Is foot or ankle surgery painful?

Is foot or ankle surgery painful?


This question is frequently asked in clinics, understandably. With the use of modern techniques and the so-called “Regional anaesthetic block”, we are able to better control post-operative pain. This technique injects local anaesthetic into specific areas to numb the nerves of the foot. It can be used as a complement to General and spinal anaesthesia or on its own. The studies have proved that it can significantly reduce pain postoperatively and in turn minimize the intake of strong pain medication, providing overall a much better patient experience.


Thanks to these techniques, the pain experienced following surgery of the foot and ankle is about 1 or 2 on a scale of 10 (Being 0 no pain at all and 10 the worst imaginable pain). Pain levels are more than halved compared to the classic anaesthetic techniques where these are reported between 3 and 5 for the same type of surgery.


The picture above shows some of the instruments used in a “Regional anaesthetic block” which in some cases can be done using ultrasound to guide the needle into the correct targeted nerves in the leg. The whole procedure can be done after being put to sleep so the patient is comfortable throughout, unaware of any injections.