RFNA: One Way to Treat Nerve Pain in Feet

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Treating nerve painWith summer comes the increased use of thin sandals or flip flops. They help keep your feet cool and look really cute with your summer fashions, but unfortunately they are often the reason for an increase in heel pain from plantar fasciitis. That’s because most of them don’t give adequate support to your foot arch.

When conditions like arthritis, neuromas, or plantar heel pain are making your steps miserable, or keeping you from being active altogether, there are a number of treatments we can try, one of which is radio frequency nerve ablation, or RFNA.

This is a minimally invasive procedure that can be tried when more conservative treatments like rest, massage, icing, custom orthotics, pain relievers, or stretching and physical therapy aren’t taking the edge off your pain. It involves applying heat from radio waves to a specific sensory nerve to disable its ability to send pain signals to the brain. The heat disrupts the nerve sheath, so your brain never gets the message that your feet hurt.

The treatments are quick. We will have you at least partially sedated, but awake enough to help us direct the probe to the correct location on the nerve. The wire that delivers the radio waves is then inserted through the probe and delivers the heat to just the specific problem area for a brief time, so other surrounding tissues are not damaged.

You will need someone to drive you home, and there will be care instructions for the site where the probe was inserted. We’ll inform you of any possible side effects to be aware of, which may include slight numbness or pain, which should disappear after a few hours.

Many patients report a remarkable reduction in pain within a couple of weeks after treatment, and the effects may last for many months or longer.

Radio frequency ablation isn’t for everyone. If you have an infection or bleeding issues, it is best not to use this treatment. However, when conservative treatments haven’t worked, this is an alternative to nerve surgery, which itself involves additional risks.

Find answers to your foot pain at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston. With more than 40 years of experience, we are experts in treating nerve pain in your feet, sports injuries, and even skin and nail conditions such as fungal toenails. There is no reason to suffer weeks and months of discomfort when we can often greatly reduce it with treatment after just one visit. Contact us by phone at (281) 497-2850 or online today!

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