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?

@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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Could I ask if your nerve involvement is in your feet or at the surgical site? If they were in your feet how long did it take for them to settle down as you described?

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@johnbishop

Hello @norby, I have small fiber PN with numbness and no pain and I am hoping for a TKR next spring for my right knee which is bone on bone. I have no medical training or background but am wondering if there was any possible nerve damage or compressed/pinched nerve that might be causing the foot pain. I'm tagging @contentandwell, @debbraw and @JustinMcClanahan to see if they are able to share any information with you.

I did find an article that may be helpful from the Wiley Online Library.
Risk factors for acute nerve injury after total knee arthroplasty
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mus.26045

Does your surgeon think it may be due to inflammation and eventually that will go away?

John

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I had my second knee replacement in 2018, two attempts at nerve block. After op I had severe loss of feeling on foot, I was assured this would improve, sadly not. Two years later I have no sensation in the foot and now front of leg, I wear compression stockings, warm in summer but effective, I also wear secure leather footwear, comfortable but definitely manna shoes, I also use a foot massage machine to increase blood flow. Hope it stays as is and not get worse, I can live with the pain and numbness.

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@caro66

I had my second knee replacement in 2018, two attempts at nerve block. After op I had severe loss of feeling on foot, I was assured this would improve, sadly not. Two years later I have no sensation in the foot and now front of leg, I wear compression stockings, warm in summer but effective, I also wear secure leather footwear, comfortable but definitely manna shoes, I also use a foot massage machine to increase blood flow. Hope it stays as is and not get worse, I can live with the pain and numbness.

Jump to this post

Hello @caro66, Welcome to Connect. I'm thinking that all of us with neuropathy feel the same as you, please don't let this get any worse while hoping to find something that provides a little relief. I also wear compression socks every day but it's not for neuropathy, it's to keep the swelling in my legs down that is caused from my lymphedema. I have made some lifestyle changes – eating healthier and more exercise which has helped with the neuropathy and keeps me moving. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy has some information you might find helpful here — https://www.foundationforpn.org/living-well/

Have you tried making any lifestyle changes?

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@dee05

Could I ask if your nerve involvement is in your feet or at the surgical site? If they were in your feet how long did it take for them to settle down as you described?

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Hi there. With my first replacement it was over the top of the knee and in my calf. With the most recent replacement, it's in the calf only. It took about 6 months to resolve with the first replacement and I'm still experiencing nerve pain on the right side and almost 4 months out. It's the weirdest feeling, isn't it?

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@johnbishop

Hello @caro66, Welcome to Connect. I'm thinking that all of us with neuropathy feel the same as you, please don't let this get any worse while hoping to find something that provides a little relief. I also wear compression socks every day but it's not for neuropathy, it's to keep the swelling in my legs down that is caused from my lymphedema. I have made some lifestyle changes – eating healthier and more exercise which has helped with the neuropathy and keeps me moving. The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy has some information you might find helpful here — https://www.foundationforpn.org/living-well/

Have you tried making any lifestyle changes?

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Yes I too have lymphedema, in the same keg caused by incompetent veins, it only swells when travelling , I walk 3 kms a day as I also have osteo arthritis hence the knee replacements. It’s an annoyance but liveable take care best wishes

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to 711
I also had it (numbness) right out of surgery and still do 18 months later, doctors will never take the blame, Was in perfect health other then the knee, now going for back operation in 6 days (two disk fusion), 9 months after TKR low back pain came, pain is 12 on a 1 to 10 scale, funny how all this stuff started after TKR. And I had a 4 star review surgeon.

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@jewlz1

Hi there. With my first replacement it was over the top of the knee and in my calf. With the most recent replacement, it's in the calf only. It took about 6 months to resolve with the first replacement and I'm still experiencing nerve pain on the right side and almost 4 months out. It's the weirdest feeling, isn't it?

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Yes, it's a weird sensation. I guess that is as good a word as any. Hope your second knee settles down eventually the way your first one did.

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@navyqas

to 711
I also had it (numbness) right out of surgery and still do 18 months later, doctors will never take the blame, Was in perfect health other then the knee, now going for back operation in 6 days (two disk fusion), 9 months after TKR low back pain came, pain is 12 on a 1 to 10 scale, funny how all this stuff started after TKR. And I had a 4 star review surgeon.

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Did you have surgery in Mayo Phoenix? If you had to do it over would you have knee replacement again?

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@mercuryrose

Did you have surgery in Mayo Phoenix? If you had to do it over would you have knee replacement again?

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Was done in central NJ, (Seaview ortho), and I would not have had it done, but hindsight is 20/20. I just had three disks in my back replaced, and it may come out OK, so far so good. PS the knee surgeon was supposed to be the best guy around, had more stars in reviews then a 4 star general. and he still managed to screw me up. My advice is to try everything before letting them cut on you, I thought knee surgery was not a big deal, I was wrong!

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