Cold Feet After Knee Surgery – Causes And Prevention

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If you’re experiencing your feet getting cold after getting your knee surgery, then it could be caused by poor blood circulation or nerve damage. Experiencing cold feet is a complication that might develop after getting knee surgery. You can prevent getting cold feet by following your doctor’s advice and taking your recovery period seriously, including getting physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Getting a knee surgery is a time-taking process that requires you to be mentally strong to handle what’s to come, including the surgery in itself and the recovery period.

Depending on the kind of knee surgery you get, the recovery time may vary. Your doctor will provide you with a list of do’s and don’ts, and you’re expected to follow them for a timely recovery.

There could be many sides effects you might experience during your recovery period, and cold feet might be one of those.

There could be various reasons behind why your feet have suddenly started to feel cold, and we shall explore these reasons one by one.

Cold feet after knee surgery

The recovery time of each knee surgery may differ depending on the complexity and time taken during the surgery.

During this recovery period, the patient will be asked to take things easy at first. The surgeon will do check-ups and provide you a set of instructions to follow.

While some knee surgeries will definitely require you to get a physical therapy or rehabilitation program, it will just be a recommendation for other knee surgeries.

The importance of the recovery period matters to a great extent and, if not taken seriously, will result in many complications such as stiffness in the knee and movement and leading to cold feet.

There could be two reasons why you’re experiencing cold feet after your knee surgery:

1. Poor blood circulation

When the recovery time isn’t taken seriously and followed correctly, it can hamper your blood circulation in your legs, causing cold feet.

It’s important to ease into movements over time during therapy or rehabilitation slowly. If you fail to take care of yourself or delay the therapy and rehabilitation, cold feet will just be one of the issues you will face.

2. Nerve damage

Another reason for getting cold feet could be the risk of nerve damage, which is one of the risks attached to getting knee surgery.

Nerve damage known as neuropathy can also cause cold feet. In this case, the person senses a cold sensation because the nerves that detect temperature are not working correctly.

A feeling of numbness or a pins and needles sensation can also be felt.

How to avoid cold feet after knee surgery?

A woman is getting physical therapy on her knee after her recent knee surgery.

The recovery period, including therapy or rehabilitation, depends upon the kind of knee surgery you get. Some basic rules and conditions are common amongst all knee surgeries for recovery.

To avoid complications such as getting cold feet, you need to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and timely. These includes:

  • Medications prescribed should be taken seriously and on time.
  • You will be slowly eased into movement, either by physical therapy or rehabilitation. The exercise will increase the blood flow to your leg, which will reduce the possibility of getting cold feet.
  • Wearing compression boots and a support hose will protect against swelling and clotting.
  • Frequent breathing exercises and gradually increasing your activity level will make sure your knee doesn’t stay stiff and rule out the possibility of nerve damage.
  • You need to manage your weight to avoid putting pressure on your knee after the surgery and keep a healthy and balanced diet.

Different kinds of knee surgery

There could be various reasons and conditions that lead a person to get knee surgery. Below listed are the four most common orthopedic procedures performed on the knee:

  • Total knee replacement: It’s one of the most commonly performed knee procedures. Recommended to people who have suffered an extensive injury, osteoarthritis, or another type of arthritis.
  • Partial knee replacement: Recommended to clients with only a bit of damage or arthritis in the knee. Recovery time is shorter compared to those who received a total knee replacement.
  • Kneecap Surgery: Physical therapy and rehabilitation is strongly recommended.
  • Complex knee surgery: It’s done to treat a complex knee injury, which can be defined as an injury affecting several ligaments within the same knee. This injury usually occurs due to a major accident. Rehabilitation is crucial, and physical therapy begins the day after the surgery.

However, there are several other lesser-known knee surgeries performed that include:

  • Meniscectomy
  • Meniscus Repair
  • Plica Removal
  • Microfracture
  • ACL Reconstruction


How can I improve the circulation in my feet after surgery?

Wearing compression stockings after getting surgery will help prevent blood clots. These stockings also help with varicose veins or venous insufficiency.

These are greatly helpful in your blood circulation, and people with jobs where they stand a lot also benefit from these stockings.

Why are my feet always cold?

Multiple reasons lead to having cold feet, including injury, autoimmune diseases, alcoholism, lack of vitamins, bone marrow disorders, underactive thyroid, and medications.

These conditions slow or blocks blood flow to your legs and feet.

Why is my foot numb after knee surgery?

Numbness in your foot might be due to swelling that developed on your nerves, positioning, or because of anesthesia that sometimes takes a few days to wear off from your body completely.

Why does my foot feel like it’s on fire after surgery?

If you’re experiencing a feeling of burning sensation in your feet, it might be an indication of too much pressure being put over the surgery area by the cast you’re wearing. Or you might have a wound infection which can also result in the raised temperature of your feet.

To summarize

There could be various reasons for getting knee surgery, depending on your condition or injury. Still, the recovery period is crucial after any knee surgery. Based on the type of knee surgery, your recovery period can vary. You can be recommended to get physical therapy or rehabilitation.

The recovery period is a crucial time to become better faster. If not taken seriously, it can create complications such as getting cold feet. Following your doctor’s advice on recovery is the best way to heal faster and prevent issues like cold feet from happening.

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Saumya Malik
I'm an ardent follower of everything good for the health and wellness of body and mind. I am passionate about providing effective solutions to general health and mental well-being issues and wants to help people achieve the same. When I'm not writing, you can find me curled up with a good book in a corner or cooking as a form of good mental therapy.

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