Pain After Surgery May Indicate A Nerve Problem
Its worth noting that a certain amount of lingering, residual discomfort and swelling after a foot surgery is a normal part of the healing process. This process may be as short as a few weeks or as long as several months, depending on the severity of the initial pain, the extensiveness of the surgery or treatment, and how well you follow up with home care.
However, with pain that is zinging or distantespecially if it continues to lingera damaged nerve is a more likely culprit. There are a couple of reasons this can happen.
- Misdiagnosis of the original condition. When it comes to foot and heel pain, a wide range of very different underlying conditions can produce extremely similar or overlapping symptoms. Unfortunately, due to a relative lack of physician training in this area, nerve problems in the feet that produce zinging or distant pain are especially likely to be misdiagnosed as more common condition such as plantar fasciitis, tendon pain, muscle pain, and others.
- Botched surgery. Sadly, this is also a fairly common outcome. It may be that, in fixing an unrelated problem such as a bunion or hammertoes, the surgeon accidentally strikes a nerve or forces it into a pinched or compressed position. Your original condition may have been fixed, but now youre left with an entirely new problem.
Ping Out On The Right Foot After Ankle Surgery
Ankle surgeries are common but painful procedures. It’s natural to wonder, then, “How long does pain last after ankle surgery?” In fact, most patients are pain-free by six months after surgery.
For most patients, this temporary post-operative discomfort is worth the decreased pain and increased mobility they enjoy in the long term. In the long term, ankle surgeries are highly effective at relieving pain and improving quality of life.
Following your doctor’s advice and completing your at-home therapy program are steps you can take to promote your recovery. As you take these steps and get back to your active lifestyle, count on PowerRebound’s blogs for the best advice.
Why Does My Ankle Hurt After Knee Replacement Surgery
Pain on the inside or outside of the ankle is usally caused by changes in the alignment of the tibia after knee replacement.
The alignment of the knee directly affects the compression placed on the ankle. Your ankle is made up of several bones, but the two bones you feel on either side of your ankle are called your malleolus and are part of the tibia and fibula.
When the knee is bowed out it causes compression on the outside of the ankle.
When the knee is bowed in it causes compression on the inside of the ankle.
Before surgery your ankle and hip had time to adapt to these positions over years of gradual bony changes.
After your knee surgery, the replacement makes the leg almost perfectly straight and now your ankle has to instantly adapt to the new force and new position.
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Learning To Walk Again After A Broken Ankle
When I got home I took out the crutches and practiced walking while putting some pressure on the left foot. I found it impossibly clunky to try and walk with the boot on so I ditched it immediately. My foot needed a lot of support which the boot did not provide. Not having anything suitable I ordered orthopedic shoes which helped me a lot.
My fuchsia orthopedic shoes help me walk without limping
The next day I went to the physical therapist. They gave me a walker to use for as long as I needed. They told me to practice putting pressure on the foot, shifting from one side to the other.
And they also told me to practice walking around about 5 minutes a day. I ended up doing a lot more than that though, sometimes too much, resulting in a couple of setbacks.
One of the scariest things happened to me two days after being FWB. It was midnight and I was trying to see if I could vacuum using the walker. I used my left foot to release the vacuum cleaner, lost my balance and fell backwards, landing on my rear end.
I wasnt hurt, just scared at what might have happened. The tension of being alone and feeling vulnerable for so long overflowed in that moment and I just sobbed my heart out.
The next day I kept at it, using the scooter to get around and practicing with the walker. I would tell myself, You know how to walk, just walk! But it was too painful and I couldntyet. Each day I was able to tolerate more pressure on my foot.
What Causes Pain Behind The Heel
Several problems can cause pain to develop in the back of the heel:
- Achilles tendinitis: The Achilles tendon is a fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Its the bodys longest and strongest tendon. Runners and basketball players are more prone to Achilles tendinitis. This overuse injury inflames the tendon. Tendonitis causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the back of the heel.
- Bursitis: Bursitis occurs when fluid-filled sacs called bursae swell. These sacs cushion joints, allowing for fluid movement. You may have a tender, bruise-like feeling in the back of the heel. Bursitis typically occurs after you spend a lot of time on your feet.
- Haglunds deformity: Chronic inflammation and irritation can cause an enlarged bony bump to form in the back of the heel. Shoes with higher heels, such as pumps, can make the bump and pain worse.
- Severs disease : Severs disease is a frequent cause of heel pain in active children between 8 and 14. Kids who participate in activities that require a lot of running and jumping are more prone to this problem. The increased athletic activity irritates the growth plate in the back of the heel.
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Why Might I Need Ankle Replacement Surgery
Ankle replacement surgery may make sense for you if you have severe arthritis in your ankle. This can cause symptoms like severe pain, inflammation, and stiffness, which can lead to difficulty walking. The main types of ankle arthritis are:
- Osteoarthritis. This is wear and tear arthritis that develops in older adults.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. This is a system-wide autoimmune disease that affects the joints.
- Arthritis. This can happen because of a past injury of your joint.
If you have mild or moderate arthritis, your healthcare provider will probably recommend other treatments, like pain medicines, special shoe and foot inserts, physical therapy, or corticosteroid injections. If you still have severe symptoms that interfere with your daily activities, your healthcare provider may recommend ankle replacement or another surgical procedure.
If your arthritis is not yet severe, arthroscopic debridement might be a better choice. Ankle fusion is another choice for people with severe arthritis of their ankle. Each of these choices has its own risks and benefits. Talk to your healthcare provider about all of your treatment and surgical choices.
Ankle Arthritis | Q& A with John Thompson, M.D.
Are You Looking For A Foot Care In Austin Tx
If you are looking for foot care, you should reach out to an experienced podiatrist. Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists can help. Our office provides a wide variety of advanced, effective treatment options for all kinds of painful conditions. Ready to schedule an appointment? Contact us online our Austin office at 512.328.8900.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What is causing my heel pain?
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What can I do to lower the risk of getting heel pain again?
- What types of symptoms need more urgent evaluation?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Heel pain often improves over time with nonsurgical treatments. Your healthcare provider can determine whats causing the pain. Your provider can also show you stretching exercises and recommend orthotics and other methods if needed. Many people try to ignore heel pain and continue with activities that make the problem worse. But its essential to give your body time to recover. Otherwise, you may develop chronic heel pain that sidelines you for an extended time. The longer you have heel pain the harder it is to effectively treat, so its important to get evaluated.
How Long Is Physical Therapy After Ankle Surgery
In most cases, you can expect to work with a physical therapist for at least six to eight weeks after surgery. During your therapy appointments, you’ll work with exercise equipment and weights. Your therapist might also use ultrasound, electric stimulation therapy, heat, and ice. These efforts aim to reduce inflammation and increase mobility.
The work you and your therapist do at your appointments is important. Equally important, though, is the work you do at home. During your therapy sessions, you’ll also learn exercises you canand mustdo at home. These home exercises strengthen your injured ankle and the surrounding muscles.
Adhering to your at-home therapy program is essential to your long-term recovery.
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What Is Ankle Replacement Surgery
Ankle replacement surgery is the replacement of a damaged ankle joint with an artificial implant.
The ankle joint is where your shinbone rests on top of a bone of your foot, the talus.
Arthritis can affect this joint as well as other joints in the foot. Over time, the smooth cartilage on the surface of the bones wears away. This can result in pain, inflammation, and swelling of your joint.
Ankle replacement surgery is a procedure to replace this damaged joint to eliminate this pain and swelling. Typically, the procedure takes place under general anesthesia. Your surgeon will make an incision in your ankle to access the affected joint. Next, your surgeon will remove the damaged parts of your tibia and talus bones. Your surgeon will attach artificial metal joints to the remaining bone surfaces, with a piece of plastic inserted between them.
Plantar Fasciitis Surgery Guide
Despite only being necessary much less than 1% of the time, plantar fasciitis surgery is common in the United States and many different types exist.
Not all plantar fasciitis surgeries are performed directly on the plantar fascia. While all procedures are designed to treat the same pain and symptoms, they have varying indications and effectiveness.
Two people with plantar fasciitis may require completely different surgeries depending on:
- what part of the plantar fascia is causing pain,
- nerve involvement,
- how long the pain has been present and
- the biomechanics of your feet and legs.
There are three major types of Plantar Fasciitis Surgery:
Well also talk about Heel Spur Surgery, and Baxters Nerve Release which can be added to certain plantar fasciitis surgical approaches when necessary.
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What Are The Complications Of Heel Pain
Heel pain can interfere with your ability to get around, work, exercise and complete daily tasks. When it hurts to move, you can become sedentary. An inactive lifestyle can lead to weight gain. You may also become depressed because you cant do the things you love.
Untreated Achilles tendonitis can cause the tendon to break down . In time, the Achilles tendon can tear or rupture. This problem may require surgery.
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One of the main reasons to have ankle surgery is to get rid of ankle pain. Of course, after the surgery, you will naturally experience some pain and swelling while you heal. This pain and discomfort will subside, but your ankle specialist will give you a prescription pain-relieving medication.
Your ankle surgeon and physical therapist may also recommend the RICE method to help quell the pain during your recuperation, and this stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation of the affected area. Do not place ice on bare skin, as it can overexpose your skin to the cold temperature. Also, be careful not to make the compression so tight that it interferes with your circulation.
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Plantar Fasciitis Surgery Pain:
All surgery has the potential to be painful. During the operation you will be in a relaxed state and usually not feel any pain. Immediately following the operation for 8-10 hours the local anesthetic at the surgery site may block the pain.
Following the surgery your pain will be handled using a custom built pain management plan from your surgeon. The closer you adhere to your surgeons advice, the less pain you will feel. This plan always involves resting, icing, elevating and protecting the limb. For a short period of time after surgery your pain may also be managed with narcotic medications carefully prescribed and monitored by your doctor.
If you are experiencing pain after your surgery, always contact your doctor and notify them as soon as possible.
Broken Ankle: Waiting For Surgery
There was surprisingly little pain. My ankle was stabilized at the ER and I was sent home with instructions to stay off my left leg and keep it elevated while awaiting surgery. Oh, and I wasnt allowed to shower either.
Being NWB means I had to use crutches which is its own little nightmare.
Using your hands for crutches means you cant carry anything, not even a cup of coffee. Luckily I had a small thermos and bottled water which I packed in a tote bag along with my phones and other items. I had to plan every excursion from the couch as if I were going on a long trip: what did I need to take with me, what did I need to bring back, how many stops did I have to make.
Sometimes I would take a break from crutches and roll around the kitchen in an office chair. Thats how I was able to prepare meals for me and the dog.
My borrowed knee scooter looked like this
The week after the accident my sister-in-law borrowed a knee scooter for me. This was life changing! I could get around faster and, with the tote bag hanging from the handlebars, was able to carry a dish in one hand and steer with the other.
Even with the scooter, the physical exertion of going from one place to the other left me extremely tired. I spent much of the time napping on the couch. I think my body was in shock. This exhaustion continued for several weeks.
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Plantar Fasciitis Surgery Cost:
All surgery is expensive, and investing in every conservative option possible can help you avoid excessive or unnecessary spending. A well built pair ofcustom orthotics from the Foot and Ankle Center of Washington can be one of the best investments you can make in your plantar fasciitis treatment now and later.
Most plantar fasciitis surgeries are covered by your insurance provider, and the facility where you choose to have your procedure can give you the most accurate quote of the price.
Prices vary over time and by facility so a quote listed on this website may not be the most up to date or accurate quote available.
We recommend that if have questions about the price of the surgery, call the surgical facility and anesthesia provider prior to your operation. We can provide you with the surgeons cost.
Why Does My Achilles Have A Burning Sensation
The burning pain behind the heel is Achilles tendonitis. It can also affect the inside or outside of the heel and foot. Often, the pain is not due to injury.
Its usually soft at first, but it can become painful and sometimes disabling with time. It usually goes away without treatment, but sometimes it can persist and become chronic.
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Driving After A Broken Ankle
Its illegal to drive with a cast or a boot on either foot. When I became FWB I was legally allowed to drive but couldnt since my car has a manual transmission which requires the use of both feet. So I had to learn how to drive again.
A week after being FWB I started getting ready to drive. I practiced turning on the motor and shifting the gears with my right foot on the clutch. Then I turned the car off and practiced pressing the clutch with my left foot, using it as an exercise machine, pressing it 50 to 70 times. That was the first and second day.
On the third day I pressed the clutch 100 times, then drove up and down driveway a couple of times.
On the fourth day I drove around the block.
On the fifth day I drove to Trader Joes. And this was 11 days after being FWB. I was actually able to drive a stick shift before I was able to walk. Going to the store meant I had to take both the walker and scooter.
I needed the walker to get to the back seat where the scooter was. Then I took the scooter into the store where I was able to steer it with one hand and steer the shopping cart with the other. People stared at me but I didnt care. I was finally on the road to freedom.
Plantar Fasciitis Surgery Recovery:
Recovery will depend on which procedures you have performed. After any procedure you will want to rest for 1-2 weeks following the surgery. You will ice, elevate and protect the foot for this time and you will not place any weight on the foot.
Proper shoes and orthotics to reduce pressure on the heelwill help in the healing process.
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How To Recover From A Broken Heel
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS and by wikiHow staff writer, Megaera Lorenz, PhD. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 97% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 125,426 times.
If your heel bone gets fractured, either due to a traumatic injury or as a result of chronic overuse or repetitive stress, recovery can be a long and difficult process. However, you can maximize your chances for a good recovery by following your doctors advice and doing a rehab program with a physical therapist. If you develop any long-term issues, such as gait problems or chronic pain, discuss your options with your care team.