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knee microfracture surgery

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I had microfracture surgery on my left knee 9 days ago. A few days after surgery, I noticed my left foot gets very cold & dark red when I'm moving around. It's better once I'm sitting again, though the foot is slow to warm up. I'm on crutches, as I can't bear weight on the leg for about 6 weeks, so could that have something to do with it - just that it's not being used?

I had an ultrasound of the leg to rule out a clot, thankfully, but I'm still wondering how common this is. Does it get better? My foot also is very tingly, especially the bottom of the foot, almost like when your foot "falls asleep" and wakes up again, if that makes sense.

Thanks for any insight. My ortho doesn't appear concerned about it at all, but I am! I'm 32 - I don't want a cold, red, tingly foot forever.
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replied May 15th, 2009
Knee microfracture surgery
Well, I am looking for an answer to this as well! I had my surgery 7 weeks ago and still have theses problems, except mine is from the knee down. I also still have pain in the knee.
The Dr. and therapist say it's from not giving proper circulation to it from not using it. If you find out a better answer it would be good to know!
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replied May 20th, 2009
Community Volunteer
Good answer....I have this too....

Caroline
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replied June 15th, 2009
microfracture recovery ( cold foot)
HI everyone. I had surgery 5 weeks ago and spoke about both of these conditions with my surgeon. Both are normal.. The answer: massage!! yes.. go and get a 15 minute massage each day, if possible.. allow them to really massage your calf muscles, and dig into the ligaments of your ankle.. your foot is stopping an oxidation process, and capillaries are confused as they are sending messages to the brain via nerves that the joint isnt there anymore! ( that is why you dont use it).. in some respects, your brain thinks you have been amputated, and it stopping the voluntary regulation system from working there.. BUT listen to this.. if you are getting these two signs, it means you have been awesome, absolutely awesome in staying off your foot! Good job..!lastly, I bought a little foam nerf ball for 99c.. now I practice picking it up with my toes and rolling my foot on it.. stops the dead falling asleep feeling..and lastly, this past week I allowed the masseuse to really massage the knee..right on the scar wounds and touch into the ligaments and acl etc, and it felt soooooo good.. try it!
best of luck to you all
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replied November 16th, 2012
Calf Pain One Week Post Op
I had my micro fracture surgery exactly one week ago and experiencing everything you all are discussing! In fact, it's 2am and I had to get out of bed because my calf is in so much pain it woke me up even after taking 2 pain killers! Feels like a huge Charlie horse! I've been explaining it to my husband... I'm glad I searched oine because I feel a little less crazy now! I was worried I had a blood clot!! I may call tomorrow just to be sure!
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replied November 16th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
krocha,

I assume you had the surgery arthroscopically. It is not uncommon for the fluid used during the knee 'scope to extravesate (leak) down into the calf. This can cause the calf to swell, feel “full”, cramp, be sore, and other similar symptoms. As the body resorbs the fluid, the symptoms will usually decrease.

Usually, if it is a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), there will be diffuse unilateral swelling of the leg and foot (below the level of the clot). Some patients develop warmth and redness of the calf (this is more commonly seen with superficial thrombophlebitis). You may be able to feel “cords” under the muscle and subQ tissues, if a clot is present. Some patients will have increased pain with stretching of the muscles in the calf, but this is nonspecific, as other conditions have this symptom also.

DVTs are actually not really that common. They do tend to occur more often in certain populations, such as smokers, overweight patients, those with clotting disorders, women on birth control pills, etc. And, there is some controversy as to whether or not DVTs below the knee even need to be treated with anticoagulation. That usually depends upon the patient’s history and symptoms, plus where the thrombosis is located.


So, the cramping in the calf is actually quite common after arthroscopy, especially if the procedure was prolonged. Swelling in the knee joint itself can also cause problems with the calf muscles, as the gastrocnemius muscle goes across the back of the knee joint. But, in ‘scope cases, it is usually due to some of the fluid used to distend the joint during surgery leaking down into the calf. The body will resorb this, but it does take some time. Gentle stretching of the calf muscle will help in some cases. A hot pack on the calf will often sooth the soreness and cramping (some patients prefer ice, which is fine). But, usually it is just a tincture of time that takes care of the problem.


Good luck. Hope your procedure is successful.
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