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Sinus Tarsi Denervation

Clinical Results

A. Lee Dellon Institute for Peripheral Nerve Surgery, Baltimore, MD.

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Stephen L. Barrett Institute for Peripheral Nerve Surgery, Baltimore, MD.
Midwestern University College of Health Sciences, Glendale, AZ.

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Traumatic neuroma of the branches of the deep peroneal nerve that innervate the sinus tarsi can be the source of recalcitrant lateral ankle pain. That these nerves can be the source of the pain can be demonstrated by nerve blocks, and this pain can be surgically treated by resection of the appropriate branch of the deep peroneal nerve. This article documents the clinical results of this approach in 13 patients with sinus tarsi syndrome. At a minimum of 6 months postoperatively, 10 patients (77%) were completely pain-free, wore normal shoes, and had returned to work. Two patients (15%) had a small degree of residual pain but resumed usual activities and wore normal footwear. One patient had some pain relief but could not resume usual activities. We conclude that denervation of the sinus tarsi can relieve recalcitrant pain emanating from the sinus tarsi. This approach may reduce the need for subtalar fusion or evacuation procedures, including arthroereisis, thus avoiding their potential complications. Moreover, sinus tarsi denervation may allow the continued use of an arthroereisis implant in the presence of satisfactory objective findings, despite the subjective presence of postoperative pain. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(2): 108–113, 2005)

Corresponding author: Stephen L. Barrett, DPM, Midwestern University College of Health Sciences, 19555 N 59th Ave, Glendale, AZ 85308.