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Author Topic: What Could This Be? Nerve Damage?  (Read 3065 times)

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Offline Lori

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What Could This Be? Nerve Damage?
« on: July 27, 2002, 09:55:35 PM »
I was just wondering..well I still have the numbness just as much as I did 10 weeks ago when I had my TTT...It's all the way across my leg horizontally ( medial and lateral) and starts at the top of my incision and continues to the bottom of it...which I have begun to get used to. However, I have where if I touch an area on the numb block its still just as numb to the touch there...but I will feel it somewhere else. Like if I touch the medial side of my leg just below my knee I will feel it on the lateral side 3/4ths of the way down my shin!!! Anyone know what is up with this?? Does this mean more nerve damage then just the numbness?? Will this go away or is it permanent?? I do realize the numbness may still go away....but I have no clue as to if this does. It doesn't bother me...its just really I wonder what it is. Has anyone else had an experience with this?? Or has anyone just heard of this??

Thanks in advance,
« Last Edit: July 30, 2002, 12:44:57 PM by admin »
12/00 Plica Excision(L)
7/01 LR(L)
5/02 Distal Realignment with Oblique Osteotomy(L)
9/02 Cortisone Injection(L)
12/02 Garbage Removal (Shredded Tissue,etc) B/c My Kneecap Was Not Even Visible(L)


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Re: What Could This Be? Nerve Damage?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2002, 10:49:12 PM »
Hey Lori!

It could be that some of the microscopic nerves were damaged during surgery, at the very least all your nerves are going to be bruised which may affect their sensory feelings.

I don't know much about nerve damage but I think most surgeons would try to avoid as much damage as they can but some of the smaller nerves, which aren't visable to the naked eye, may have been cut unintentionally.

You may get sensation back once the nerves knit back together, swelling may also be causing compression on the nerves. You may only get partial senstaion back and this can feeling like pins and needles when you touch the area.

Nerves are slow to heal because they are complex, I got sensation back about a year post first LR and personally I feared that it wouldn't come back at all.

If you are worried of nerve damage let your os know.

Good Luck Super Lori!

« Last Edit: July 30, 2002, 12:46:14 PM by admin »

Offline Deborah

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Re: What Could This Be? Nerve Damage?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2002, 05:48:27 AM »

What you're describing is extremely common after major knee surgery.  Some people, especially if they need no more surgery lose the numbness as the nerves regenerate, but others, such as I, have this problem permanently.  My main scar is 14 inches, and I have several off-shoot smaller scars as well as the scope portals from the few arthroscopies I've had.  The main scar has been opened and enlarged 4 times, and I consider the numbness permnanent, but my PT can get through the numbness down to the inflamed and damged soft tissue and really make me scream (only twice), but it is extremely painful when he gets down to the deep tissues.

As I've written before, be careful while you have the skin numbness because you may end up with a heat or ice burn.  Remeber to ice foir only ~20 minutes at a time, and if you use heat (moist or dry) use two layers of toweling or flannel to help prevent burns.  I wound up with a doozy because my then-PT did not use double toweling, and my OS had to debride the burn (a circular burn the size of a US fifty-cent piece tangent to my main scar) on an emergency baasis.  He debrided it down to the bone and gave me antibiotics.  It took three months after the scab formed (in 2 weeks) for it to fall off, and still the lesion bled.  In subsequent surgeries my OS has tried to lessen the size of this part of the scar, but it's still a large  notable circle.  :'(  It's ugly, but I've learned to live with my Frankenstein knee.

Good luck, and take it easy with your rehab.  Too much too fast (even if condoned by your OS and PT) can damage the good work your surgeon has done.  Doctors can make mistakes and may have been misled by your fast recovery to date.  All I'm saying is listen to your body.  I know it's harder when you're 17, but please, if you can, listen to what it's been saying to you by giving you more pain and take it easy.  You don't want to be where I am in 20 years ... with a TKR that has brought me no pain relief because the soft tissue damage is too severe, and with another knee needing a TKR as soon as my left knee is strong enough and I feel it's time.  I refuse to have any salvage procedures on the right waiting to be "old  enough" for a TKR because I can only look at what happened on my left and i want a successful TKR.

Good luck.  8)
« Last Edit: July 29, 2002, 08:41:52 PM by Deborah »
Manip arthro adhes 1/02; TKR 10/01; vmo rep, med reef, chondro, LR 11/00; pat resurf LR 2/00; arth let meisc (80%)1/99; TTT, chondro 8/98; LR(open), med menisc, chondro 6/97; arth med men, OCD les rem

Offline opal

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Re: What Could This Be? Nerve Damage?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2002, 05:51:42 PM »

I had TTT about the same time you did and I have numbness on the entire lateral side of my shin.  My OS said that it is from the surgery because the skin nerves were cut.  The numbness should, over time, (could be 6 mo. or more) shrink to a size of approximately 2" and that will be permanent numbness.  The numbness we feel now, (and it is EXTREMELY creepy feeling while shaving the leg!!!) will get better over time.  I find that at times I have some minor stinging and tingling, which is the nerve regenerating.  Hang in there.  By the way, do you have a hard time wearing pants that rub against your leg?  There are times I want to rip them off, it bothers me so much.  Chin Up! ;D
7 arthroscopies on both knees since 1991; many torn menesci and plica syndrome; TTT 5/23/02 for maltracking patella.  Screws removed on 4/16/03!!!