18 Jul Overcoming Knee Pain After Ankle Surgery
There’s no quick fix for a broken bone or ligament. If you’re an athlete who’s broken their ankle recently you might think this is the only thing you need to worry about. Unfortunately impacting one joint has a knock on effect. With weeks or months hobbling about on one ankle and not weight bearing on your injured side, inevitably the unused side weakens whilst the good side compensates. These muscular imbalances might lead to a number of issues in joints that weren’t initially injured. The most common of these is the knee on the affected side. As the knee becomes weaker in the weeks and months following the injury, it can leave it vulnerable to injury after surgery has been performed and you are back on both feet. But how do you overcome knee pain after ankle surgery? A number of specialist clinics across the United States have the answer.
How do I know an ankle injury might lead to knee pain?
The single most important factor is the length of time of immobility. For patients undergoing ankle surgery, either for a broken foot or for soft tissue repair, this means you will be out of action for weeks to months, giving time for the knee to become weak and putting it at risk of pain when you get back to walking.
Why is knee pain after ankle surgery so poorly treated?
If you do a google search for “overcoming knee pain after ankle surgery” you will find almost nothing. A few forums discussing the issue here and there but no specialist advice for this all too common complaint. This is because the issue is often misdiagnosed. You have ankle surgery, the knee pain comes on soon after but your doctor will just look at the cause of the knee pain. Does this person have osteoarthritis? Do they have a ligament tear? They will ask themselves these questions without thinking holistically about the whole body, and how one joint can affect the joints above and below it sequentially.
If this sounds like the exact consultation you had with your family practitioner, it may be time to get in contact with a specialist foot and ankle clinic that have experience dealing with the common complaints patients have following ankle surgery. These clinics usually have a number of techniques to help knee pain after ankle surgery including:
- Custom orthotics that provide support to your ankle and thus your knee
- Physiotherapy services to build strength in the muscles surrounding the knee that may have become weak
- Gait analysis to identify the source of weaknesses and personalize the management of your individual pain. This is often done with high tech video software that analyses your gait and the issues in it.
If you or somebody you know is suffering from knee pain after ankle surgery then consider getting in contact with a specialist foot and ankle clinic that may be able to provide you with more specialized and personalized care than a primary care provider.