Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Foot numbness post surgery

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 31 Replies
  • Posted By: mlwilson
  • October 12, 2006
  • 09:41 PM

On August 25, 2006, I had a full joint replacement of my right knee. Following surgery, the bottom of my right foot was completely numb. I indicated this to the surgeon, who stated "that's weird", but could offer no explanation. Before anesthia, the anesthesiologist indicated that he would be doing a femoral block, which I did not completely understand, but wonder if this had something to do with the subsequent numbness.

While in rehab, I complained about the numbness in my foot, and eventually was given an appointment with a neurologist. I met with the neurologist 2 weeks after surgery, who offered no explanation, but indicated that I should wait at least six weeks at which time he could do an examination involving electrical probes. He indicated that if nerve damage was found to be the problem, there was nothing that could be done about it.

I am now going to outpatient physical therapy for the joint replacement surgery, but continue to experience numbness in my foot, which greatly impacts my recovery. The therapist indicated that perhaps during surgery, a nerve was pinched and that in time the feeling would return at the rate of 1 millimeter a day. He indicated that there is no therapy for "nerve damage."

The numbness continues and although not extremely painful (more like a dull aching sensation) it is very irritating; especially when I'm trying to sleep or when I walk on it.

No one seems to have a good explanation for what happened or why.

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31 Replies:

  • I have the same problem. I had an umbilical hernia fixed and my tubes tied during the same surgery in Novermber 2006. I went back to the doctor a few days after surgery concerned about a blood clot. The ultrasound revealed no blood clot. The doc said maybe I laid on the nerve during surgery and that it would likely return to normal. My left foot and calf continue to give me trouble falling to sleep at night. I do not notice it much during the day.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had prostate removal surgery exactley 2 weeks ago and woke up from the surgery with both feet numb. The surgen was a bit surprized, but offered up the explanation that, in order to perform the surgery ( which was a robotic assisted laparoscopic procedure), I had to be hoisted up so that my legs were suspended over my head. Some temporary nerve damage may have occured because of the way I was suspended. As of today, the feeling has returned, but i am experiencing a considerable amount of transient, yet frequent pain.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 13, 2007
    • 01:15 AM
    • 0
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  • I have the exact same symptoms. Could mlwilson please contact me? I would like to know the outcome. My surgery was June 9, 2008. On August 25, 2006, I had a full joint replacement of my right knee. Following surgery, the bottom of my right foot was completely numb. I indicated this to the surgeon, who stated "that's weird", but could offer no explanation. Before anesthia, the anesthesiologist indicated that he would be doing a femoral block, which I did not completely understand, but wonder if this had something to do with the subsequent numbness. While in rehab, I complained about the numbness in my foot, and eventually was given an appointment with a neurologist. I met with the neurologist 2 weeks after surgery, who offered no explanation, but indicated that I should wait at least six weeks at which time he could do an examination involving electrical probes. He indicated that if nerve damage was found to be the problem, there was nothing that could be done about it. I am now going to outpatient physical therapy for the joint replacement surgery, but continue to experience numbness in my foot, which greatly impacts my recovery. The therapist indicated that perhaps during surgery, a nerve was pinched and that in time the feeling would return at the rate of 1 millimeter a day. He indicated that there is no therapy for "nerve damage." The numbness continues and although not extremely painful (more like a dull aching sensation) it is very irritating; especially when I'm trying to sleep or when I walk on it. No one seems to have a good explanation for what happened or why.
    ngraves 1 Replies
    • October 23, 2008
    • 00:16 PM
    • 0
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  • I recently had surgery on my ankle due to a motocross injury where i had a spiral fracture which dislocated my ankle. i had 6 screws and a plate put in and i to had numbess in the top of my foot as well as an extremely sensitive feeling that only started after surgery. I asked my suregon about this and he also replied with "that's weird". But he also thought that it could be a bruised or irratrated nerve. I cant remember what two nerves he said run down your leg but he said this issue could take a few weeks to a few months to heal.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ok glad I'm not the only one this is happening to! I had foot surgery on my foot two weeks ago, it was to remove and extra layer of muscle I had below the ankle and though mine does not hurt it is completely numb from the beginning of my toes and back about an inch. It also is bruised. Not sure what it means though.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am 4 weeks out of total knee replacement and the bottom of my foot is completely numb. Now the foot numbness is more of a problem than my recovering knee. i am very worried that this will not go away. I walked 2 miles today and the pain in my foot was far worse than the pain in my knee. I hope someone else that has experienced this sort of numbness will write and say that it goes away. Otherwise I am going to be very sorry i had this surgery.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 12, 2009
    • 00:50 AM
    • 0
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  • I had a mensicus transplant surgery performed on my knee. Immediately after surgery, I noticed that my foot and leg up to my knee felt like it was asleep and was extremely tingly. I could move my foot and ankle, but it felt extremely odd. A type of pain that isn't painful, but uncomofortable. about 10 hours after surgery, the surgeon did an MRI which apparently showed no nerve damage or swelling where the nerve runs in the leg. He immediately then brought me back into the O.R. and apparently did some kind of probe to check the nerve and reopened the incision to ensure that no nerves were accidently caught in the sutures. All negative. I was told that the 2 hour surgery actually last closer to 4, during which time, my foot was angled sideways for the surgery and my knee had a tourniquet around it (right where the tingling stops), so the thinking is that this is the culprit. Now a little over a day out of the surgery, my foot is still very tingly and now also feels swollen. It feels like there is a more burning sensation as well. I am worried that no one can tell me what happened and possible prognosis, only a wait and see approach. Further, I find this doctor to be competent. He is NOT a quack, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have made a mistake. Does anyone have any information regarding what can be done? I've read some stuff on seeing a neurologist, some on finding a malpractice lawyer. Any suggestions out there?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 27, 2009
    • 08:26 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi - I have come to this page in desperation after a simple day procedure to remove a varicose vein in my right leg. I knew in the recovery room that something was wrong with my foot - it felt cold and odd. The Registrar came and asked me to wiggle my toes which I couldn't do, eventually just managing to move them all slightly. I was discharged that night, with nobody taking seriously the loss of feeling in my foot. When I tried to walk, I felt that there was a sponginess there, and I had to bend my knee and trust that my foot would carry me. I went back to A&E the following night, extremely worried. I eventually got a really good doctor who showed me a map of all the nerves in your leg. Where I had no feeling related to where the surgery was done. He told me that it was probably a stunned or bruised nerve, hopefully, and that feeling should return - but could take time. He made an appointment for me to see my consultant in 6 weeks time (but in the meantime he did a report to him). He actually initially wanted to keep me in so that the surgeon could "see his handiwork" - not good. I wish I had never gone in for the op now. If this turns out to be permanent, I am left with a disability which never should happen.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 30, 2009
    • 00:32 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi - I have come to this page in desperation after a simple day procedure to remove a varicose vein in my right leg. I knew in the recovery room that something was wrong with my foot - it felt cold and odd. The Registrar came and asked me to wiggle my toes which I couldn't do, eventually just managing to move them all slightly. I was discharged that night, with nobody taking seriously the loss of feeling in my foot. When I tried to walk, I felt that there was a sponginess there, and I had to bend my knee and trust that my foot would carry me. I went back to A&E the following night, extremely worried. I eventually got a really good doctor who showed me a map of all the nerves in your leg. Where I had no feeling related to where the surgery was done. He told me that it was probably a stunned or bruised nerve, hopefully, and that feeling should return - but could take time. He made an appointment for me to see my consultant in 6 weeks time (but in the meantime he did a report to him). He actually initially wanted to keep me in so that the surgeon could "see his handiwork" - not good. I wish I had never gone in for the op now. If this turns out to be permanent, I am left with a disability which never should happen.Wait a second, your foot is still this way? How could he do that?!Did you go to another doctor maybe?
    Clear-sky 76 Replies
    • December 1, 2009
    • 00:13 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi I have the same problem , 6 days opst op ankle surgery to remove fragments in OCD lesion and the sole of my foot is completely numb , no sensitivity to hot/cold , feels like walking on a sponge and is totally impeding my rehab of my ankle also ,,, Mwilson I see your op was in 06 is that right ?? any joy have you got feeling back .... I am really worried about this . I was not told about this being a possibility of happening , I too am beggining to think surgery was the wrong option ... Thanks for any replys C .
    ankleproblem 2 Replies
    • December 4, 2009
    • 11:22 AM
    • 0
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  • I have the exact same symptoms. Could mlwilson please contact me? I would like to know the outcome. My surgery was June 9, 2008.Hi NgravesI would love if you could contact me , as I am one week post op and experiencing total numbness on the sole of my foot post OCD debridement and drilling , I am really worried and my surgeon seems concerned also and says its a wierd reaction and should not have happened . Op last week 26th Nov 09 ... any positives for me ... will feeling ever come back , hope you are doing okCheers :)C
    ankleproblem 2 Replies
    • December 5, 2009
    • 07:43 PM
    • 0
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  • I'm not sure can we leave links here, but I have read this interesting article. http://bit.ly/7dN8MA If this doesn't go through I will understand. :)I think many of you will find this very interesting. My younger brother had this problem few years ago and he is better now. I really do understand the problem that you are dealing here. best of luck to all of you and god bless you.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 7, 2009
    • 10:59 AM
    • 0
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  • I am praying that someone will read this and will reply to me!!! Please if you are reading this and can help me please reply!!! I had surgery on my ankle Sept 20,2009, so 4 months ago now and I have A TON of numbness in my foot now!! I mean a lot!!! the doctor said it must be a nerve issue and i need to go see a nerolosgist. The doctor first had me come back a month later thinking it was going to be all better but it had ZERO change.. When do I know if it is going to be permenant? I have been walking on my foot for about 8 weeks now and have no improvment. It gets swollen all the time, hurts BAD, and most of the foot is numb. Please anyone help! Help me!! How long is this going to be numb for until i know that it is never going to get better. I read people saying that it got better or is going to but mine hasnt and its been a while now. its january 20th 2010 today.. thanks
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 21, 2010
    • 00:37 AM
    • 0
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  • Yesterday I had a procedure to have a stent put in my lower leg to increase blood flow. The DR could nt get thru the blockage thru the groin so he attempted to go thru the foot upwards. He injected a large amount of novocaine but had no success in getting into the artery. Naturally my foot was numb but now 30 hours later the bottom for my foot from heel to toe is still completely numb. Could he have hit a nerve and caused permanent damage?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had foot surgery four weeks ago. I had no feeling on the top of 2 of my toes and inside at the surgery sites from the beginning. I am starting to get feeling back - but only in one toe. It worries me somewhat but I suspect my body just needs time to repair itself.From what I was told they cut nerves when they do surgery and your body repairs them. It takes time depending on the size of the nerve, the extent of the damage and your body's ability to repair the damage. Sometimes a nerve does not repair itself for whatever reason and you are left without sensation. It is very scary when you don't know what is going on. I once had surgery to remove an infection at the root of my top front tooth. I came home that day and the freezing did not come out. I wasn't too concerned and just went to bed expecting the freezing to be out when I woke up, but there was no change. The freezing sensation was gripping and ached so it was kind of driving me crazy. Each night I would go to bed hoping for a change in the morning, but there was no change!I started freaking out and called the doctor who told me it was nerve damage, not the freezing. He said it is extremely rare for permanent nerve damage to occur in the top of the mouth; more likely to happen in the bottom. He really had no advice to offer other than that. That was all well and good but it didn;t change my circumstances. I started wondering how I would live with this new reality, the discomfort and monotony were making me very anxious. Then, lo and behold, After about 3 weeks I noticed a very slight improved sensation - it felt like the freezing was starting to come out. Each day it got better and eventually after about a month it was completely gone. I was so happy to have dodged that bullet.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I recently had surgery on my ankle due to a motocross injury where i had a spiral fracture which dislocated my ankle. i had 6 screws and a plate put in and i to had numbess in the top of my foot as well as an extremely sensitive feeling that only started after surgery. I asked my suregon about this and he also replied with "that's weird". But he also thought that it could be a bruised or irratrated nerve. I cant remember what two nerves he said run down your leg but he said this issue could take a few weeks to a few months to heal.I just had pretty much the same operation done on my ankle, I had a plate and screws put in. The top oof my foot is numb as well. It has been 2 months since the surgery and 4 days since I had the cast removed. Is your foot still numb?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I just had my second foot surgery 5 weeks ago and the bottom of my foot and two of my toes are still numb. I had a bone on the side of my foot shaved off, I had my achilles loosened, and I had an implant put in to create an arch. I had absolutely no problems last surgery but this time I knew something was wrong coming out of surgery. I complained about my cast making me very uncomfortable but they said it wasn't too tight, and still just being touched by the cast was driving me crazy. Finally got the cast taken off yesterday and it's not a whole lot better. The skin on the bottom of my foot feels very hard and If I don't have my boot on I can't let the bottom of my foot touch anything, the sensation isn't even really explainable. Just like everyone else said, it's very uncomfortable.I haven't had a good nights sleep since before the surgery. The thing that bothers me the most is no one told me this could/would happen. Honestly I would have just kept my terrible feet. I had lots of pain when I walked and I couldn't really run but at least I could be comfortable when I was resting. I don't know how long I will be able to deal with this...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wait a second, your foot is still this way? How could he do that?!Did you go to another doctor maybe?I had left knee replacement surgery 5 weeks ago. Upon awakening I had agonizing pain in my back.Having had sciatta for awhile, thought that was the culprit.I was up the next day trying to walk and noticed that my left foot was numb, and felt like there was no way to control it while i attempted to walk. Did therapy with numb foot x 3 days, discharged to home, still complaining about foot. After about a week, woke up in middle of night with something feeling like lightning bolts going into my foot, in heel, also in big toe. called Dr, was put on lyrica. This has not helped, and it has been 5 weeks. It now feels like there are blisters all on the bottom of my foot, and I can barely walk on that foot. It is very dry, and I am keeping antibiotic cream on it just to keep it from feeling that it is about to crack open. My knee is doing great,my foot is keeping me from being able to walk on that leg. Also, the first three fingers of my left hand just have a tingly feeling, only those fingers, this has been about 4 weeks. HELP!!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 21, 2010
    • 04:14 PM
    • 0
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  • I am praying that someone will read this and will reply to me!!! Please if you are reading this and can help me please reply!!! I had surgery on my ankle Sept 20,2009, so 4 months ago now and I have A TON of numbness in my foot now!! I mean a lot!!! the doctor said it must be a nerve issue and i need to go see a nerolosgist. The doctor first had me come back a month later thinking it was going to be all better but it had ZERO change.. When do I know if it is going to be permenant? I have been walking on my foot for about 8 weeks now and have no improvment. It gets swollen all the time, hurts BAD, and most of the foot is numb. Please anyone help! Help me!! How long is this going to be numb for until i know that it is never going to get better. I read people saying that it got better or is going to but mine hasnt and its been a while now. its january 20th 2010 today.. thanksI am suffering from the same "strange" sensation...I am 5 months s/p ankle reconstructive surgery (plate, screws, pins, resin); I'm weight bearing now and in P.T., range of motion has been a long and slow process. I have NUMBNESS and TIGHTNESS in my big toe, top of my foot, and especially the ball of my foot where it meets my toes. My surgeon tells me this feeling may last even as long as a year due to the trauma/seriousness of the surgery. I was hoping massaging my foot would help...but does not. I'm very fed up w/this sensation that I did not anticipate! The NUMBNESS, NEEDLES/PINS FEELING and TIGHTNESS, are driving me crazy...the medical/P.T. staff told me to continue elevating my foot w/ice on it a few times throughout the day, thinking that once the swelling would go down, the numbness would subside...this is not working at all. Very frustrating and aggravating. I'm beginning to think that I may have to learn to deal w/this b/c I'm thinking that I may have this indefinitely!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 28, 2010
    • 04:09 PM
    • 0
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  • Three days ago I had extensive ligament reconstruction surgery (ACL, LCL, Postero-Lateral Corner). After waking up in recovery, I could move my foot, but had a pins and needles sensation that continued to escalate in severity and extent during the night after the Surgery. Eventually my entire calf, shin and foot was numb and painful. I was worried it could be a circulatory problem (felt somewhat like when a totally asleep arm comes awake) or worse. Nurses said it was likely after effects of a nerve block but this did not seem right. I was sent home the morning after with no improvement. Surgeon advised that there had been no nerve block applied, and this was likely due to the constriction torniquet applied during surgery and should subside. Having read this site, I was quite worried and wasn't sure it would improve. Now, two days on from that worst second night, the tingling is far diminished and the severity and extent of the sensation seems to be receding. I am sleeping normally again, and hopeful for full sensation recovery (with possibly some expected feeling loss below the incision on the upper shin). This is for those of you frantically searching, as I was, the night after the surgery. I felt significant stress over this and I couldn't find anything hopeful at all in several sites, but my experience is greatly improving! Of course I recommend you speak with your Surgeon and other medical experts. This is only my (current) experience and anecdotal!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 2, 2010
    • 07:28 PM
    • 0
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