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making sense out of the type of TTS nerve pain

Posted by elliott on 8/19/01 at 14:36 (057179)

The four types of TTS nerve pain that are the most common, as well as easy to describe, are:

1. tingling, 2. numbness, 3. burning, 4. electric shocks

Let's ignore some of the other symptoms such as general nervy discomfort (which applies to just about every case) and the more obscure ones which are harder to describe to the doc and often need a technical term ending in 'thesia(s)'.

Has anyone seen a connection between any of those four types of nerve pain and what was observed during surgery? For example, is burning more likely to be associated with a tendon scraping against the nerve, tingling with something (e.g. bone or vein) pressing on the nerve, electric shocks with with something (bone or tissue) tugging the nerve as ankle moves, numbness with swelling and inflammation? Or whatever. The literature just lists them all without differentiating as to the possible causes. If we knew what was wrong before surgery, both measures to avoid surgery and surgery itself might have better outcomes.

I know things are never simple, e.g. there is overlap in nerve symptoms, but it's worth a try. I have seen it pointed out in the literature that numbness post-op TTS release is a sign of scar tissue re-forming over the released area (so at least in the case where you didn't have numbness before but do after or had relief and then numbness returned, you have a good guess as to what happened with the surgery, namely scar tissue).

If you'd like to list which of those four symptoms you had pre-op and what was discovered at surgery, that might help.

I'll go first. Of the four nerve pains, my right foot had only burning and numbness on medial aspect of ankle and heel and radiating up calf, but nothing in toes and none of the other nerve pains. MRI showed a sort of posterior tibial tendonitis. At surgery, tendon was repaired (or more accurately, destroyed :-)), but enlarged veins and a tight abductor were also observed and considered possible culprits. My left foot had only tingling at ankle, which radiated to heel and toes; a very tortuous vein was observed at surgery.