Chronic Post-Surgical Pain is defined by continued pain after surgery for more than 3 months. In major foot and ankle reconstruction it can be normal for pain to last for a much longer period of time depending on the extensiveness of the procedure. However, if you have pain for more than 6-12 months after a surgery it could indicate that there is still something that is causing the pain—most likely a nerve issue!
Many patients relate a different “type” of pain after their surgery. If you developed a different type of pain after your foot or ankle surgery, especially if it is a burning type of pain, it likely is due to a nerve that was either injured or became entrapped in scar tissue after the surgery.
If you still have pain after a foot or ankle surgery, then it is important to consult with a tertiary center for neuropathy, like US Neuropathy Centers. It used to be that doctors would tell patients, “the pain is due to arthritis,” or “sorry, there is nothing we can do for it—you will have to live with the condition and take either gabapentin or pregabalin.” Well that is not true anymore…
Pain after Bunion Surgery:
This 35-year-old patient had continued post-operative pain for 10 years, with the pain getting worse if she moved the toe up or down. She was told it was due to “arthritis”, but her x-rays were normal, and she did not have any limitation of motion, or pain after we gave her a small lidocaine nerve block in that area.