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Why do I have nerve pain after Achilles tendon surgery?

Why do I have nerve pain after Achilles tendon surgery?
3 minutes, 18 seconds

Achilles tendon surgery may be necessitated for those who have ruptured or torn the tendon in their heel. The Achilles tendon is a cord in the back of the ankle and heel where the heel bone connects to the muscles in the calf. When the tendon becomes overstretched, it can become ruptured or torn. The tendon can also degenerate over time, and these are the kinds of situations when surgery may be necessary to correct the injury. 

The nerve that runs through the area of the Achilles tendon is called the sural nerve. Some patients report experiencing pain in their sural nerve after they undergo an Achilles surgery.

Is it normal to have nerve pain after surgery on your Achilles tendon? What might cause this?

What are some symptoms of nerve pain that can be attributed to Achilles tendon surgery?

  • Numbness — One of the symptoms of nerve pain resulting from Achilles tendon surgery may include numbness or decreased ability to experience sensations in the area.
  • Tingling — Another symptom that may present itself in patients with this condition includes tingling or a “pins and needles” type of sensation.
  • Burning — Some patients may also experience burning or sharp pain in the area of the affected nerve. It’s also common to experience throbbing or aching pains, as well.
  • Muscle weakness — Muscle weakness can affect the area around the affected nerve and either be a result of the damaged nerve or muscle weakness from lack of use after surgery. Muscle atrophy can be seen in patients with this condition, as well.
  • Muscle spasm — Nerve pain after Achilles tendon surgery can definitely include muscle spasms and, when left untreated, can cause serious distress and discomfort for those with this particular condition.

What are some treatment methods for nerve pain after Achilles tendon surgery?

If you’re experiencing nerve pain after a recent Achilles tendon surgery, this may prolong your recovery time and make it more difficult to get back on your feet. Here are some treatments that may help:

  • Rest — Rest can be helpful for those with nerve pain. It can allow your body to get a break from those activities that may irritate or aggravate your nerve pain. For example, taking a period of time to rest your nerve and Achilles tendon by avoiding walking for a little while can help reduce nerve pain from overuse. Resting can give your body time to heal.
  • Strength-building exercises — Performing regular exercises to build strength in your feet, ankles, legs and other surrounding areas of the body can help improve your nerve pain after surgery on your Achilles tendon. You can do weight training to improve your muscle strength and better support your muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the area to reduce your nerve pain.
  • Physical therapy — You can visit your local physical therapist to restore mobility and minimize pain in your tendon. Physical therapists are experts at creating treatment plans that are personalized to your unique physical health needs. They can help you restore flexibility, improve range of motion, and build strength in areas of weakness to prevent your chances of experiencing nerve pain in the future and minimize your current symptoms. They can also assess your current physical state after your Achilles tendon surgery and potentially identify what may be contributing to your nerve pain.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for nerve pain after an Achilles tendon surgery

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address your nerve pain after an Achilles tendon surgery. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.

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