Why does nerve pain happen after foot and ankle surgery? One reason for nerve pain after surgery is the development of scar tissue along the path of nerve. There are several nerves in the foot that are susceptible to this nerve entrapment. The most common one I’ve encountered is along the lateral ankle (outside). Common surgeries along this area include peroneal tendon repair, repairing a calcaneal fracture or ankle ligament repair. There is a sizable nerve along this path called the sural nerve. This nerve originates from the back of the leg and courses to the lateral ankle behind the ankle (fibula) bone. Symptoms can include: burning sensation, numbness around the area or simply pain that doesn’t go away.
Common treatments for nerve entrapment includes steroid injections or surgery to either repair or release the nerve from the scar tissue. It is even possible to cut the nerve leaving the area numb but also pain-free. Cutting of the sural nerve does not affect the way you walk, as it is only a sensory nerve. Each case is unique so it is best to discuss options that are right for you with your surgeon.