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Medial and Lateral Plantar Nerve Entrapment

by Kendrick Alan Whitney, DPM

Medial and lateral plantar nerve entrapment is compression of nerve branches at the inner heel (the medial or lateral branches of the plantar nerve) that causes pain, numbness, or tingling.

Symptoms include almost constant pain, whether walking or sitting. Just standing is often difficult. Burning, numbness, and tingling, which often occur when nerves are compressed, usually do not occur in medial and lateral plantar nerve entrapment.

Doctors base the diagnosis usually on the person’s symptoms and the results of an examination.

Splints and other devices placed in the shoe (orthoses) may help, as may physical therapy and application of extreme cold to the nerve (cryotherapy). If these treatments do not work, injection with an alcohol solution to deaden the nerve or surgery to free the nerve from compression may help relieve pain.