Possible Causes of Leg Pain After Hysterectomy and Treatment Options

Hysterectomy is the most common operation performed by a gynecologist to resolve problems related with uterus. Issues can be benign or malignant. Hysterectomy is procedure performed to remove uterus. Hysterectomy can be either partial to radical. In radical hysterectomy along with uterus other appendages such as ovaries, fallopian tube etc are also removed. Hysterectomy is considered to be a major surgery. As with any surgery, hysterectomy may also have some complications. One such post surgical problem of hysterectomy is pain in legs. Patient may complain of pain in both or one leg, mainly in the calf region.

There are several factors that may trigger pain such as deep vein thrombosis, damage to the femoral nerve etc. If a patient is suffering from pain in legs after hysterectomy, she must consult her doctor. Medications and suitable physiotherapy exercises may be necessary to resolve pain.

Causes:

Complications can develop after hysterectomy operation. There are several reasons for which hysterectomy is performed. Uterine fibroids are the most common reason. Fibroids are benign growths inside and outside the uterus. They may cause severe bleeding, pelvic pain and pressure on bladder. When all conservative measures fail, removal of uterus is considered the last option.

Endometriosis, cancer of cervix, cancer of uterus, etc are other pathological problems that may require hysterectomy. Difficulty in urination, excessive bleeding from vagina after surgery, pain in abdomen are some of the post hysterectomy problems. Some women also complain of pain in legs after removal of uterus. Hysterectomy is a major operation and it is performed either through abdominal route or through vagina. Pain in legs can occur due to deep vein thrombosis or any injury or compression of the nerve. After hysterectomy usually circulation in the legs is reduced. This can increase the risk of formation of blood clots in the deep veins of legs. In medical terminology it is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It is more common when the patient is non ambulatory after the surgery. Other cause is entrapment or compression of the nerve, mainly the femoral nerve.

How to treat leg pain after hysterectomy:

Leg pain after hysterectomy as mentioned above can be due to deep vein thrombosis or due to nerve entrapment. It is necessary to become mobile as soon as possible after the operation. This is to prevent deep vein thrombosis in the legs. It is for this reason doctor advice to their patients to move about the next day after operation. Even slight movement in the room helps to improve circulation during the recovery period after operation. When patient is not walking, she must continue her movement in bed by slightly bending her ankles keeping the legs straight. Bending knee and straightening leg is another good exercise that she can do when lying in the bed. Patient must also avoid crossing her legs as it decreases the flow of blood in leg veins. In case of deep vein thrombosis, clot bursting blood thinner is prescribed to the patient. If nerve damage is a concerning cause for leg pain post hysterectomy, stretching and passive exercise after few days or weeks is beneficial to reduce pain.

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