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numbness in foot

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by speedray, Jul 14, 2009.

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  1. speedray

    speedray Junior Member

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    I am 15 weeks out from a TKR on my right knee and I still have foot numbness. The top of my right foot feels normal but the bottom is numb. I can feel temperature changes and heavy pressure but nothing else. I can walk unaided but it does throw off my gait especially after being on it a lot. Then the foot feels heavy and swollen although it doesn’t look swollen........not nearly as much as it feels like anyway. I understand I was on the table for about an extra hour or so more than usual because they had to clean up old scar tissue in the knee and the OS tells me they must have “disturbed” the nerve bundle that runs behind the knee and that nerves don’t like to be disturbed and don’t like pressure, such as swelling. He says it’s just going to take time to get back to normal.
    It’s a shame because the knee replacement itself has been a breeze. I was going up and down stairs after about 5 days, I had full range of motion at about 3 weeks and stopped taking all pain meds at around 4 weeks. At first I thought the numbness was a blessing in disguise because maybe it kept me from trying to do too much too soon but now it’s just a frustration.
     
  2. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Re: foot numbness after TKR - 4 weeks

    Hi, Speedray. Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you are having trouble with numbness in your foot. Nerves can have a mind of their own and can take quite a while to get back to normal. It's good you are being patient but watchful. I know even the "normal" nerve disruption with a TKR to the nerves on the side of your knee can take a year or more to reconnect and feel like they should again.

    You'll have plenty of support here to get you through this frustrating part of recovery. Try to focus on the good news....the fact that your TKR recovery has been great!
     
  3. speedray

    speedray Junior Member

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    Re: foot numbness after TKR - 4 weeks

    Thanks Jamie,
    Mostly I have kept upbeat about my recovery because there's so much to be upbeat about! Every now and then the foot thing gets me down a little but not for long. This too shall pass, I guess. But WHEN??!!!!? :D
    Thanks again.

    PS I'm from Kansas, too!
     
  4. mbtexas

    mbtexas New Member

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    Re: foot numbness after TKR - 4 weeks

    My symptoms are very similar to Speedray. My foot is numb on the top and the bottom. I can move my toes, but it feels as if my foot is swollen though it does not appear to be. It almost feels like I have a too tight bandage wrapped around my foot. The foot either feels very cold or very hot with sharp pains shooting through. I think my knee is doing very well but the foot is driving my crazy and makes it hard to do much walking. I had a spinal so I am not sure if that could have caused any of this. Thanks for the posts. It does offer encouragement to see that I am not alone.
     
  5. speedray

    speedray Junior Member

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    Re: foot numbness after TKR - 4 weeks

    It sounds like we're in the same boat alright. Until about 5 weeks my foot was numb top and bottom and felt like it was asleep all the time. Pins and needles and electric shocks 24/7. After that the numb area shrunk to just the bottom part of the foot and the pins and needles feeling went away completely. Once in a great while now it will feel like that for a moment and then it's back to just numb. I hope it's back to somewhat normal before I go back in to have my other knee replaced this fall.
     
  6. Texas

    Texas Alpha

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    Re: foot numbness after TKR - 4 weeks

    Hello Welcome , Sorry you are having trouble, I sure hope it gets better...Was that from the nerve block Im guessing...Sorry dont know much about that. I do still have numbness around the knee but not my foot, I guess that will come back as well. Good luck to you both....Hope it all gets better soon.........
     
  7. speedray

    speedray Junior Member

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    Re: foot numbness after TKR - 4 weeks

    It is 17 weeks today since my TKR and the foot numbness is still with me. A few weeks ago my OS sent me back to PT so they could give me some exercises typically used for people with balance problems thinking maybe it might spark something with my foot.
    Nothing drastic has happened but the foot feels different......it's a little hard to explain. It's like my foot isn't bound up so tightly and there are some odd "electrical impluse" type feelings from time to time that I haven't felt before. Hopefully these are good signs.

    The new knee continues to feel great!
     
  8. Judles

    Judles Alpha

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    Re: foot numbness after TKR - 4 weeks

    Hi Speedray! Well as long as your knee continues to feel "great", I wouldn't worry!!:thmb:
     
  9. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    speedray, I moved your posts and replies into athread of your own as it was derailing mbtexas' thread.
     
  10. Texas

    Texas Alpha

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    Hi Speedway Im glad its maybe starting to come back and your having such a great recovery . I hope your progress continues....Good Luck to you. Keep us posted. I would like to see if PT hels it anymore........
     
  11. mbtexas

    mbtexas New Member

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    Hi Speedray:

    Since we have such similar symptoms I thought I was tell you what I have found out. I was referred to another doc to determine what was causing the foot numbness. He had an EMG done on me and found that during the knee replacement surgery the peroneal nerve was damaged which is causing the numbness. Two physicians have told me that the feeling should return in 6 to 9 months. He also perscribed a medication called neuronitin which takes a little bit of the edge off the pain so at least I can put my foot down now without feeling like I am walking on needles. Looks like this is just something that only time will heal. Hope this helps. Good luck to you.
     
  12. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    And in case you wondered what and where the peroneal nerve is, let me introduce you

    The peroneal nerve runs over the head of the fibula which is why, when you bang your leg at that point on a coffee table, it is excruciatingly painful! This shows you how it is vulnerable to damage during surgical procedures. It shouldn't happen but sadly it does now and again.
    [​IMG]

    peronael nerve distribution

    [​IMG]
     
  13. speedray

    speedray Junior Member

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    Hi mbtexas,
    Thanks for the update. I have recently been told pretty much the same thing as you only they told me 6-12 months to get back to normal. There has been some small improvement lately so it seems to be heading in the right direction, s-l-o-w-l-y.
    Keep me posted on how you are getting along, I'll do the same. There aren't many of us with this issue it seems.
     
  14. speedray

    speedray Junior Member

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    Thanks for the diagram and picture.........interesting. What about the nerve they cut that makes the side of our knees feel numb? I assume that nerve (or nerves) are in the same neighborhood as the peroneal nerve??
     
  15. mbtexas

    mbtexas New Member

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    Speedray:

    I thought of a couple of other things they told me to do. Vitamin B6 100mg twice a day, and a fish oil capsule daily - be careful with that one - rough on the tummy at first. The doctor also said as the feeling starts to come back the pain will likely increase, so I also view the pain as a good sign. Keep me posted on your progress.
     
  16. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    That's a branch of the saphenous which is on the inner or medial side of the knee. As you can see, that little branch goes right across the front of the knee and therefore right in the path of the incision. Sadly unavoidable but it does repair itself in time.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. 1da313

    1da313 New Member

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    Hi Speedray:
    I had a thread on here "Another Foot Problem". I have the same symptoms as you but I have never had numbness on the top of my foot. I have had 3 EMG's, MRI for back because the OS thought it was coming from my back since I had back surgery in 05, but that was ruled out. After the 2nd EMG I was told that it was tourniquet neuropathy, but it needed to be confirmed by another neurologist at the University of Michigan, who conducted another painful EMG to tell me that it indeed was tourniquet neuropathy, I was prescribed neurotin @ 2800mg daily, and Aventyl @ 75mg daily, and instructed to be seen at a pain clinic because the pain is 24/7 and very painful. They prescribed me Methadone, and I am not a drug abuser, they say it is meant for pain. My foot feels like it is inches thicker the other and it was cold feeling to me but not to others, it would get hot pin and needles sensations as well as stabbing pain that makes me cry so much. I literally feel useless, I had my TKR in FEb 09 and I have had 3 manipulations and still only get 87 degrees ROM. I have PT 5 days a week. I was told by the second neurologist that I was probably having difficulties in PT because of the neuropathy. The knee pain is still bad and I am on so much meds I am afraid to take them because I am afraid of taking a lethal cocktail. I was told that it could take 1-2 years and if I do get any feeling back it may not all come back. I just hope you fair better that I have with this problem it has been 5 months for me and I am tired of this pain. So pray for me!
     
  18. Judles

    Judles Alpha

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    Prayers being sent your way, 1da!!!!
     
  19. Nana55

    Nana55 Member

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    Hi Speedray,
    I have had issues with numbness on the bottom of my foot. My OS said the same thing about moving and/or getting on nerves. I have noticed that it is mild on some days and more noticable when my knee is more swollen which makes sense to me but it is bothersome at times. None of my toes will bend as much as the ones on my left foot and that is new since surgery but my knee does feel better than before surgery.

    He told me it could last at least a year and some could be permanent. Hope your's gets better each day.

    :thmb:
     
  20. Nana55

    Nana55 Member

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    Hi 1d313,
    Sorry to hear you are having all those problems.... and hope you both get to feeling better.
     
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