Fingers crossed I wont need further surgery

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I'm in the UK and had my TKR through the NHS nine weeks ago. Two weeks after surgery I had pins and needles in my calf and shin which developed into a painful burning sensation with sharp electrical shocks in the foot and ankle. This condition started 7 weeks ago and my PT told me it would disappear on its own, my doctor prescribed a painkiller which I've learnt is useless for nerve pain. Last week I saw my surgeon and explained my symptoms, I am now waiting to have an MRI scan which to me points to problems caused by the spinal block I had immediately before surgery. These last few days I feel  there has been a slight improvement but it could be I'm getting used to the pain. I'm worried the MRI results will show inoperable and permanent damage, I've not read a post on here from anyone who has suffered nerve damage but if you have had a similar experience what was your prognosis, and was it cured by surgery or other means.   

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  • Posted

    HI David, I had the same thing.  My shin was so sore no one could touch it, immense pain and lots of pins and needles in my calf, sometimes in my thigh, in my toes and foot as well; all day, every day and it got worse when I elevated.  The pain would be there for 4 days, then slightly dissipate one day and then come back full force.  One nurse told me it was because I didn't ice enough but that wasn't true, I iced 20 hours a day and only got up to exercise.  The biggest thing that helped was stretching.  Bend down/over and touch the floor or your toes, or try.  Count to 40, do this every morning and night and it helps but will not get rid of them.  My pain, burning stopped right around 4 weeks (2 weeks ago) the pins and needles really started dissipating around a week ago but still comes and goes but mostly gone.

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    • Posted

      Hi Catherine  it sounds like you went through a similar experience and it gives me some encouragement that you are on the mend. Did you have a spinal block before surgery? and did anyone explain to you what actually caused the problem. I will be seeing my surgeon two weeks after I have the MRI, I guess the images have to be assessed by a specialist before the surgeon can finally relay the findings to me. In the mean time I need to find a suitable pain relief. I hope everything goes well for you and good luck  
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    • Posted

      I didn't have spinal block.  No one really knew what was going on with it.  I suppose it was just how my leg reacted?  Even in physical therapy no one seemed to know why.  I still get it sometimes, the burning pain in the back of my shin but not nearly as severe or as often.  It just dissipates over time.

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  • Posted

    Hi David....I’m eight weeks post op. I suffered very similar symptoms to you. I also had a spinal block. According to my physios and the consultant, everything I’ve experienced is normal. It’s all to do with nerve damage which need time to repair. Over the last couple of weeks the very painful pins and needles and prickly sensations have now gone but I’m left with an excruciating pain just below and to the side of my a knife being stuck in it. This pain is preventing me from walking correctly. 

    I see my physio tomorrow and I’m hoping they can advise/help me regarding this pain. 

    Every morning it’s like starting over again, feeling very stiff, do you have this problem?

    I’m trying to be optimistic but it does get me down sometimes. 

    Everyone says what I’m experiencing is normal and we are all different and heal at different levels, we have to be isn’t easy though is it!😳

    PS. If it helps, I used a cage in the bed to prevent the duvet touching my leg, it was very useful and I thoroughly recommend it if you haven’t tried it! 

    Hope you recover soon! 

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    • Posted

      Hi Linda

      I have experienced pain like you say to the outside of the knee but funny enough this was shortly before surgery not after.

      The two weeks following surgery I was doing great with very little discomfort, I thought if this is all there is to it this is going to be a doddle

      But then  the pins and needles started and everything below my knee tightened up, my shin became untouchable, I had stabbing pains that seemed to penetrate the bones in my ankle and foot, my calf was on fire and solid as a rock.

      Its now 9 weeks since my op and the shooting pains have eased a little but most of the time the nerves feel like they are on fire

      A good nights sleep is still out of the question, I've tried protecting my bad leg by propping my good leg up alongside it which you probably know doesn't work for long.

      I will take your advice and look for a suitable cage to keep the duvet at bay, trouble is I sleep in a double bed all to myself and I always end up laying diagonally across it.

      I could be wrong but  I'm guessing you live in the UK , I say this because a spinal block seems to be the preferred form of anesthetic as opposed to elsewhere as in the USA .

      If I'm right what part of the country do you come from? I live in the south of England in the New Forest and I was lucky to be treated in a private hospital that took a percentage of NHS patients like me

      I must admit it was great having my own room, but even the fact that I could order wine with my meals is no real incentive to have my other knee done.

      Take good care of yourself and who knows I might see you on a playing  field one day 



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