nerve pain after knee replacement

3 best treatments for nerve pain after knee replacement

In a knee replacement, the bones that make up the knee joint are removed in some places and replaced with synthetic implants. It is primarily used to treat osteoarthritis-related knee pain and stiffness.

Most patients who undergo this operation have advanced knee arthritis, in which the cartilage has been worn away and the knee’s surface has become uneven, pitted, and degraded. Pain, stiffness, instability, and a shift in bodily alignment are brought on by this. Some persons who have a weaker knee joint due to an injury or another ailment may benefit from knee replacement surgery.

How is Knee surgery performed

The knee joint’s damaged bone and cartilage are removed. Then, artificial parts are inserted into the knee.

Parts being replaced

The following locations in the knee joint are possible for placement of these parts:

  • The femur is the bone at the lower end of the thigh. Typically, the replacement part is constructed of metal.
  • The tibia is the big bone at the upper end of the shin bone, located in the lower leg. The replacement part is often comprised of sturdy plastic and metal.
  • Patella is the name for the back of your kneecap. Typically, sturdy plastic is used to create the replacement part.
Difference in knee after Knee surgery

Symptoms of pain after knee replacement

Some areas of your skin may develop a heightened sensitivity to touch. As you become more mobile, perform your exercises at home, and subsequently receive outpatient Physical Therapy, you can experience further discomfort in particular knee locations. It’s typical to experience tingling, electric zing, burning, and pins and needles as your nerves begin to awaken and recover following the operation.

Nerve Pain during Knee replacement

There won’t be any pain during the procedure. One of these two types of anesthetics will be used on you::

  • You won’t be able to feel discomfort because you’ll be under general anesthesia.
  • Regional (spinal or epidural) anesthesia: You receive medication through your back to become completely numb below the waist. Additionally, a sleep aid will be given to you. Additionally, even if you are not completely asleep, you could be given medication to help you forget about the surgery.

Nerve pain after knee replacement

The patient needs to heal from this big operation, which will take some time, effort, and patience to deal with the pain and recover. The impact on the nerves at and around the operative site of the knee is one of the more intriguing elements of knee replacement surgery. I’ll go through why nerve pain after knee replacement surgery occurs frequently, why it does so, and how it usually progresses and goes away over time in this article.

The technique for performing knee replacement surgery has improved over time, becoming more “tissue-sparing,” which means that we no longer cut through substantial muscles and tendons as we did in the past. This decreases the amount of pain experienced during recovery and the amount of time needed for the body to heal after surgery.

Additionally, it aids in keeping the patient’s knee feeling much more “natural.” The art of surgery has not yet advanced to the point where we can avoid severing all the nerves that are present in the skin and surrounding tissue around the knee. That is the problem.

Nerve Damage during Knee replacement

  • The lower leg, the ankle, the foot, and the toes are all controlled by several major nerves and branches that originate in the knee and send signals from these body parts to the brain. There are several nerves that have numerous branches and twigs, including the saphenous, peroneal, tibial, femoral, and obturator nerves. These nerves are in several places, including the front, the side, and the back of the knee. Additionally, there are many nerve endings in the skin around the knee.
  • Despite their best efforts, surgeons occasionally fail to avoid severing the peroneal nerve or a branch when making an incision. Sometimes, the incision sutures unintentionally catch and close the saphenous nerve. Unfortunately, 20% of patients may develop a painful neuroma, and it is unclear why this occurs. Thankfully, most patients simply have the “normal” and expected nerve discomfort after surgery.
  • What do normal and expected mean in this case? Patients typically experience numbness of the skin surrounding the incision after surgery when the anesthesia and nerve block wears off (but not numb enough, right?). You may notice that your skin feels strange as you take off your bandage and take a shower. All of this is perfectly normal.

How long does nerve pain last after total knee replacement?

Each person has a different timeline for when they will no longer experience pain as it totally depends on the patient’s commitment to physical therapy and dedication. Patients typically report less pain after three to five weeks. Patients start to experience improved mobility after six weeks, and some can resume driving. Pain lessens at this point but is replaced with stiffness and soreness, which can be uncomfortable. Patients ought to be nearly able to resume their pre-surgery way of life by the time the 11th week arrives.

How to treat nerve pain after knee replacement?

1- Management of Pain

You’ll have some soreness after the procedure. This comes as a byproduct of healing naturally. Your surgeon and the nurses will attempt to lessen your discomfort so that you can recuperate from surgery more quickly. Following surgery, medications are frequently administered for momentary pain relief. A wide range of medications, such as opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, and local anesthetics, are available to assist manage pain. To enhance pain relief and reduce the need for opioids, your doctor may combine these drugs.

2- Blood Clot Avoidance

One or more treatments may be suggested by your orthopedic doctor to avoid blood clots and reduce leg swelling. These could consist of specialized support hose, blow-up leg armor (compression boots), and blood thinners.

Additionally, it is advised to move your feet and ankles as soon as possible after surgery to improve blood flow to your leg muscles and reduce the risk of blood clots and leg swelling

3- Physical Exercise

Most people can start knee exercises hours following surgery. Soon after your operation, a physical therapist will teach you specialized exercises to strengthen your leg and restore knee mobility so that you can resume walking and other daily activities. Your surgeon might use a knee support that gently moves your knee while you’re in bed to recover motion in your knee and leg.

Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) Exercise Machine is the name of the apparatus. There is no proof that using a CPM machine improves outcomes, despite some surgeons’ claims that it reduces leg swelling by elevating the leg and enhances blood circulation by exercising the leg muscles.


Knee replacements typically reduce pain, increase mobility, and enhance the overall quality of life for patients. Most knee replacements should last at least 15 to 20 years. You can take part in a variety of low-impact activities after you’ve recovered, such as riding, walking, swimming, golfing, or tennis. However, you should stay away from sports that entail contact or jumping as well as high-impact exercises like jogging. Discuss how to continue being active after a knee replacement with your medical team.

Frequently asked questions ( NERVE PAIN AFTER KNEE REPLACEMENT )

What relieves post-surgical nerve pain?

These consist of:
·       relievers of pain. Mild symptoms can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as Tylenol.
·       Pain relievers. Tramadol and oxycodone, two opioid medications, can reduce
·       from mild to severe agony.
·       Anti-epileptic Drugs.
·       Drugs for the skin.

What method of knee replacement is best?

One of the safest and most efficient common orthopedic procedures nowadays is a TKR. A TKR involves the removal of the damaged bone’s surface caused by osteoarthritis or other factors and the replacement of the knee with an artificial implant that is tailored to your anatomy.

How can I make my knee stop aching now that I have surgery?

·       pain reduction
·       Several times a day, take a walk.
·       After exercising or going for a stroll, lie down and place a cold pack over your incision. This may lessen discomfort and swelling
·       Your new joint may cause you some discomfort.
. Follow the pharmaceutical drug’s directions exactly.