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Heel pain? You may be suffering from a compression of Baxter’s nerve.

27 de May de 2024

Baxter’s Nerve Compression: A Comprehensive Guide

Compression of Baxter’s nerve, or entrapment of the first branch of the lateral plantar nerve, is a common but often underdiagnosed cause of heel pain (talalgia). This article explores in depth its causes, symptoms and available treatments.

What is Baxter’s Nerve Compression?

Compression of Baxter’s nerve occurs when this nerve is compressed between the abductor hallucis muscle and the calcaneus, causing pain on the inside of the heel. This condition is often confused with plantar fasciitis due to the similarity of symptoms.

Causes of Baxter’s Nerve Compression

  • Foot Anatomy: The structure of the foot and the arrangement of the muscles may predispose some people to this compression.
  • Sports activities: Sports that involve intensive use of the foot muscles, such as running or jumping, may increase the risk.
  • Injuries: Direct trauma to the foot can cause inflammation and nerve compression.
  • Inflammatory Diseases: Conditions such as arthritis can increase the risk of nerve entrapment.

Symptoms of Baxter’s Nerve Compression

Symptoms of this condition include:

  • Pain in the inner part of the heel, especially when walking or standing.
  • Burning sensation or numbness in the heel.
  • Pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest.
  • In severe cases, there may be weakness in the foot muscles.
branches of the posterior tibial nerve in the posteromedial area of the ankle
branches of the posterior tibial nerve in the posteromedial area of the ankle
Entrapment of the first branch of the plantar nerve or Bxter's nerve.
Entrapment of the first branch of the plantar nerve or Bxter’s nerve.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of Baxter’s nerve compression is made by:

  • Physical Examination: Evaluation of pain and tenderness in the heel region.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): To detect muscle changes and confirm nerve entrapment.
  • Electromyography (EMG): To evaluate nerve function.

Available Treatments

Conservative Treatments

In the early stages, Baxter’s nerve compression can be managed with non-surgical treatments, such as:

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Reduce activities that exacerbate pain.
  • Proper Footwear: Shoes with good support and cushioning.
  • Orthopedic Insoles: To relieve pressure on the nerve.
  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory and analgesics to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Physiotherapy: Specific exercises to strengthen foot muscles and improve flexibility.

Surgical Treatment

If conservative treatments do not provide relief, surgery may be considered. Minimally invasive surgery can free the trapped nerve and relieve symptoms. Procedures include tarsal tunnel decompression and Baxter’s nerve release.

Prevention

To prevent compression of Baxter’s nerve, it is recommended:

  • Wear appropriate footwear and avoid shoes with hard soles.
  • Perform stretching and strengthening exercises regularly.
  • Avoid activities that cause excessive stress on the feet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce pressure on the feet.

Conclusion

Baxter’s nerve compression is a painful condition that can significantly affect quality of life. It is essential to recognize the symptoms and seek early diagnosis to avoid complications. If you experience persistent heel pain, consult a podiatric specialist for the best treatment tailored to your specific needs.

At Clínica San Román, we have a team of experts in podiatry and foot surgery ready to help you. Don’t let heel pain affect your daily life.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation
today to schedule a consultation and begin your road to recovery.

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