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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@b42

8 weeks after my TKR both feet are so painful i can’t stand or walk

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What should I do

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@b42

What should I do

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Good evening @b42 and a hearty welcome to Connect. I am so sorry to read your post about your feet. Have you been diagnosed with any other conditions that have body sensations? I did not have this problem after my TKR and I have another TKR in a couple of weeks. So, my dear, I am very interested in your unwelcome situation.

It would be great if you could tell us more and whether you have related your symptoms to your surgeon. In the meantime, the best treatment I can recommend is MFR, Myofascial Release therapy. Twice a week I have the therapist work on my feet to get feeling back into them that is not pain or numbness.

If I did not do the MFR, I would not be walking or driving. So, even though you have not been diagnosed with any form of neuropathy…..these symptoms are certainly present.

If you can, please try a Yoga pose called "Legs up the Wall". You can find good explanations on Youtube. I do that at least once a day if not more. When you are in that position, flip your feet back and forth if you can. And then turn your ankles round and round.

Please let me know if this helps. Are you already scheduled for exercise with a PT?

May you be free, safe, and protected from inner and outer harm.
Chris

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Thanks so much Chris for your encouragement and helpful ideas. No I have not been diagnosed yet since this just started three days ago. I have an appointment Monday with my doctor. So I have a list of questions for him. I’m scheduled for my right knee TKR in two weeks so I don’t know if I should postpone it until I get some answers about my feet! What is your advice please?

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@b42

Thanks so much Chris for your encouragement and helpful ideas. No I have not been diagnosed yet since this just started three days ago. I have an appointment Monday with my doctor. So I have a list of questions for him. I’m scheduled for my right knee TKR in two weeks so I don’t know if I should postpone it until I get some answers about my feet! What is your advice please?

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Good morning @b42. I am happy to see that you have an appointment with your doctor. Is this your neurologist or orthopedic surgeon? My advice is to attempt to have a shared decision session with your clinician. This should be an environment where you can talk about your concerns and current symptoms. How are you getting around if you can not walk or stand? Are you in a wheelchair?

If it were me sitting there I would want a diagnosis and prognosis before surrendering my body for more surgery. Is your right knee quite painful? What kind of TKR surgery are you having? A Mako robotic? Something else? What is your level of trust in this doctor's opinions?

Good luck and please let me know the outcome.
Chris

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@jewlz1

Hi ljn-I've experienced nerve involvement in both of my knee replacements and gabapentin was prescribed to settle that down. The nerves from my LTKR have since healed and I've just started experiencing nerve zingers after my very recent RTKR. I hope you're able to find answers and relief soon. It's a maddening sensation for sure Good luck!

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Thanks for the good wishes. All this pain, tingling, and, zaps…are my ongoing reality. Loss of sleep due to the tightness,numbness and 'pins and needles" spoils my next day.

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@ljn

Thanks for the good wishes. All this pain, tingling, and, zaps…are my ongoing reality. Loss of sleep due to the tightness,numbness and 'pins and needles" spoils my next day.

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Loss of sleep is no fun.

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@navyqas

I am thinking like you, my foot still 50% numb after TKR 15 months ago, NO CHANGE. I could use a new knee on the other leg but fear consequences, (nerve damage). Bottom line, you take a big chance with this TKR but they won't tell you that, not good for business. I still believe if the orthopedic surgeons took more care instead of doing two or three knees before lunch there would be less nerve complaints, but that would be bad for their bottom line.
I talked to a neuro surgeon about my numb foot and what the orthopedic surgeon did, he just put his head down and shook it. Good luck pal we both need it.

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AMEN!!!!

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I had total knee replacements on both knees. I have neuropathy in both feet and numbness has moved up my legs. Still able to get around, but not sure for how long.

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@judylibb

I had total knee replacements on both knees. I have neuropathy in both feet and numbness has moved up my legs. Still able to get around, but not sure for how long.

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I'm sorry to hear this is an ongoing issue for you – that numbness is miserable. Welcome to Mayo Connect, we are people living with a wide variety of diseases and conditions, who support each other along the way. We try to be informed medical consumers, and our own best advocates in our care. We are not medical professionals, so not able to provide medical advice. We can tell you what has worked for us (or not) and provide you with information and conversation about your questions.

I am sure others who have this after knee replacement will have questions or suggestions for you as well. Just so we know a little more about you, can you tell us how long since your surgeries, and when the neuropathy started? Since this is apparently a long-term issue, have you seen a neurologist or returned to the surgeon for help? Have you tried any medications or therapies?

Sue

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@sueinmn

I'm sorry to hear this is an ongoing issue for you – that numbness is miserable. Welcome to Mayo Connect, we are people living with a wide variety of diseases and conditions, who support each other along the way. We try to be informed medical consumers, and our own best advocates in our care. We are not medical professionals, so not able to provide medical advice. We can tell you what has worked for us (or not) and provide you with information and conversation about your questions.

I am sure others who have this after knee replacement will have questions or suggestions for you as well. Just so we know a little more about you, can you tell us how long since your surgeries, and when the neuropathy started? Since this is apparently a long-term issue, have you seen a neurologist or returned to the surgeon for help? Have you tried any medications or therapies?

Sue

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I had the right knee done in 2006 and the left in 2007. I started having symptoms in my right leg shortly after surgery and was told it would go away. It never did and progressed to my foot. Then I got numbness in my left leg/foot and went to a neurologist in 2011. I am currently taking 300MG 4 times a day.

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@judylibb

I had the right knee done in 2006 and the left in 2007. I started having symptoms in my right leg shortly after surgery and was told it would go away. It never did and progressed to my foot. Then I got numbness in my left leg/foot and went to a neurologist in 2011. I am currently taking 300MG 4 times a day.

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That's 300MG of Gabapentin

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@judylibb

I had the right knee done in 2006 and the left in 2007. I started having symptoms in my right leg shortly after surgery and was told it would go away. It never did and progressed to my foot. Then I got numbness in my left leg/foot and went to a neurologist in 2011. I am currently taking 300MG 4 times a day.

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Okay, that gives us a bit clearer picture. How often do you see the neurologist, and have they tried other medications or doses to try to keep it from progressing?

Now I'll bow out, and let some other neuropathy people chime in.
Sue

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