Why Does My Ankle Hurt After Knee Replacement Surgery?

December 30, 2023
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If you’ve lived your entire life suffering from arthritis, with pain taking root in your joints and kneecaps, then chances are you might need knee replacement surgery to ease some of the pain. For most people, knee replacement surgery is a transformative procedure since it replaces a part of your knee but also restores your mobility.

However, in some cases, people find their ankles hurting after knee replacement surgery, raising concerns. But that isn’t something to worry about, as leg pain is quite common after knee surgery. While it might make alarm bells go off in your head, the pain does tend to go away with due time. To learn what causes your ankles to hurt in the first place, keep reading this blog.

Is Ankle Pain Common After Knee Replacement?

Right after the surgery, you are bound to experience slight pain and jitteriness in your legs. This is because your muscles will most likely be weak after the procedure. However, sometimes, during the surgery, the femoral and tibial bones in your knee can get twisted, causing discomfort in the ankle. If the pain doesn’t go away after a week or two of your knee surgery, visit your doctor or an orthopedic surgeon for more information.

Why Does My Ankle Hurt After Knee Replacement Surgery

Experiencing ankle pain after a knee replacement surgery isn’t a cause for concern, but if the pain refuses to dim, it might become a cause for concern. Pay close attention to what triggers the ache and when does your ankle hurt the most. Ultimately, the pain could be caused by the following reasons:

  1. Changing The Way You Walk
    After knee replacement surgery, people often end up changing the way they walk to accommodate the changes in the knee joint. This can lead to increased stress on the ankle joint and the surrounding ligaments, resulting in pain.
  2. Weak Leg Muscles
    Immediately after the surgery, you are supposed to rest. Walking and putting strain of any kind on your leg is prohibited. This is because your muscles are weak after being operated on. Trying to walk or use the affected leg too much might give way to weight imbalance, hurting the ankle in the process.
  3. Tendinitis
    Inflammation is a natural response to surgery, and it can extend beyond the knee joint, affecting other areas such as the ankle. Thus, when the tendons in your ankle get inflamed, it can cause tendinitis, leading to a lot of pain and discomfort.
  4. Nerve Irritation
    Due to the intrusive nature of the surgery, your nerves around the knee and ankle may experience irritation. This can lead to pain radiating down your ankle, making small movements seem unbearable. However, it is important to keep in mind that despite the discomfort being temporary, it still requires care and attention.
  5. Pre-existing Ankle Issues
    There are times when the pain is not caused by the surgery but is rather an underlying joint issue acting up. Pre-existing ankle problems become more noticeable after knee replacement surgery. It is crucial to seek treatment for this pain immediately.

What’s Next?

To put it briefly, it’s common for your ankle to hurt after knee replacement surgery. But if the pain doesn’t go away, only seeming to get worse over time, do not hesitate to get it checked out. It could be caused by extra strain on your leg or an underlying ankle joint problem.

Regardless of the cause, an orthopedic surgeon will conduct X-rays, MRI scans, and various other diagnostic tests to determine the root of the problem. Mufaddal Gombera is an expert in his field. With his careful precision and techniques, he will restore your leg’s mobility in no time. So, what’s the hold-up? Give Mufaddal Gombera, MD, a ring today at (713) 794-3457.

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Dr. Gombera

Dr. Gombera, earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. Expanding his expertise, he undertook a sports medicine and arthroscopy fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. Recognized as a Super Doctors Rising Star and honored for patient care excellence at the University of Michigan, he holds multiple certifications and licenses, solidifying his dedication to delivering exceptional medical services.

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