Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist) Questions Podiatrist

Why do I still have pain after ankle surgery?

I had ankle surgery 3 months ago. I still have mild ankle pain when walking.

13 Answers

There are multiple answers to your question. It depends on what type of surgery you had, whether bones were fractured or cut into, and what type of post-operative physical therapy you underwent. Normally, there should be no pain 3 months after ankle surgery unless there is some type of complication. A second opinion may be indicated in your case.
Swelling can be normal for 3-6months which can lead to pain. You also need to strengthen your muscles
That’s difficult to answer, as I don’t know what type of surgery you had or what your pathology was. You should see your surgeon and ask for an exam. They might suggest imaging studies to further evaluate the pain and healing of your surgery. All patients have some pain and a rehab period after surgery which may be different lengths of recovery for different patients and different types of surgery
It is not uncommon to have some residual discomfort, swelling, and numbness to the ankle after surgery. Particularly if there are implants placed or if due to infection. Swelling and numbness can persist up to a year.
This questions is so variable depending on what surgery you had. Typical surgery can take up to a year to have resolution of ongoing swelling and aching. I would suggest discussing this with your surgeon!
Three months is not a long time for healing. The pain will probably continue to improve.
Ankle pain 3 months after surgery is normal, it’s likely swelling pain. I would give any foot and ankle surgery 6 months before you feel “normal” again after any foot and ankle surgery.

Missy Journot
Go back to the surgeon who performed the procedure and question him or her.

Thank you for the question. I cannot give you an answer to why you still have pain. Please check with your operating surgeon. Many times, after orthopedic surgery of any kind, he can take a total 6 months to resolve all the pain. However, as I said originally, please check with your operating physician.

Thank you,

Dr. Gorman
Ankle surgery is a very involved surgery. Depending on the reason to have had the surgery in the first place, ex. trauma, injury, arthritis, etc., there were likely bones, muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and nerves involved. In any surgery, soft tissues need to heal along with the structures named above, and they all heal at different rates. In general, bones heal in 6-8 weeks, but other tissues can take 6 months or longer to heal. For quicker recovery, a slightly more aggressive, BUT SUPERVISED PT recovery therapy program can help. Keep moving forward & your body should become fully healed!
The best of luck to you!
Pain will sometimes linger for a period of time after surgery, depending on how extensive the work involved in the surgery. I recommend you discuss with your foot and ankle surgeon for expectations of how much pain you will have
Because ankle surgeries are like long life marriage, they never get perfect.
It is normal to still have pain after ankle surgery due to the fact that it is a big surgery that requires opening of the entire ankle and there's a lot of scar tissue and the body needs to heal properly