You may consider getting peripheral nerve surgery if you have suffered from nerve injuries, entrapments (such as tarsal tunnel syndrome), or tumors (such as neurofibroma). Peripheral nerve surgery is a useful way to treat chronic foot pain and helps to improve function and lessen the pain with nerve disorders by rerouting healthy nerves to take over the task. Different types of nerve surgeries help with the different type of syndromes and injuries, however.
Tarsal Tunnel Surgery
Tarsal Tunnel Surgery is for those who suffer from tarsal tunnel syndrome, which is a painful foot condition where the tibial nerve is being compressed. Those who have it feel tingling or burning sensation on their feet, along with shooting pain. This syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel, except it happens in the foot and not the wrist. The surgery requires an incision behind the ankle that extends down to the arch of the foot. The ligament over the tibial nerve in the region of the tarsal tunnel is then released, causing the pain to stop. Those with flat feet, ankle sprains, or systemic diseases are more at risk for needing this surgery.
Neuroma surgery is for those who suffer from a neuroma, which is a common foot condition that interferes with the nerves in the ball of the foot. Those with neuroma may get pain on the bottom of their forefoot, typically under the toes. A neuroma is mainly caused by wearing shoes improperly or due to genetic issues. The surgery requires an incision to remove the nerve in the bottom of the foot. Or, an alternative procedure that spares the nerve that Dr. Still performs is called Endoscopic Decompression of Neuroma (E.D.I.N.).
A nerve graft is when a nerve is put in place of the damaged nerve, and both nerves are unrelated to each other. Nerve grafts are mainly for those who have stretch injuries. Stretch injuries or when a scar is needed to be removed. Tarsal tunnel surgery is complex and Dr. Still has advanced training in this surgery. He also uses intra-operative nerve monitoring that helps improve outcomes.
Dr. Still has a special interest in surgical treatment of both common and complex nerve problems of the foot and ankle. Dr. Still also has a lot of experience with tarsal tunnel surgery and has utilized methods to improve outcomes with intra-operative nerve monitoring that many surgeons do not know how to utilize. Dr. Still has successfully treated patients with chronic pain from nerve injury/damage caused by prior foot & ankle surgery from other surgeons. This has involved complex nerve grafting to reduce pain and restore some sensation. Dr. Still receives referrals from his colleagues for these complex problems.