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?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Joint Replacements group.

@loriaakre

YES I HAVE!!! it was awful! woke up from surgery with no feeling in my foot just numb and tingling. My surgeon also told me it was normal to have a numb foot, but this was ridiculous. it was like sitting and you foot goes to sleep and you can't stand on it. Well long story short and after several visits to my surgeon and others at walk in was told NORMAL!! NOT! My foot was cold all the time and toes were purple! Went to my primary (Nurse Practitioner) about 5 weeks later who said NOT NORMAL. She ordered an ABI test, tests blood pressure in your legs. Had little to no blood flow to my foot. Went to the cardiologist who ordered an angiogram. Found out the surgeon had pinched off the popliteal artery behind my knee during the knee replacement! That is the main artery that feeds blood to your feet. So I only had a few small veins suppling blood to my foot and toes. So 7 week after my knee replacement I was back in surgery with a different surgeon who went in behind my knee, separated the muscles, and other tissues and found a dead dried up clot of blood where the artery was pinched. NO more cold foot or purple toes, just a 6+ hour surgery.
Went back to my knee replacement surgeon and told him what he did and all he said was "why did you wait so long to get it fixed, you could of lost your leg" REALLY! Then he went in to my medical records and deleted everything that had anything to do with my numb tingly foot! made it look like it never happened.
Anyway don't give up. Have an ABI test done. Takes about 5 minutes to do and is just like taking your blood pressure on your arm.
I Thank GOD everyday for my primary who "saved my leg" I still do have some residue numbness. My artery surgeon checks it every year to make sure the patched artery is working good, but said my foot might be as good as it gets, it went to long without blood flow and has some cell and tissue damage, but at least I have a leg with a foot attached. The chances of what happened to me is .003% and I was 1 of them. Doctors need to not brush off a numb tingly foot to that's just normal give it time. I he would of listened to me and checked into the why, I would of have a much better outcome.
Good luck and let me know if you ever find out anything.

Jump to this post

Since I had neuropathy from chemo already, I was at a higher risk level. However, my first surgery went so well, I was not worried. I have a new neurologist who is easy to get in to see. I am going to make an appointment. I have felt so discouraged and overwhelmed by all the things I cannot get done. My brain does not feel old but my body does. Was encouraged to walk every day on flat surfaces but I have been remiss in it as well as in my exercises. I just feel so discouraged but am feeling like I better at least try my neurologist. Thanks for the encouragement.

REPLY

Yea I had my knee replaced almost four months ago and the pain in the foot on the same side has been very bad it gets worse when I lay down at night. Luckily I have a great doctor who has let me stay on the pain killers all this time. But now I saw a pain specialist who says i am a candidate for lumbar spinal injections which I have never had any back pain. This I believe is their way of making someone get off the opioids and giving me these injections which I highly doubt will help. I didn't have this issue before my surgery but now I do so I can only surmise that something during the surgery did it. But the way they are looking at opioids now a days its no wonder they are trying to do all this alternative medicine.

REPLY
@teschang

Yea I had my knee replaced almost four months ago and the pain in the foot on the same side has been very bad it gets worse when I lay down at night. Luckily I have a great doctor who has let me stay on the pain killers all this time. But now I saw a pain specialist who says i am a candidate for lumbar spinal injections which I have never had any back pain. This I believe is their way of making someone get off the opioids and giving me these injections which I highly doubt will help. I didn't have this issue before my surgery but now I do so I can only surmise that something during the surgery did it. But the way they are looking at opioids now a days its no wonder they are trying to do all this alternative medicine.

Jump to this post

Good evening @teschang and welcome to Connect. We are patients who agree to share their experiences in hopes that they will help others. I also had my second TKR last August. I don't remember having pain in my foot from neuropathy after the surgery. It sounds like you are looking for some help but not that much…..e.g. lumbar spinal injections.

Let me ask you a question. Do you have tingling and numbness on the foot? Those are also symptoms of neuropathy. Some folks have only those symptoms and no pain. I have all three. Here are some of my tried and sometimes helpful suggestions for you.

1. I receive MFR therapy twice a week especially on my feet because I need to be able to drive. The fascia in and around your feet can become restrictive. The release that comes with MFR helps.

2. I use a topical medical cannabis balm on my feet. It is made by Papa and Barkley and you can find it online. I use the 3:1 CBD/THC for daily/chronic pain. I also keep some 1:3 CBD/THC in the drawer for those times when I experience acute pain.

3. Are you familiar with Yoga and a pose names "Legs up the wall". I do that for a few minutes every morning which seems to make my feet much happier. You can find diagrams online by just entering the name.

4. Since you are only four months post-surgery……you may still be healing. Are you sure there is no swelling?
If so, have you been using ice?

5. Are you able to sleep with your foot elevated? That always helps.

What opioids are you currently using? Is it your goal to get off them?

And finally, at least for tonight, many of our members have these same battles with neuropathy symptoms in the foot of the TKR leg. I don't think I have seen a surgery issue be responsible for the discomfort and pain.

Please let me know which options you may wish to try.

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

REPLY
@teschang

Yea I had my knee replaced almost four months ago and the pain in the foot on the same side has been very bad it gets worse when I lay down at night. Luckily I have a great doctor who has let me stay on the pain killers all this time. But now I saw a pain specialist who says i am a candidate for lumbar spinal injections which I have never had any back pain. This I believe is their way of making someone get off the opioids and giving me these injections which I highly doubt will help. I didn't have this issue before my surgery but now I do so I can only surmise that something during the surgery did it. But the way they are looking at opioids now a days its no wonder they are trying to do all this alternative medicine.

Jump to this post

I see my surgeon tomorrow, finally, and will get to discuss the foot numbness and pain which is exacerbated by the exercises and walking, all that’s necessary to get the new knee functioning properly, but so demotivating because of the foot. I have low expectations for this visit, but hopeful. If there’s anything interesting I’ll share with this thread. Tnx!

REPLY
@artscaping

Good evening @teschang and welcome to Connect. We are patients who agree to share their experiences in hopes that they will help others. I also had my second TKR last August. I don't remember having pain in my foot from neuropathy after the surgery. It sounds like you are looking for some help but not that much…..e.g. lumbar spinal injections.

Let me ask you a question. Do you have tingling and numbness on the foot? Those are also symptoms of neuropathy. Some folks have only those symptoms and no pain. I have all three. Here are some of my tried and sometimes helpful suggestions for you.

1. I receive MFR therapy twice a week especially on my feet because I need to be able to drive. The fascia in and around your feet can become restrictive. The release that comes with MFR helps.

2. I use a topical medical cannabis balm on my feet. It is made by Papa and Barkley and you can find it online. I use the 3:1 CBD/THC for daily/chronic pain. I also keep some 1:3 CBD/THC in the drawer for those times when I experience acute pain.

3. Are you familiar with Yoga and a pose names "Legs up the wall". I do that for a few minutes every morning which seems to make my feet much happier. You can find diagrams online by just entering the name.

4. Since you are only four months post-surgery……you may still be healing. Are you sure there is no swelling?
If so, have you been using ice?

5. Are you able to sleep with your foot elevated? That always helps.

What opioids are you currently using? Is it your goal to get off them?

And finally, at least for tonight, many of our members have these same battles with neuropathy symptoms in the foot of the TKR leg. I don't think I have seen a surgery issue be responsible for the discomfort and pain.

Please let me know which options you may wish to try.

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

Jump to this post

Thank you for the suggestions and I am going to try the yoga and pick up some CBD/THC . I am 6 weeks PO so it’s pretty early in my recovery. As for the MFR, can that be found at most spa’s /massage therapy places?

REPLY
@phigg

Thank you for the suggestions and I am going to try the yoga and pick up some CBD/THC . I am 6 weeks PO so it’s pretty early in my recovery. As for the MFR, can that be found at most spa’s /massage therapy places?

Jump to this post

Good evening @phigg. Good for you. I hope you find some treatments that really work for you. I know that everyone is different ……..and it takes a good bit of time to try different options. Regarding your question about finding MFR-trained therapists……I think you have to ask for John Barnes certified folks. They have committed hundreds of hours and even years to studying and practicing MFR to assure the release of the restricted fascia. I choose to see only those with an EXPERT level certification. You may find therapists near you on this website: http://www.myofascial.com. Just check on "Find a Therapist".
Good luck. Let me know of any questions or concerns you encounter.

May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.
Chris

REPLY

Great information Chris. Thank you!

REPLY
@teschang

Yea I had my knee replaced almost four months ago and the pain in the foot on the same side has been very bad it gets worse when I lay down at night. Luckily I have a great doctor who has let me stay on the pain killers all this time. But now I saw a pain specialist who says i am a candidate for lumbar spinal injections which I have never had any back pain. This I believe is their way of making someone get off the opioids and giving me these injections which I highly doubt will help. I didn't have this issue before my surgery but now I do so I can only surmise that something during the surgery did it. But the way they are looking at opioids now a days its no wonder they are trying to do all this alternative medicine.

Jump to this post

Had bottom foot numbness same day as TKR, never got better, 10 months after TKR, lower back started to hurt, after one year more I could hardly stand the low back pain it got so bad, tried acute puncture, spinal injections, you name it I tried it. Finally received two disk replacements and a laminectomy 7 moths ago. Back is stiff but ok, foot still numb as the day of TKR. Just saying, before the TKR I was in great shape except for knee pain, wish I never had TKR done, it all started after the TKR. Also have knee pain at night, now it's been TWO years! I thought a TKR was no big deal, I was wrong!

REPLY

Good morning! I had severe burning after the numbness went away. I'm also 10 weeks post TKR. My foot is getting better and and I also take Gabapentin 200mg at bed time. Nerve recovery is a very slow process…hang in there! Keep doing your excercises no matter what the symptoms are…I know that is key. I'm going to the gym now on my own. It is a struggle but we can't give up. I wish you well.

REPLY

I’m almost 6 weeks post TKR. I’m still having lots of difficulty sleeping (pain seems to increase after I go to bed), so thought that I would check here for some advice. First, it seems that I’m very lucky and had a great surgeon; I have 120+ degrees movement less than 4 weeks after surgery and have had none of the problems so many of you have had. And second, it seems that I’m just being impatient and this is normal. I’m going to start taking my pain meds more often (I’ve only been taking them after the pain gets to 5+, and it seems I should be taking them sooner), and put a pillow between my knees when I try to sleep.

Thank you all for your comments; I’ve learned a lot. I hope that all of your problems get better.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.