Nerve damage in your feet can put your life on hold. Numbness, pain, a sensation of pins and needles and burning, are all symptoms that can interfere with daily living and activities you enjoy. There are conservative measures you can take to manage nerve conditions like neuropathy, including eating a healthy diet, exercising, medication, massage and physical therapy, however, for some these methods are just not enough to find relief. When nerve pain becomes intolerable and negatively impacts your quality of life, it’s time to consider surgical repair of nerve damage.
Procedures depend upon the type of nerve condition you are experiencing. Dr. Kevin Powers is certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons. So, no matter what type of nerve surgery you need, you can rest assured that you are in expert hands.
The most common type of procedure is decompression surgery. Repairing a compressed or pinched nerve typically entails removal of scar tissue, bone, or other substance that is pressing on the nerve, thus releasing it from entrapment and allowing the nerve to then heal naturally.
Pinched nerves can occur due to swelling or damage from an injury, a growth like a cyst, an underlying disease like diabetes, or conditions such as tarsal tunnel syndrome or Morton’s neuroma. It is important to determine the reason for your nerve pain in order to know if nerve surgery is necessary and which type should be considered.
To avoid any permanent nerve damage, nerve surgery typically focuses on repairing the protective insulating tissues surrounding the nerve. That way the damaged nerve cells are left to regenerate and nerve health can be restored. In some situations, however, repair to the actual nerve may be necessary and removal of a piece of nerve from another part of your body may need to be used as a graft.
After a procedure, nerves typically begin to heal within 3 – 4 weeks, however symptoms may still be present throughout the healing process. The length of time needed for full recovery depends on a number of factors, including extent of damage, age, lifestyle, and location of repair. Physical therapy will help to restore function and regain strength and flexibility. With this, as well as rest and medication, eventually your symptoms will subside and you can return to normal activities and an improved quality of life. It’s important to note, however, that if a nerve graft was needed, this procedure can result in some symptoms remaining present.
If nerve pain is inhibiting you from enjoying the life you love, call our Bloomington, IN office at (812) 333-4422. Dr. Kevin Powers will assess your problem and determine if nerve surgery is the right choice for you. After explaining your options, we will answer any questions you may have and discuss the next steps so you can start your road to recovery and return to pain-free days.