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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New England
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    1,226

    Post ACL recon-numb shin question

    I had a hammy graft done on my knee just over a year ago, and I was told how part of my shin will remain numb for awhile after the surgery and may never regain all of the feeling back in that area. I got some feeling back, but still had a part of my shin that remained numb which was no big deal to me. A minute price to pay for having my knee fixed.

    So lately that area has been starting to bother me. If I bump into anything with that part of my leg, I get a really strange sensation but it's quite painful. I'm not overly concerned about it, I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced anything similar. I know a lot of people on the forum have had their ACL done, so was just looking for any ideas or advice. Does this go away? will it always be sensitive? Thoughts, musings etc all appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeStrummer
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    387
    I had the same acl recon 3 years ago. The shin numbness has gone away for me. I had a numb big toe for about 8 months also but that eventually went way too. I have had zero problems with my knee since the recon. They must have fixed it pretty good!

  3. #3
    tronacate Guest
    My wife had acl done and has the same numbness problems and sensitivity. Have no idea if a drug like Neurontin would help. She finds it bothersome, but not much to be done I assume.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2
    I had the same problem post acl, but it went away after a couple of months. Also had a decompression surgery of my posterior tibial nerve as it goes around the medial (inside part) of the ankle that didn't go well and I had/ have similar problems there. For that, tried just about every NSAID on the market (no effect) as well as Neurontin, (which worked for a month or so, then started causing vertigo.) 2 years later, I've got a permanent entrapment from scar tissue and neuropathic issues with the associated skin on the bottom of my foot.

    Best things I've found are topical pain patches- Lidoderm patches, which numb the area under the patch- good for the tingly/ painful areas of innervation, and Flector patches, which I put directly over the nerve site and decrease the inflammation. Voltaren Gel also helps, but doesn't last as long and I've got to yank off my shoes/ boots and reapply, so a PITA.

    Basically, when nerves are aggravated, they take some time to calm down. Unless you've got an ongoing reason to irritate the nerve, it should calm over time and you may want to consider using some topical numbing agents if it gets too irritated. Accupuncture also helped quite a bit, but mileage may vary depending on the practitioner and suitability of that modality to the area (of which I am unaware.)

    Hope you feel better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Disturbia
    Posts
    3,396
    Getting close to 11 months post op on a auto patellar ACL recon. Numbness has been continuous from about 5 inches south of the kneecap, all along the tibia to the ankle. Doesn't seem to be getting better. Not really painful, but also feels weird, especially if it gets bumped, kneeling on it, etc. At this point, I think I've come to think it probably will always be this way... A risk I was aware of going into it, and doesn't have any functional effect - just the weird sensation.
    I french kissed Kelly Kapowski.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Tahorado
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    23,862
    One year later, shin numb down about five inches, then numbness reappears out the big toe.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    6
    You can give acetyl-l-carnitine a shot since it tends to help nerve regeneration. Most of the studies are for problems like peripheral neuropathy due to chemotherapy or diabetes. And maybe some alpha-lipoic-acid while you're at it since they sometimes come in a combo pill that I've sometimes found cheaper than buying them separately.
    Just google acetyl-l-carnitine and nerve regeneration.
    Of course, no guarantee that your pain sensory nerves won't regenerate and make things hurt more instead of being numb, so don't go blaming me if that happens since you took medical advice off the internet. But seriously go read up a bit and you'll see that there's legitimate studies backing this up.
    In theory when they've healed properly you shouldn't be either numb or feeling pain you shouldn't be feeling, and hopefully ALCAR will help you get to that endpoint. If you're numb though it might just not work, or it might work but you have to go through a phase of feeling lots of pain, or maybe it'll work great. Who knows. But if it's hurting bad now you might not have a lot to lose with it.
    It does take a while to do anything though since nerves do still take a LONG time to heal-these supplements basically help prevent new damage to the healing nerves, letting the nerves heal faster. Anyways if it does work out for you lemme know or something.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    982
    3.5 months out from hammy acl.....numbness in a 4-5" patch in the middle of shin and strange sensation at the end of the tibia @ the ankle. I also have dime sized spot around the area where the harvested hammy tendons used to attach to the tibia that if pressed, will send a pulsing sensation down my leg.

    hoping it will diminish over time but who knows.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    62
    Well I guess I have the most post-surgical years. I am 14 years, give or take a few months, post ACL, hamstring graft surgery. I also had the numbness and weird feelings when bumping or touching my shin after surgery. I never had any pain in this area though. 14 years later and I still have some numbness in my shin. The area has gotten considerably smaller, and I actually don't even notice it anymore. If I remember correctly it took quite a while to feel the way it does now, maybe a couple years, but nerves heal extremely slow, if at all. It should get better. But will probably, at least in my experience, never fully regain sensation.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Not close enough to skiing
    Posts
    1,007
    2 months out, patellar graft, I have some numbness in an area just below my kneecap,going down around 3 inches. I am massaging this whenever I sit watching TV, and it seems to be helping.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    The Valley
    Posts
    1,580
    year and a half and numbness gone--but i did have it for a while.
    I could go on, and on, and on...but who cares

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Cowtown
    Posts
    267
    12 months, hamstring graft. I may have had some minor numbness for a few weeks after the surgery - can't recall for sure. None now. The graft site seems a little tender now and then, but no big deal.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    153
    Quote Originally Posted by tank3467 View Post
    Well I guess I have the most post-surgical years. I am 14 years, give or take a few months, post ACL, hamstring graft surgery. I also had the numbness and weird feelings when bumping or touching my shin after surgery. I never had any pain in this area though. 14 years later and I still have some numbness in my shin. The area has gotten considerably smaller, and I actually don't even notice it anymore. If I remember correctly it took quite a while to feel the way it does now, maybe a couple years, but nerves heal extremely slow, if at all. It should get better. But will probably, at least in my experience, never fully regain sensation.
    7 years post hammy graft and same story as above.
    Quote Originally Posted by waxman View Post
    in a new feat of coolness i saw a kid on Armada fat somethings last week with Salomon 916s and Scarpa tele boots, that setup must give maximum performance...

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