Forefoot nerve entrapments are common, and they are usually mistakenly categorized under the misnomer of “Morton’s neuroma.” Although the complete etiology of these forefoot entrapments is still not known, exogenous mechanical factors must be considered when patients present with clinical signs of forefoot nerve entrapment. It has been well established that equinus deformity can increase plantar forefoot pressures. This article provides a brief overview of equinus deformity as it relates to forefoot pathology, specifically, its mechanical contribution to forefoot nerve entrapment, and the use of endoscopic gastrocnemius recession for the treatment of forefoot nerve entrapment. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(5): 464–468, 2005)
Posterior heel pain after a prior Haglund's deformity surgical correction can be resultant to multiple etiologies: osseous, tendinous, and neural. In this case report, all three potential etiologies were found to be contributing to the postoperative status of the patient. This case report illustrates identification and treatment of a neuroma in continuity of the posterior branch of the sural nerve with preservation of the sural nerve itself via microdissection, which we believe has not been described previously in the literature.
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)
Sixty-nine patients who had 96 interspaces decompressed were retrospectively reviewed to assess the efficacy of the endoscopic decompression of the intermetatarsal nerve procedure. Cases were evaluated between October 1, 1993, and December 31, 1999. Of the 69 patients, 14 were men and 55 were women, and their average age was 50.6 years. Of the 96 interspaces released, 39 were second interspaces and 57 were third interspaces. Nine interspaces were lost to follow-up. There were 75 interspaces with excellent or good results (86%) and 12 with poor results (14%). Of the interspaces with poor results, five required further surgery. Those five interspaces, in five patients, were treated with traditional neurectomy. The other patients, accounting for seven interspaces, who classified their result as poor declined any further surgery. Evaluation of these cases was by means of medical chart review only, where the patient’s success or failure was based on the patient’s subjective assessment. None of the patients who underwent decompression developed a true amputation neuroma. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(1): 19–23, 2006)
Forefoot pain can have single or multiple etiologies, and frequently pain is attributed solely to a forefoot nerve entrapment. It is well known that forefoot nerve entrapments, such as Morton’s, can be falsely assumed to be the cause of forefoot pain when in fact other factors, such as plantar plate disturbances, are the true cause. Frequently, the cause of the patient’s forefoot pain starts as a forefoot nerve entrapment, but then, as a result of treatment with a corticosteroid injection, other pathologies manifest, such as plantar plate rupture. The development of high-resolution, high-frequency ultrasound scanners has opened the door to in-depth examination of peripheral nerves as well as small pericapsular and intracapsular joint structures of the foot and ankle. In the hands of an experienced clinician, ultrasound can play an important role in differentiating nerve lesions and entrapment syndromes from nonneurogenic pain generators, such as tendons, ligaments, fasciae, and joint capsules. The focus of this article is the forefoot, where differentiation of neuroma, neuritis, and capsulitis can be difficult. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(5): 429–432, 2005)
Background: High peak plantar pressures predispose to foot problems and may exacerbate existing conditions. For podiatric physicians to make educated recommendations to their patients, it is important and necessary to begin to look at different shoes and how they affect peak plantar pressure.
Methods: To determine how flip-flops change peak plantar pressure while walking, we compared peak plantar pressures in the same test subjects wearing flip-flops, wearing athletic shoes, and in bare feet. Ten women with size 7 feet and a body mass index less than 25 kg/m2 were tested with an in-shoe pressure-measurement system. These data were collected and analyzed by one-way analysis of variance and computer software.
Results: Statistically significant results were obtained for nine of the 18 comparisons. In each of these comparisons, flip-flops always demonstrated higher peak plantar pressures than athletic shoes but lower pressures than bare feet.
Conclusion: Although these data demonstrate that flip-flops have a minor protective role as a shock absorber during the gait cycle compared with pressures measured while barefoot, compared with athletic shoes, they increase peak plantar pressures, placing the foot at greater risk for pathologic abnormalities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(5): 374–378, 2008)
Background: Frequent use of walking boots in podiatric medicine often elicits patient complaints and sequelae from the imposed limb-length discrepancy. This study was designed primarily to determine whether peak plantar pressures are decreased in the contralateral foot when a moderately worn athletic shoe is worn opposite a high-calf walking boot and, if so, secondarily to determine whether a specialized surgical shoe worn on the contralateral foot can also effectively reduce this pressure. The pressure reductions were then compared to determine whether significantly greater plantar pressure reduction was provided by either the athletic shoe or the surgical shoe.
Methods: Participants without a foot abnormality walked on a treadmill in four footwear combinations: barefoot bilaterally, high-calf rocker-bottom sole (HCRB) walking boot/ barefoot, HCRB walking boot/athletic shoe, and HCRB walking boot/modified walking boot shoe. Measurements were taken with the participants wearing socks. Peak plantar calcaneal pressures were collected.
Results: Peak plantar pressures under the calcaneus opposite the HCRB walking boot were significantly reduced from barefoot pressures when either an athletic shoe or the modified walking boot shoe was worn. However, no significant difference was seen when comparing the reduction by the athletic shoe with that by the modified walking boot.
Conclusions: Wearing an athletic shoe on the foot opposite an HCRB walking boot reduces calcaneal pressures; however, wearing a modified device with structural properties of an HCRB walking boot sole is no better than an athletic shoe at reducing peak calcaneal pressures. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 127–132, 2011)
Current medical nomenclature is often based on the early history of the condition, when the true etiology of the disease or condition was not known. Sadly, this incorrect terminology can become inextricably woven into the lexicon of mainstream medicine. More important, when this is the case, the terminology itself can become integrated into current clinical decision making and ultimately into surgical intervention for the condition. “Morton’s neuroma” is perhaps the most striking example of this nomenclature problem in foot and ankle surgery. We aimed to delineate the historical impetus for the terminology still being used today for this condition and to suggest appropriate terminology based on our current understanding of its pathogenesis. We concluded that this symptom complex should be given the diagnosis of nerve compression and be further distinguished by naming the involved nerve, such as compression of the interdigital nerve to the third web space or compression of the third common plantar digital nerve. Although the nomenclature becomes longer, the pathogenesis is correct, and treatment decisions can be made accordingly. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(3): 298–306, 2005)
This study describes the technique for decompression of the intermetatarsal nerve in Morton's neuroma by ultrasound-guided surgical resection of the transverse intermetatarsal ligament. This technique is based on the premise that Morton's neuroma is primarily a nerve entrapment disease. As with other ultrasound-guided procedures, we believe that this technique is less traumatic, allowing earlier return to normal activity, with less patient discomfort than with traditional surgical techniques.
We performed a pilot study on 20 cadavers to ensure that the technique was safe and effective. No neurovascular damage was observed in any of the specimens. In the second phase, ultrasound-guided release of the transverse intermetatarsal ligament was performed on 56 patients through one small (1- to 2-mm) portal using local anesthesia and outpatient surgery.
Of the 56 participants, 54 showed significant improvement and two did not improve, requiring further surgery (neurectomy). The postoperative wound was very small (1–2 mm). There were no cases of anesthesia of the interdigital space, and there were no infections.
The ultrasound-guided decompression of intermetatarsal nerve technique for Morton's neuroma by releasing the transverse intermetatarsal ligament is a safe, simple method with minimal morbidity, rapid recovery, and potential advantages over other surgical techniques. Surgical complications are minimal, but it is essential to establish a good indication because other biomechanical alterations to the foot can influence the functional outcome.