Foot neuropathy (numbness and pain) after total knee replacement (TKR)

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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Hi. I have had 2 knee replacements. One in 2016 and 2017. Have had PN in both feet since the lift foot being the worse. Had 3 yes 3 surgeries on my left ankle to release compression in the tarsal tunnel to no avail. My feet tingle, burn and numbness all at the same time. It has been since March of 2017, 4 months after my first knee replacement. Went to pt at that time which helped until 2 weeks after my 2nd knee which was November of 2017. Been to numerous drs . Some drs think it is my gait with my flat feet and new knees. In the meantime I suffer daily. Gabapentin not helping much. Tried several different meds to no avail.

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@kp6350

Hi. I have had 2 knee replacements. One in 2016 and 2017. Have had PN in both feet since the lift foot being the worse. Had 3 yes 3 surgeries on my left ankle to release compression in the tarsal tunnel to no avail. My feet tingle, burn and numbness all at the same time. It has been since March of 2017, 4 months after my first knee replacement. Went to pt at that time which helped until 2 weeks after my 2nd knee which was November of 2017. Been to numerous drs . Some drs think it is my gait with my flat feet and new knees. In the meantime I suffer daily. Gabapentin not helping much. Tried several different meds to no avail.

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@kp6350, You mentioned some doctors think the tingle, burn and numbness symptoms might be due to your gait with your flat feet and the knee replacements. Did they suggest any treatments or orthotic options to help correct the problem?

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@kp6350

Hi. I have had 2 knee replacements. One in 2016 and 2017. Have had PN in both feet since the lift foot being the worse. Had 3 yes 3 surgeries on my left ankle to release compression in the tarsal tunnel to no avail. My feet tingle, burn and numbness all at the same time. It has been since March of 2017, 4 months after my first knee replacement. Went to pt at that time which helped until 2 weeks after my 2nd knee which was November of 2017. Been to numerous drs . Some drs think it is my gait with my flat feet and new knees. In the meantime I suffer daily. Gabapentin not helping much. Tried several different meds to no avail.

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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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@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 2 yrs. 1 month. My TKR kept telling me it’s normal. Well it wasn’t. My primary found popliteal artery was pinched shut by doing an ABI test that showed low pressure in my leg and angiogram showed totally blocked artery. I also had nerve tests which showed nerve damage but they blamed it in my age and spine. I still have some foot issues. Numb tingling foot that feels cold but it isn’t. At least my foot is “warm” pink and no purple toes. The artery surgeon said since I went 60 days with no blood flow to my leg/foot there could be permanent damage to my foot or could take years to heal that nerve. TKR doc just said why did you wait so long to get it fixed you could have lost your leg. I will never forget those words and thank my primary every day. Good luck! You have to be an advocate for yourself.

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@loriaakre

Ask for an ABI test. See some of my other posts. My popliteal artery was pinched shut during my TKR and had a totally numb tingly foot after surgery. Good luck

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I wonder if this is an issue for me. I had three operations on my left knee – initial TKR and two revisions to try to correct instability due to lax ligaments in front of my knee. The last Operation left me with numbness and cold feelings in my left foot. by, Drs seems confused and the only idea seems to be that it's nerve issues coming from my back. I'm not so sure. Maybe I should try to get some doc to order this test for me. I don't get purple coloring in my foot – just numb and cold in my toes, particularly after standing and walking – and it doesn't take much. I'm really in a bad mental state. I've been through SO MUCH with this left leg. IT all happened after TKRs and subsequent surgeries, I don't want any more surgeries but i really want my ability to walk and stand with out losing feeling in my foot! thanks.

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@rah2435

I wonder if this is an issue for me. I had three operations on my left knee – initial TKR and two revisions to try to correct instability due to lax ligaments in front of my knee. The last Operation left me with numbness and cold feelings in my left foot. by, Drs seems confused and the only idea seems to be that it's nerve issues coming from my back. I'm not so sure. Maybe I should try to get some doc to order this test for me. I don't get purple coloring in my foot – just numb and cold in my toes, particularly after standing and walking – and it doesn't take much. I'm really in a bad mental state. I've been through SO MUCH with this left leg. IT all happened after TKRs and subsequent surgeries, I don't want any more surgeries but i really want my ability to walk and stand with out losing feeling in my foot! thanks.

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It’s so sad. Each doc says not from the TKR. My chiropractor says yes from TKR. You stand and walk different. I did go to another ortho surgeon and she said the plastic piece in the knee is to small and that is causing the hyperextended and wobbling giving out of the knee. If it weren’t for Covid I would have already gone to Mayo but have the 2 surgery’s within 60 days was a lot of trauma and should wait a little longer. Wish you the best.

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@loriaakre

I am 2 yrs. 1 month. My TKR kept telling me it’s normal. Well it wasn’t. My primary found popliteal artery was pinched shut by doing an ABI test that showed low pressure in my leg and angiogram showed totally blocked artery. I also had nerve tests which showed nerve damage but they blamed it in my age and spine. I still have some foot issues. Numb tingling foot that feels cold but it isn’t. At least my foot is “warm” pink and no purple toes. The artery surgeon said since I went 60 days with no blood flow to my leg/foot there could be permanent damage to my foot or could take years to heal that nerve. TKR doc just said why did you wait so long to get it fixed you could have lost your leg. I will never forget those words and thank my primary every day. Good luck! You have to be an advocate for yourself.

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Wow – thank you so much for this quick reply! So – I guess this test is worth a try right? I do feel more like it's a blood flow issue than a nerve from my back issue… but it's so hard to know what is going on, I have been feeling so helpless. But I haven't given up.

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@rah2435

Wow – thank you so much for this quick reply! So – I guess this test is worth a try right? I do feel more like it's a blood flow issue than a nerve from my back issue… but it's so hard to know what is going on, I have been feeling so helpless. But I haven't given up.

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My husband was 85 days out and he had the ABI done that showed very low blood flow to his foot the. Cardiologist did the angigriam and dound hos Popliteal artery was blocked…after he finished the blood flow rushed back to his foot….he now has a warm foot and the pain is gone but he said it is still numb feeling…

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@johnbishop

@kp6350, You mentioned some doctors think the tingle, burn and numbness symptoms might be due to your gait with your flat feet and the knee replacements. Did they suggest any treatments or orthotic options to help correct the problem?

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Changed my orthotics since tkr’s. Tried everything. Now as time goes on I have plantar fasciitis. My feet are very flat but am I the only one in the world that had knees replaced with flat feet. Totally disgusted.

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