Can knee replacement cause foot problems?
Knee replacement surgery (or arthroplasty) is a common procedure that relieves many patients with debilitating or severe knee discomfort. However, post-surgery, some patients report experiencing foot issues such as nerve pain in the foot, ankle & foot pain, shin & ankle pain, burning sensation in the foot & more.
This article explores the potential foot problems that may arise after knee replacement surgery & how they can be managed, based on the latest research & expert insights from Dr. Aashish Arbat, a renowned Orthopedic Doctor in Pune & a leading Knee replacement surgeon in Pune.
Potential Foot Problems After Knee Replacement Surgery
Here below find potential foot problems which one can encounter after having knee replacement surgery…
Ankle and Foot Pain After TKR
Ankle and foot pain after TKR is a common foot issue due to gait or weight distribution changes following surgery. Patients often change how they walk after a TKR to deal with pain or weakness in the knee. This can put additional stress on the foot & ankle, leading to ankle and foot pain after TKR. Physical therapy can aid in the restoration of normal walking patterns, resulting in reduced ankle & foot pain after TKR.
Burning Sensation in Foot After Knee Surgery
A burning sensation in foot after knee surgery can be a sign of nerve irritation or damage. This could be due to inflammation around the surgical site, a direct nerve injury during surgery that can be a sign of nerve damage, or a condition termed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is a rare but serious condition that can occur after surgery.
It is characterized by severe, often burning, pain that can be distressing & may interfere with daily activities, making it essential to address this. Reporting this symptom to your doctor promptly for evaluation & treatment is necessary.
Shin And Ankle Pain After Knee Replacement
Shin and ankle pain after knee replacement can be due to altered biomechanics or overuse of these areas during recovery. The shin (directly connected to the knee joint), in particular, may bear more weight or load distribution than usual due to changes in gait, leading to pain.
Similarly, altered gait can cause more stress on the ankle joint, resulting in shin and ankle pain after knee replacement. However, doctor-prescribed instructions such as rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), & prescribed pain medication can help manage these symptoms.
Foot Turns Out After Knee Replacement
If your foot turns out after knee replacement, it could be due to changes in leg alignment post-surgery. This is usually addressed during physical therapy sessions where exercises are designed to correct the alignment & improve gait. In some cases, orthotic devices may be recommended to support proper foot alignment.
Severe Ankle Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery
Severe ankle pain after knee replacement surgery can be due to several reasons, including altered gait, increased load on the ankle joint, or nerve damage. If you experience severe & persistent ankle pain after knee replacement surgery, seeking medical advice to identify the cause & appropriate treatment is crucial. A doctor may recommend imaging tests to rule out structural issues & prescribe appropriate treatment.
Ball of Foot Pain After Knee Surgery
Ball of foot pain after knee surgery can be due to metatarsalgia, a condition caused by increased pressure on the forefoot. This can occur due to pain in the ball of the foot due to altered weight distribution post-surgery or changes in gait (locomotion). As you adjust to your new knee, you may unconsciously shift more weight onto the ball of your foot, leading to pain. Custom orthotics or shoe inserts can support & distribute weight evenly across the foot, while physical therapy can help strengthen foot muscles & improve balance.
Nerve Pain in Foot After Knee Surgery
Nerve pain in foot after knee surgery is one of the common complaints due to nerve damage or irritation leading to pain, numbness, or tingling sensations in the foot that occurs during the surgical procedure. The peroneal nerve, which extends from the knee to the foot, is at risk.
According to a study, common peroneal nerve palsy (CPNP) is a rare but significant complication following total knee arthroplasty (TKA), with younger age, higher BMI, & more severe initial injury being negative prognostic factors for recovery. Consequently, promptly addressing this nerve pain in foot after knee surgery with Dr. Aashish Arbat, a joint replacement doctor in Pune, is essential.
Why Does My Heel Hurt After Knee Replacement?
Heel pain after knee replacement can be due to changes in how you walk post-surgery, leading to increased pressure on the heel. This can cause inflammation & pain in the heel. Physical therapy, orthotics, & pain management strategies can help address this issue.
Knee replacement surgery has been shown to considerably enhance knee function, decrease pain, improve mobility & increase quality of life. However, it may cause issues such as nerve injury, altered gait, or altered weight distribution in the foot that are usually manageable & temporary. Regular follow-ups with your surgeon, Dr. Aashish Arbat, the best joint replacement doctor in Pune, can ensure that any post-surgery issues are promptly addressed, leading to a successful recovery.
Dr. Aashish Arbat – Best Knee Replacement Surgeon in Pune
Dr. Aashish Arbat is an Internationally Accredited Orthopedic Doctor in Pune, Maharashtra. He is a graduate of Mumbai’s esteemed KEM Hospital & has completed advanced fellowships in Knee replacement surgery in Germany & the United States. Dr. Arbat’s Knee Replacement Surgery is patient-centered, considering each patient’s lifestyle, objectives, & medical history.
Dr. Aashish Arbat, one of the best knee replacement doctors in Pune, can provide expert guidance and treatment options for foot-related complications arising from knee surgery. With his extensive experience and expertise, Dr. Arbat can assess your condition, identify the underlying causes, and develop a personalized treatment plan to address your specific foot problems.