse riding is the only time I feel half way decent. It's more like standing with my back straight. Thanks, I will try the inversion machine. I hate meds. I also lifted lots of heavy things when I was younger too.

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One more thing that helps and ALL the pain stops for me is a stationary recumbent bike, AT LEAST an hour a day watching TV. It dawned on me when you said horse riding brought you relief. Good luck

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@navyqas

One more thing that helps and ALL the pain stops for me is a stationary recumbent bike, AT LEAST an hour a day watching TV. It dawned on me when you said horse riding brought you relief. Good luck

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Please keep us posted how that works. Obviously in PA where I live, I can't ride horses every day.

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I had a 2nd total Knee replacement on May 10th 2021 due to the first replacement failing. On May 16 my foot began to swell and bruising appeared the following morning( see photos). Ever since my ankle and my foot have become an Issue with walking and doing my physical therapy. Its extremely painful and at nights I am unable to sleep due to so much pain. I elevate the foot 8 inches above my heart but the pain is a 9 or ten on the scale. I have been screaming out at night that I have to go to the emergency room due to the amount of pain IM experiencing. The following mornings the swelling subsides so i feel ok but as the day progresses the swelling returns and its back to extreme pain at night. today is four weeks since my replacement.

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@drbaisley

I had a 2nd total Knee replacement on May 10th 2021 due to the first replacement failing. On May 16 my foot began to swell and bruising appeared the following morning( see photos). Ever since my ankle and my foot have become an Issue with walking and doing my physical therapy. Its extremely painful and at nights I am unable to sleep due to so much pain. I elevate the foot 8 inches above my heart but the pain is a 9 or ten on the scale. I have been screaming out at night that I have to go to the emergency room due to the amount of pain IM experiencing. The following mornings the swelling subsides so i feel ok but as the day progresses the swelling returns and its back to extreme pain at night. today is four weeks since my replacement.

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Hello @drbaisley, Welcome to Connect, I'm sorry to hear about the foot swelling and pain after your knee replacement. I had my right knee replaced 2 years ago but have not experienced pain in the foot area like you have. I did find some information that seems to describe your symptoms after a total knee replacement.

A rare complication of total knee arthroplasty: Type l complex regional pain syndrome of the foot and ankle: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1017995X16301237

Have you discussed the pain and swelling of your foot with your surgeon or care team?

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@drbaisley

I had a 2nd total Knee replacement on May 10th 2021 due to the first replacement failing. On May 16 my foot began to swell and bruising appeared the following morning( see photos). Ever since my ankle and my foot have become an Issue with walking and doing my physical therapy. Its extremely painful and at nights I am unable to sleep due to so much pain. I elevate the foot 8 inches above my heart but the pain is a 9 or ten on the scale. I have been screaming out at night that I have to go to the emergency room due to the amount of pain IM experiencing. The following mornings the swelling subsides so i feel ok but as the day progresses the swelling returns and its back to extreme pain at night. today is four weeks since my replacement.

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More people need to know what damage they can do, I did not. 14 months with a numb foot, if anything it got worse, They will tell you it takes lots of time to get better, I do not believe them any longer. Life sentence numbness because why? sloppy work?

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