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When I wake up in the morning and step down out of bed, my heel and arch hurt so much I almost feel like crawling. The pain continues while I am at work; every time I get up after sitting at my desk, I limp terribly. My heel is just killing me!

This is a classic case of heel bursitis and plantar fasciitis; it is one of the most common conditions affecting the foot. The plantar fascia is a dense supportive band of tissue that stretches from the heel to the ball of the foot. Strain of the fascia causes arch and heel pain. This has a typical pattern of discomfort: upon rising in the morning and after rest there is pain and it may get worse and cause limping at the end of the day.

CT has been extremely effective in alleviating the pain associated with plantar fasciitis and heel spur syndrome. The precisely targeted painful area in the heel and/or arch is “frozen” and then “thawed”. The ice crystals formed in the fascia and heel eliminate the painful nerve endings, which have created the discomfort. There is no incision into the plantar fascia, hence none of the deeper tissue damage nor alteration of the structure and mechanics of the foot associated with a traditional surgical approach to heel spur surgery. This means that there is minimal inflammation and healing required following cryosurgery, and patients are advised to return to their conventional shoe gear and resume normal activities, as tolerated, the day following the procedure.

I put my shoes on each day and this annoying, burning, and occasionally shooting, pain is present under my toes and on the ball of the foot. Sometimes it feels like there is a lump or swelling under the ball. Barefoot is also painful.

These are the symptoms of a “Morton’s” neuroma (intermetatarsal neuroma).  This is a thickening of the nerve between the metatarsals that make up the ball of the foot. As the nerve gets caught between the metatarsals, the symptoms appear.

CT pinpoints the involved nerve and precisely eliminates the thickened outer covering of the nerve, which is the neuroma. The remarkable aspect of this procedure is that the nerve is not destroyed: the only part effected is the area responsible for your pain.

Traditional neuroma surgical techniques involve cutting of the tissue and some blood vessels leading to identification of the nerve, with permanent removal of the entire nerve; this creates swelling and discomfort. CT does not involve cutting, so no blood vessels severed, which eliminates swelling and discomfort following the freezing of the neuroma. CT for neuromas is a minimally invasive “no stitch” procedure that allows you to return to your normal shoe gear the following day.

I have had neuroma surgery and I still have severe pain. My surgeon informs me that I have a ‘stump neuroma.’

A complication that can occur following traditional neuroma surgery is the formation of a stump neuroma. This is a thickening of the severed end of the nerve where the surgery was performed. You now have symptoms very similar to your original neuroma, but maybe a little further back on the ball of the foot.  Additional surgery and/or many injections might be necessary to relieve your pain.  CT can target just that nerve ending and eliminate the pain with a nine-minute procedure. No further damage is done to the surrounding tissue and you’re back in your shoes the next day.

Can CT help other painful conditions of the foot?

If you suffer from chronic Achilles tendonitis that just won’t go away, CT can now help alleviate this chronic condition with just one treatment. Just as cryosurgery is utilized to help carpal tunnel syndrome in the hand, the Center is using a similar technique to treat tarsal tunnel of the foot and ankle. We have also done work with those who suffer from painful Diabetic Neuropathy.

Click here, or above, to learn about the Center's director, Dr. Michael L. Tumen.

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