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Pain After Knee Surgery? Saphenous Nerve Injuries Could Be to Blame

Pain After Knee Surgery? Saphenous Nerve Injuries Could Be to Blame

Did you know that ongoing pain after having knee surgery could be caused by an injury during surgery to the large nerve that runs down the back of your leg? This condition, called saphenous neuritis, can affect your quality of life and make everyday tasks more difficult.

Fortunately, as an expert in peripheral nerve surgeries, nerve repairs, and microsurgery, our board-certified surgeon at Anthony Echo, M.D., with multiple offices in Houston, Texas, can fix the underlying issue and ease your pain. 

Here’s a closer look at saphenous nerve injuries after knee surgery and the treatments that can help.

Saphenous nerve injuries and knee surgery

The saphenous nerve provides sensation in your foot, ankle, and lower leg. During knee surgeries, like ACL repairs or treatments for arthritis, this nerve can sometimes get injured, damaged, or entrapped (pinched). 

When this happens, you develop a condition called saphenous neuritis, or irritation and/or inflammation of this nerve. Signs of this type of damage usually affect your inner knee, ankle, or calf and may include:

Saphenous nerve damage can also affect the muscles in and near your knee and lower leg, leading to muscle cramps or tightness and difficulty with mobility. 

Treatments to correct saphenous nerve injuries

The saphenous nerve lies deep within the leg, and most of the time, issues with it result from complications from previous knee surgery. Treatment usually involves corrective nerve surgery, though a nerve block can sometimes provide relief. 

Because of the complex nature of this injury, it’s important to seek help for saphenous nerve injuries from a surgeon with extensive experience in nerve repairs. Anthony Echo, MD, FACS, specializes in microsurgery, peripheral nerve surgery, and nerve repairs. 

Dr. Echo received Stanford University’s Microsurgery Fellowship and studied under one of the leading peripheral nerve surgeons at Washington University in St. Louis. As a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Echo continues to contribute to ongoing research and advancement in nerve repair surgeries.

The type of nerve repair depends on the unique nature of the injury to your saphenous nerve. If your knee surgery was recent and the damage to your saphenous nerve is fresh, Dr. Echo may be able to directly repair the nerve by treating the ends and suturing them together. 

Other options for repairing injured saphenous nerves include nerve graft (transplant) surgery and nerve transfer surgery: 

During a graft, Dr. Echo transplants a nerve donated either by another person or from a different location in your body to replace the damaged nerve. During a nerve transfer, Dr. Echo rewires the damaged nerve to a working nerve to restore function and ease the pain. 

If you’re experiencing ongoing pain after knee surgery, schedule a consultation online or over the phone with Dr. Echo in Houston for expert help easing your pain. 

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