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Foot Ankle Spec. 2010 Dec;3(6):338-46. doi: 10.1177/1938640010379048. Epub 2010 Sep 3.

A 12-year long-term retrospective analysis of the use of radiofrequency nerve ablation for the treatment of neurogenic heel pain.

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Podiatry Associates of Belleville, P.C., Belleville, New Jersey 07109, USA.


The authors discuss their rationale for the use of radiofrequency nerve ablation (RFNA) in the treatment of chronic neurogenic heel pain. Patients treated for plantar fasciitis who fail to improve after conservative and/ or surgical treatment should be reevaluated for a coexistent nerve entrapment. The results of a retrospective study of 82 patients who have undergone RFNA are presented. The patients were followed at 5, 10, and 12 years after the procedure. An evaluation of medical records was performed as a means of inclusion in this study. A standardized telephone interview was then done, and subjectively scored responses of the patients were recorded and analyzed. Of the patients, 89% reported no recurrence of pain after 5, 10, and 12 years postoperatively. The procedure is relatively easy to perform and involves inserting a 22-gauge cannula with an electrode into the areas of pain. This is done under general anesthesia. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes per heel to perform, depending on how many sites of tenderness have been identified. The patient is discharged with a minimal bandage and returns to shoe gear immediately following the procedure. The success rate with RFNA appears to be quite high with fewer associated risks and less post-operative morbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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