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Severing nerves to eliminate pain in both feet

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  • Severing nerves to eliminate pain in both feet

    I'm absolutely sick of relying on medications to try and relieve the chronic neuropathy I experience in both feet for the last six years or so. I've had a neurosurgeon take a look at me for a spinal cord stimulator trial, but given severe scoliosis that I have in my back and the multiple spinal fusions I have all through my lumbar spine, the doctor really is not excited about doing this trial with me.

    I'm a quadriplegic and I'm pretty well come to terms with the fact that I will never walk again. Right now, quality of life is issue number one. And the first and most important item on things to correct to begin living my life more fruitful is to eliminate the pain in my feet. I don't read much about severing nerves to eliminate pain. Is this something that ANYONE does in situations like mine where they are permanently paralyzed and are just looking to alleviate the excruciating pain in their feet? Are there any side effects to doing this kind of procedure to eliminate pain? I haven't read any, but I haven't bounced this question off anyone in this group yet. If anyone in the world would know they would probably be on this board.

    A little information, please. There are so many of us out here suffering and I am one of them. I'm sick of the pills and the drama they cause in my life. Can I literally sever myself from the problem and live pain-free in my feet?

  • #2
    Since the pain in your legs is caused by central neuropathic pain (not peripheral neuropathy) due to a SCI/D lesion (I assume), severing peripheral nerves may not be effective at all in alleviating this pain, since the scar tissue and other changes within the cord itself is the cause of your pain.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


    • #3
      I've never seen a proper neurologist to diagnose WHERE the pain is coming from to begin with. I'm C4-5 since 2007. I did notice some tingling in my fingers when I was first injured but that went away within months. Then, one fine morning six years ago, BANG. The pain is 95% in the top of both feet all the way to the tips of my toes. ---I have diminished sensation from my nipple line all the way down to my toes-- when someone massages my feet it directly affects the pain that I feel in my feet. I guess that's why I always considered the nerve problem to be local to my lower legs/feet as opposed to the injury at my spinal cord. Is that pretty sound logic?

      If it was a localized nerve problem to my feet would this kind of procedure actually help? I've heard that even after severing nerves you could get the same condition as phantom limb pain as if something were amputated! As a layperson that seems feasible to me.

      I'm just really tired of taking the pills. Some days they don't work at all. Luckily I have no side effects from taking medications long-term thus far. Liver and kidneys are awesome and I'm generally in good health. Just want a real alternative that will really work… No matter how radical the treatment may be.


      • #4
        You are correct, there is the possibility that even if the pain is actually from your foot it may not help. Please consult with your doctors to discuss the situation and your wishes.


        • #5
          I find Tiger Balm to be a useful distraction from pain for short periods.