Do You Have Pain After an Ankle Sprain Surgery?

Eric H. Williams MD
Specializing in reconstructive surgery and pain relief in the Greater Baltimore area.

Having pain is a frustrating experience, and usually even more so after you've had a surgical procedure that was supposed to eliminate the pain. Unfortunately, this is something that does happen.

Now, before you start to think pain following surgery is a sign of incompetence on behalf of your surgeon, consider this: even the best surgeon in the world using the very best current techniques available might still inadvertently damage nerves during surgery. This is simply an inherent risk from cutting through layers of body tissue.

Remember, peripheral nerves run throughout the body in a vast network. They are all over the place and this makes avoiding them extremely difficult (and borderline-impossible for certain situations).

There are certainly many different surgical procedures you could undergo and develop chronic pain afterward, but a common one is surgery to repair an injured ankle. Fortunately, most people do recover without any problems.

Before we proceed, it is important to note that you will likely have some pain and soreness following virtually any procedure. This is logical because surgery is on intense, neuropathic pain lasting longer than six months following an ankle surgery. (Depending on the nature of your injury, this situation may also present itself after the initial injury.)

If it's been longer than six months and you are still having pain and difficulty, there's a problem!

Your first step in determining what is wrong—and potentially finding an answer—is to have your treating physician or surgeon reexamine the affected ankle. In doing so, you will learn if everything appears to be normal in a structural and biomechanical context. You may even want to get a second opinion, just to be sure.

In the event you are having severe pain outside of a typical recovery period and the appropriate medical professionals are assuring you everything looks as it should (or at least as good as it can be), there's a high probability the problem is neuropathic (nerve-related).

Ankle wrapped up after a surgery

Neuropathic Pain

What might have happened to the affected nerves? After all, this pain wasn't always there, right?

Every case is a bit different, but it is possible nerve tissue was injured during the procedure itself or had become entrapped in scar tissue during the recovery phase.

Injury, entrapment, and compression of the nerves can all lead to symptoms such as:

  • Burning, tingling, and "pins and needles" or orhter altered sensations

  • Intense pain from contact with objects, even light ones like your bedsheet

  • Pain in the scar or surrounding area

  • Numbness

These are just a couple of symptoms you might experience. For a more comprehensive list, get your free copy of "Chronic Pain After an Ankle Injury" through our website!

Neuropathic issues such as chronic pain following ankle surgery need to be addressed. When they aren't, the severe pain will likely persist and you may risk the problem worsening over time and/or potentially becoming permanent.

Furthermore, if treatment is delayed for a prolonged period of time, treatment tends to be less effective.

That may sound rather dire, but there is hope!

Options from a Peripheral Nerve Specialist

We have techniques that may be able to help you. How do we know this? Because we've been able to help other patients find relief from severe, chronic pain following ankle sprain surgeries. There's a chance we can do the same for you.

To determine whether we might have the right techniques for your case, we'll start with a careful medical evaluation and physical exam to establish a diganosis explaining the core issue.

A deep understanding of the problem is the starting point that allows ut to establish A) if there is anything we can do and B) which specific procedures might be best for addressing it. Naturally, this will depend on the specifics entailed with your case, but we may recommend using nerve decompression, transfer, grafting, other repair, or even removal procedures.

You can learn more about this process in "Chronic Pain After an Ankle Injury (Even if You've Had Surgery)." (And it doesn't cost you a dime.)

An important part of this whole process—one that may be taken for granted—is the fact that we will take the time to actually listen to you. We consider it important to understand the nature of the initial injury, the symptoms you are experiencing, and other details that provide greater insight into your problem.

It is this understanding of the situation (and how much frustration it can create for you) that led us to put together the whitepaper about it. We want you to know what is happening and, perhaps more importantly, what can potentially be done to resolve it for you.

In the event you are still having pain following surgery for ankle injury—or even if you've been injured and had conservative treatment that should have worked (but you still have severe and chronic neuropathic pain)—and the ankle has been reevaluated by appropriate medical professionals, you should contact us for consultation.

We would be happy to hear from you so we can discuss and evaluate your situation together. Hopefully, we may be able to help you move closer to your goals for recovery.

For more information, take a moment to get your copy of "Chronic Pain After an Ankle Injury (Even if You've Had Surgery)." If you need to request a consultation with our Baltimore office, simply give us a call at (410) 709-3868 and schedule an appointment that works best for you.

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