Getting Rid Of Nerve Pain After Knee Surgery

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

"We are now three and a half months from a decompression of the common peroneal nerve for a patient who had a foot drop after a knee replacement. She had an angulation of her knee and when the knee was straightened, she had some loss of function in her foot. She was not able to raise her foot. We released this nerve because the nerve appeared to be entrapped here. Go ahead and show me what you can do with your foot now. That’s about three and a half months. Were you able to do that before surgery? 

No.

Are you walking with the brace or are you taking your brace off? 

I’ve taken it off. I don’t wear it anymore.

Any problems with tripping at all?

No. I go up and down stairs without holding onto bannisters. I haven’t tripped at all. In fact, when I had the brace on it was tripping me.

Very good. She does have some numbness that persists in the top of the foot. As this nerve regenerates, the first thing we’ll see is some muscle function come back and then as the nerve grows down. She had some numbness in the top of her foot. Have you noticed any improvement in the sensations since the operation yet?

The numbness has gone probably about 50%. What I feel is underneath the skin is like somebody twisting it. That starts from up here and it has gotten better because when this originally happened I couldn’t even touch the side of my leg. Water bothered it - taking a shower was very difficult. But now I can put shoes and socks on. In fact I can get dressed without worrying about whether I’m going to trip over my foot. I can do stairs.

Great! As the nerve recovers, this will continue to improve with time. Occasionally the nerve will get stuck in a spot right about here and another branch can get stuck into place right about here and if we have to, in the future, come back and open those up like we did at her knee we can do that but we’re very early on - it’s only about three and a half months. Would you consider this fairly successful so far?

Yes.

Very good, thank you!"