B is for Baxter’s Nerve Entrapment

November 11, 2012

Baxters nerve entrapment is commonly misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis.

Baxter’s nerve entrapment, also known as Baxter’s neuropathy or inferior calcaneal nerve entrapment, is a condition characterized by the compression or entrapment of the inferior calcaneal nerve. This nerve runs along the inner side of the heel and provides sensory innervation to the heel and surrounding area.

Compression or entrapment of Baxter’s nerve can occur due to various factors, including anatomical abnormalities, trauma, overuse, or repetitive stress. The most common cause is the compression of the nerve between the plantar fascia (a thick band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot) and the heel bone (calcaneus).

Symptoms of Baxter’s nerve entrapment typically include:

  1. Heel pain: The pain is usually localized on the inner side of the heel and may extend to the arch of the foot.
  2. Burning or tingling sensation: Some individuals may experience a burning or tingling sensation along the course of the nerve.
  3. Numbness: Numbness or decreased sensation in the heel area may occur.
  4. Increased pain with activity: Symptoms often worsen with weight-bearing activities, such as walking or running, especially on hard surfaces.

Baxter’s nerve entrapment can be mistaken for plantar fasciitis or other causes of heel pain, so it’s important to have a proper evaluation and diagnosis by a healthcare professional or a foot specialist, such as a podiatrist.

Treatment options for Baxter’s nerve entrapment may include:

  1. Rest and activity modification: Avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms and providing adequate rest to the affected foot can help alleviate pain and promote healing.
  2. Orthotics and shoe modifications: Custom orthotic inserts or shoe modifications, such as heel pads or cushions, can help reduce pressure on the nerve and provide support to the foot.
  3. Physical therapy: Stretching and strengthening exercises, along with manual therapy techniques, may be prescribed to improve foot mechanics and alleviate nerve compression.
  4. Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroid injections may be used to reduce pain and inflammation.
  5. Footwear changes: Wearing shoes with a wider toe box and proper arch support can help relieve pressure on the nerve.
  6. Surgical intervention: In rare cases when conservative treatments do not provide relief, surgical release or decompression of the nerve may be considered.


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