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Recent knee surgery? After surgery, tingling and numbness can occur.

Learn why this happens -- from our Doctor of Physical Therapy, Katilynn Mueller -- and 2 tricks to recover from knee surgery and get rid of tingling more quickly.


Why do I have tingling?


What does tingling mean?

Tingling in the body equals nerve involvement. Running throughout the body, nerves play a key role in sensation.

While we know where most nerves live in the body, it can be tricky to predict exactly where each nerve will be located person to person, as each body is different.

Tingling or numbness after knee surgery means that your saphenous nerve was likely touched or damaged during surgery. This nerve, the longest in the body -- running from your hip to your foot -- passes through the tissue on the back of your knee.

Miraculously, nerves regenerate after being damaged or cut. But, it does take some time for them to regenerate. Growing at a rate of 1 inch a month, it can take several weeks or months for nerves to grow back fully. In the mean time, there are exercises you can do to help with nerve recovery.



2 knee surgery recovery exercises for tingling

1. Myofascial release for tingling after knee surgery

A great way to get your nerves moving again, this exercise gently stretches the tissue beneath your skin and allows the nerves to move freely. Do this for 5-8 minutes.

Follow any special instructions from your surgeon if you have them.

Have your knee bent or straight.

Take your thumbs and place them around (not on) the surgery area. Gently press into your skin. Let your thumbs slide apart. You should feel a small stretch between your thumbs. Keep spreading your hands wider and wider until you run out of room or no longer feel a stretch.

You can press in multiple directions. Do this for 5-8 minutes.


2. Desensitization techniques for tingling after knee surgery

 Reduce your nerve sensitivity, numbness and tingling with this activity. 

You can perform this with your knee bent or straight, but make sure you follow your surgical precautions.

Start with something very soft, like a tissue or cotton ball. Rub around your surgical area for 1-2 minutes.

Then, use a slightly more coarse material, like a blanket or sponge. Rub for 1-2 minutes, then increase the roughness once more.

You can also press lighter and work on pressing harder over time.

Do this everyday for 10 minutes and you’ll notice a reduction in sensitivity and tingling.   

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