Calf pain/swelling after microfracture knee surgery.

by Richard

This is actually less of a question than an answer for anyone experiencing severe calf pain/swelling after having microfracture knee surgery. This website seemed like a good resource, so I thought I would post here.

First off, as everyone would tell you (hopefully including your surgeon), if the pain persists, you immediately should have an ultrasound to rule out a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). I had that done and the results were negative (good news) but I still had terrible (and, I mean, terrible) pain in my calf. Literally, I could not stand for more than 30 seconds without my foot turning dark purple and the pain so bad that I had to go back down to the bed.

Needless to say, I was very frustrated and became pretty depressed. Naturally, I took Vicodin to quell the pain, but tried to restrict that to bedtime only so I would not grow too dependent on the highly addictive stuff. That helped a bit but the pain in my calf just wouldn't go away.

Then one day a friendly neighbor saw me on crutches and suggested that I (a) put a warm heating pad on my calf and knee twice a day for 20 minutes at a time and (b) take a hot shower). I did both and literally the pain was much less within 2-3 days.

I also switched from Relafen (anti-inflammatory) to Alleve (2 pills twice a day) and started to gently do the exercise bike for a few minutes. Frankly, I'm not sure which of those actions was the solution (or maybe it was all three). My hunch, though, is that the heat from the pad/bike/shower was what my leg needed to help circulation in the area.

The main point I would like to make is that whatever you do, do not give up hope. Hang in there. It sucks (it REALLY SUCKS) but you've got to be positive. Trust me, I wanted to bitch and moan many times (and my wife would tell you that I was impossible) but I tried to keep my spirits up.

Final advice: reading blogs is both good and bad. Good if you can find SOLUTIONS, very (VERY) bad if you read people just saying things that will only (a) scare you or (b) depress you. Empathize with those poor souls but move on to the next blog/posting if it means finding a solution.

Good luck and I'm hoping that you persevere!

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