This patient had severe refractory heel pain and numbness in the foot and loss of the ability to spread or fan out his toes. His pain had been present for over a year. He has many other treatments for suspected plantar fasciitis that were completely unsuccessful. We diagnosed him with two problems. The first and most important was a NERVE COMPRESSION called BAXTER’s NEUROPATHY. This syndrome specifically refers to chronic heel pain due to compression of the “First branch off of the lateral plantar nerve.” Many of us think of this as a version of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.
Treatment of the fascia alone did not help his symptoms. It was not until the tibial nerve, the lateral plantar, medial plantar and calcaneal nerves were all decompressed along with treatment of his plantar fascia that this patient actually improved.
6 weeks after surgery to release these nerve from tight bands of tissue compressing or pinching these nerves this patient has complete resolution of the tingling, numbness, burning pain in the foot, and he can now move all his toes completely normally. He has great toe spread and can fan the toes outward.
His heel pain is still improving and will continue to do so over the next few weeks. We were so excited to show his toes moving that we just had to take a video of it --- I just wish I had remembered to take a video BEFORE we operated on him. I will point out however, that the reason we took the video is because the PATIENT himself brought up the fact to me that he suddenly noticed that his toes were moving again! So now ….. that little piggy can now say “WEE, WEE, WEE” all the way home!!!! Or maybe “WOOPIE, WOOPIE, WOOPIE!”
(Does anyone think we are strange for getting so excited about some motion in someone’s little toe? I guess we just like when everything works out great for the patient!)