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Patient Stories

A Tragic Tale of Unnecessary Knee Replacement and Amputation

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A Tragic Tale of Unnecessary Knee Replacement and Amputation

Kathy’s story is a tragic tale of a misdiagnosis leading to unnecessary knee replacement and amputation. We are sharing her experience in hopes of reaching other patients like her who may be able to avoid the mistakes made by her doctors.

An injury at work left Kathy with chronic knee pain. An orthopedic surgeon suggested a total knee arthroplasty. Kathy agreed.

But after surgery, she continued to have severe pain. Unfortunately, the only solution her surgeon could think of was to replace the prosthetic knee.

This vicious cycle continued and Kathy endured two additional knee arthroplasties. Complications following the third knee arthroplasty left Kathy with no alternative but an above-knee amputation (AKA).

Following the amputation, Kathy developed horrible phantom pain as well as severe residual limb pain in the end of her stump. While the phantom pain was bad, the residual limb pain was more debilitating because it prevented Kathy from being able to wear a prosthetic leg, thus confining her to a wheelchair.

True Source of Pain: Damage to Peripheral Nerves

The real tragedy of Kathy’s story is that it could have almost certainly been prevented had she found Dr. Tollestrup earlier.

In Dr. Tollestrup’s opinion, the most likely cause of Kathy’s original knee pain was damaged peripheral nerves. Sadly, with a knee denervation surgery by Dr. Tollestrup, the knee replacement surgeries and subsequent amputation could have been avoided.

Kathy finally found Dr. Tollestrup. He diagnosed the source of her pain as coming from the multiple neuromas which had formed on the ends of all the nerves that were cut through when the leg was amputated.

Dr. Tollestrup performed two cutting-edge surgical procedures involving a combination of disconnecting the smaller damaged nerves and sewing cadaveric nerve grafts to the larger damaged nerves to prevent re-formation of the painful neuromas. This is a highly complex surgery that Dr. Tollestrup is uniquely qualified to do.

Second Chance: Out of the Wheelchair and Back to Active Life

It has now been about a year and a half since Kathy’s first surgery. Her phantom pain is almost completely gone. The residual limb pain is also drastically improved. It is not completely gone but is down to such a mild level that she is no longer taking pain medication. She is now able to wear her prosthetic leg as much as she wants to without experiencing the horrible pain that she used to. This has freed her from the confines of her wheelchair which has been life-changing for her.

Kathy is looking forward to getting back to a much more active lifestyle again.

If you or someone you know has a peripheral nerve injury or pain of an undiagnosed peripheral nerve origin, Dr. Tollestrup may be able to help. Please fill out a form on the right or call the office at 702-666-0463.

Choir Teacher’s Sciatica Pain Gone After Piriformis Syndrome Surgery

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Choir Teacher Overcomes Chronic Sciatica Pain

After more than two years of debilitating sciatica pain, Deborah found Dr. Tollestrup. Deborah agreed to share her story in hopes of reaching others like her still suffering.

Deborah is a school teacher who teaches choir at a local middle school. Two years ago, she was injured sliding down a ride at a water park. As she was sliding down, she became airborne and landed very hard on the right buttock. Right away, Deborah felt like something had torn or ripped deep in the right buttock and there was a radiating pain which traveled down into the back of her thigh.

Over time, the pain increased causing her to walk with a noticeable limp. Sitting became almost impossible. She also started to have pain in her right foot. Sleeping was problematic because the pain kept her up at night.

Deborah was unable to find a doctor to give her any insight into the source of her pain or recommend any solution. Many doctors are not aware of piriformis syndrome. Very often doctors will recommend physical therapy, spine surgery, and narcotic pain medication. Unfortunately, none of these options offer long-term relief.

“The Tollestrup Procedure”

After hearing Deborah’s story and performing a careful peripheral nerve examination, Dr. Tollestrup diagnosed the source of the pain in Deborah’s right buttock, leg, and foot as Piriformis Syndrome. Piriformis Syndrome occurs when the large sciatic nerve becomes entrapped by the overlying piriformis muscle.

Dr. Tollestrup performed an operation he created to remove the piriformis muscle and relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve.  A colleague calls this surgery the “Tollestrup Procedure.” This is done as an outpatient procedure and the patient is able to walk immediately.

By the time Deborah came back to see Dr. Tollestrup at the two-week post-op mark the debilitating pain in the right leg was completely gone.

Walking on the Beach

It is now two months since Deborah had the pressure on her sciatic nerve relieved. She continues to be pain-free. At her most recent follow-up visit, she remarked that her students noticed that she is no longer walking with a limp. One of them even came up to her and said, “Mrs. Fleischer, you look different since surgery, you can see it in your face.”

A fitting finish to this story is the text Deborah recently sent to Dr. Tollestrup when she was in San Diego. For Dr. Tollestrup, this is the most gratifying part of the job!

If you or someone you know suffers from chronic sciatica pain, fill out the form on the right or call Dr. Tollestrup at 702-666-0463.

Patient's Husband urges friends and family to see Dr. Tollestrup who helped his wife overcome chronic nerve pain

Removing Nerves Relieves Low Back Pain

By | back pain, Dr. Tollestrup Blog, Nerve Surgery, Patient Stories, persistent pain after spine surgery, success stories | No Comments

Low Back Pain Eliminated by Surgically Removing Damaged Nerves

I want to share the story of a patient suffering from low back pain for more than 20 years. His story is applicable to many people dealing with low back pain still searching for relief.

In this particular case, the patient’s low back pain is alleviated when he is sitting or lying down. As soon as he would stand or start walking, he would start experiencing severe low back pain. This low back pain prevents him from walking long distances at a time.

Interestingly, the patient notes that the pain is always located on either side of the spine rather than directly over the spine.

Failed Back Surgeries

Over the years, this patient underwent two separate spinal decompression procedures at different levels in the lumbar spine. Neither surgery gave him any relief.

Luckily, this patient came to see me. After giving him a comprehensive peripheral nerve evaluation, I knew the cause of his long-standing low back pain. My hypothesis is that the pain stems from compression of a series of small nerves on either side of the spine. These nerves are called the superior cluneal nerves.  referred the patient for a diagnostic block of these nerves. This procedure involved putting both the left and the right superior cluneal nerves to sleep by injecting local anesthetic around them. This gave the patient 95% relief from his usual low back pain for almost 10 hours.

Nerve Surgery Offers Solution

Based on the excellent block results, I surgically remove the superior cluneal nerves on both sides. These nerves are relatively unimportant, small sensory nerves, that do not affect the ability to walk or move the back muscles or leg muscle.

By the three-month post-op mark, the patient reports the following:

  •  No pain at all about 75% of the time,
  • The other 25 % of the time, some low back pain when walking but instead of the 8/10 level it had been before, it would be down around a 2-3/10 level.

The difference was life-changing.

Physical therapy may help this patient to further improve. His core muscles are weak due to inability to exercise for the last 20 years. Weak core muscles are a very common cause of mild to moderate low back pain that will usually resolve with exercises targeting these muscles.

If you or someone you know has persistent low back pain I might be able to help them find relief. Please fill out the form on the right or call my office at 702-666-0463.

Tim Tollestrup MD

Nerve Compression Causes Severe Sciatica Pain

By | back pain, Dr. Tollestrup Blog, nerve decompression surgery, Nerve Surgery, Patient Stories, piriformis syndrome | No Comments

Nerve Compression Compromises Quality of Life

Christine suffers from multiple chronic pain issues stemming from nerve compression. These cover the range from severe low back pain and sciatica pain to bladder pain to pain in multiple joints. We will tell her story in segments. Readers can follow her journey back to health with the help of Dr. Tollestrup and his innovative surgeries.

Severe Sciatica Pain

Christine has an aggressive form of osteoarthritis. Eventually, the arthritis pain in the right hip progresses to the point where Christine elects to have the right hip replacement surgery.

After surgery, Christine begins experiencing severe, right-sided sciatica pain. With a history of low back surgery, her doctors assume the problem stems from her back. This despite the fact that MRI imaging of the lumbar spine does not show a problem.

With medication failing to control her pain, she elects to have a newer type of spinal cord stimulator implanted. This is effective for three years. Then the pain in the right leg  comes back with a vengeance.

Pinpointing the Pain

It was at this point that Christine is referred to Dr. Tollestrup by her primary care physician. After completing a comprehensive peripheral nerve evaluation, Dr. Tollestrup concludes that her pain comes from two different pinched nerves in the right leg.

The first location is compression of the sciatic nerve in the deep buttock, a very common cause of sciatica pain called piriformis syndrome. The sciatica pain caused by piriformis syndrome is often missed or attributed to be due to some type of problem at the spine level.

In addition, Christine also has compression of a different nerve near the outside of the knee called the common peroneal nerve.

Rare Find

In the operating room, Dr. Tim Tollestrup finds a very interesting and rare set of circumstances. In Christine’s case, she has an anatomic variation in her piriformis muscle where she effectively has two separate muscle bellies medially joined together into one common tendon.

Understanding this particular anatomic variation of the piriformis muscle is key to understanding why Christine’s previously mild sciatica pain in the right leg became so severe right after the hip replacement. Often when the hip is replaced, the top part of the femur bone, where the piriformis tendon is attached, is removed to accommodate the prosthetic hip joint. Because the piriformis muscle is relatively unimportant in moving the leg, there is often no effort made by the orthopedic surgeon to reconstruct it.

In Christine’s case, however, this had serious consequences because as soon as the piriformis tendon was released, it retracted away from the hip and towards the spine, effectively strangling the part of the sciatic nerve passing through it in the crotch of the two tendons where they joined together.

Sciatica Pain Gone

By the one-week post-op, Christine tells Dr. Tollestrup that 95% of her original sciatica pain was already gone. At the 6-week post-op visit, she notes that her original sciatica pain was 100% gone.

Christine’s sciatica pain is 100% gone after nerve compression surgery*.

Christine has other chronic pain issues, including fairly severe left-sided sciatica pain, which she is continuing to work with Dr. Tollestrup to solve.

If you or someone you love has chronic pain, Dr. Tollestrup can help. Fill out the form on the right side of this page or call the office at 702-666-0463.

*Disclaimer

We do not guarantee any specific results or outcomes for surgery, should our practice work on your behalf. Information on this website may be used as a reference for successes we’ve achieved for our patients, and not as an assurance or guarantee for similar results in all instances.

Nerve Compression Causes Severe Sciatica Pain

Nerve Graft Offers Solution for Patient with Peripheral Nerve Damage

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Peripheral Nerve Damage Sidelines Susan

Susan is a patient of Dr. Tim Tollestrup’s. She came to see him with severe pain in her right leg secondary to the peripheral nerve damage she experienced. The pain impacted her life every day. It sidelined her from her passionate love of square dancing. Before the injury, she would dance four or five times a week.

Dr. Tollestrup recognized the problem as a condition known as meralgia paresthesia, a compression of a nerve called the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN). Dr. Tollestrup ordered a block of the LFCN. This relieved the right thigh pain, confirming the diagnosis.

Nerve Graft Innovation

Next, Dr. Tollestrup turned his attention to the pain in Susan’s right lower leg and foot.

Over the last few years, a human tissue company pioneered cadaveric nerve allografts to repair nerve injuries. These nerves are specially treated via a proprietary method which removes all of the cellular components of the nerve but leaves the crucial scaffolding behind.

This provides the superstructure the nerve fibers need to span a gap but none of the immunogenic elements usually found in foreign tissue. This prevents the recipient from rejecting the new nerve.

Sewing a cadaveric nerve allograft onto the upstream end of the native nerve allows the nerve to grow and find the downstream end of the nerve.

With a nerve graft, however, there are no Schwann cells which normally assist this process, supplying the “fuel” if you will, for the nerve to continue growing. The end result is that the nerve burns itself out in the cadaver nerve graft without being able to form a painful neuroma. The nerve essentially becomes dormant and the patient’s pain is gone!

Neuroma Removed

This is what Dr. Tollestrup did for Susan’s painful neuroma. In the operating room Dr. Tollestrup opened Susan’s lower leg back up, found the painful neuroma and removed it, trimming the native nerve back to healthy, non-scarred tissue. He then sewed in a cadaveric nerve to the end of Susan’s native nerve.

Cadaveric nerve graft inserted by Dr. Tollestrup.

For the thigh pain, Dr. Tollestrup followed Susan’s LFCN deep into the pelvis where it was disconnected and buried in the muscle – this traditional approach is 100% effective for the LFCN because the nerve can be placed in a position where it will never be bumped or irritated, unlike the Superficial Peroneal Nerve in the lower leg.

Two months after her last surgery, Susan has had complete resolution of her right thigh pain as well as the pain in the right lower leg and top of the foot. She is back doing what she loves and her dance card is always full.

If you or someone you know is suffering from chronic pain, Dr. Tollestrup can help. Call the office to set up a consultation – 702-666-0463.

Susan is back to square dancing thanks to surgeries by Dr. Tollestrup to repair peripheral nerve damage.*

*Disclaimer

We do not guarantee any specific results or outcomes for surgery, should our practice work on your behalf. Information on this website may be used as a reference for successes we’ve achieved for our patients, and not as an assurance or guarantee for similar results in all instances.

Carpal Tunnel Release and Denervation Surgery Help Patient Regain Use of Her Dominant Hand

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Carpal Tunnel Release Helps Patient Regain Use of Her Hand

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and nerve injuries stemming from a dog attack made it impossible for Maria to use her left hand. Then she met Dr. Tollestrup. Maria agreed to share her story below in hopes of reaching others.

Maria was attacked by a dog in August, 2015, and sustained bite injuries to the left forearm just above the wrist. She suffered lacerations to both the front and back of the forearm from the dog’s teeth. Although the lacerations healed quickly, Maria started to experience severe pain and numbness involving the skin over the front side of the forearm. Next, the pain and numbness started to spread into the thumb and index finger as well as the middle finger. It got so bad that Maria began having a hard time using the left hand, her dominant hand, as it became increasingly difficult to voluntarily move the thumb and index finger. Her grip strength started to deteriorate and she began having trouble holding onto things with the left hand, often inadvertently dropping item from her grasp.

Maria was referred to Dr. Tim Tollestrup by her neurologist after seeing an orthopedic surgeon who didn’t have any solutions. Based on the location of the pain and numbness in the forearm, Dr. Tollestrup realized that the dog bite had injured a nerve in the forearm called the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve. This was then compounded with the development of carpal tunnel syndrome which was the source of pain, numbness, and weakness in the hand.

Maria underwent surgery by Dr. Tollestrup who did a carpal tunnel release to relieve the pressure on the median nerve to the hand. He also disconnected the damaged nerve up near the elbow and sewed on a nerve graft which acts as a cap on the nerve, preventing the nerve from forming another painful neuroma on the end.

Now at two months post-op, Maria is completely pain free and able to once again use the left hand normally. All of the numbness and tingling in the left forearm and hand has completely resolved. Maria is ecstatic because she can now hold her coffee mug once again in the left hand.

“I am so thankful for the excellent outcome from my surgery with Dr. Tollestrup.”*maria

*Disclaimer

We do not guarantee any specific results or outcomes for surgery, should our practice work on your behalf. Information on this website may be used as a reference for successes we’ve achieved for our patients, and not as an assurance or guarantee for similar results in all instances.

Dr. Tollestrup Surgically Solves Peripheral Nerve Damage to Help Patient Regain Use of Her Hand

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Dr. Tollestrup Repairs Peripheral Nerve Damage Through a Complex Surgery

Finally Relief After Enduring Two Years of Pain and Three Botched Surgeries

Corrine came to see Dr. Tollestrup because of severe pain in her right hand. Her story is a cautionary one that underscores the importance of finding the right surgeon. Corrine endured a horrendous two years because her case was so badly botched.

Corrine was originally diagnosed with right carpal tunnel syndrome as well as trigger fingers. A local hand surgeon operated on her to correct the trigger finger problem. She also underwent a carpal tunnel release. For some strange reason, the hand surgeon decided to aggressively “explore” the nerve going to the ring finger due to Corrine’s preoperative symptoms.

Following this surgery, Corrine started to develop new pain in the palm of her right hand. Her hand surgeon then diagnosed her with reactive Dupuytren’s contractures, even though there was no evidence of Dupuytren’s disease in either hand prior to the first surgery.

Corrine went back for a second operation where her hand surgeon removed much of the palmar fascia in the palm of her hand. This fascia is important for bulk and support of the palmar skin.

Following the second surgery, the pain in the palm of Corrine’s right hand became excruciating. The pain was so severe that it left her right hand completely debilitated. She was essentially no longer able to use the hand because she couldn’t stand for anything to touch the skin of the palm of her hand. In addition, she was unable to make a fist because this would increase the pain.

At this point, it was clear that her hand surgeon really had no idea where her pain was coming from. Nevertheless, he decided to operate on her a third time.

In the third surgery, he cut away a large part of the skin and underlying tissue in the palm of the right hand. He then harvested a skin graft from the right arm and used the graft to cover the defect he had created in the palm of the right hand. Unfortunately for Corrine, after healing up from this painful surgery, the pain in her right hand has continued to become progressively worse.

Corrine was referred to Dr. Tollestrup by her pain management physician.

Dr. Tollestrup realized immediately that Corrine’s problem was a unique and difficult one. Based on his knowledge of peripheral nerve anatomy, Dr. Tollestrup knew that the primary problem was that the tiny nerves that normally branch off the main nerves to the fingers and innervate the skin of the palm of the hand had been damaged from all the prior surgery she had undergone.

Based on the fact that there was also pain and numbness radiating into the ring finger, Dr. Tollestrup knew there was a good chance that the main nerve to that finger had been damaged as well.

At this point, Dr. Tollestrup was found himself in a situation where he had to figure out a way to surgically address the damaged nerves in Corrine’s hand in order to get rid of her pain without damaging any other nerves and still preserving the main nerves to the index and middle fingers which were not painful.

This is a position that Dr. Tollestrup finds himself in quite often. In these instances, a patient has a unique, one-of-a-kind problem for which there is no blueprint to follow surgically. In Corrine’s case, the small damaged nerves in the palm of her hand are not even pictured in any anatomy books.

After thinking about the problem for several weeks, Dr. Tollestrup came up with an operative plan requiring intraoperative decisions based on what he saw during the operation.

Dr. Tollestrup took Corrine to the operating room where he performed an 8-hour long operation on Corrine’s hand involving extensive microsurgery. Using an operating microscope, Dr. Tollestrup explored the nerves in Corrine’s right hand. He was able to identify all of the tiny nerves that branched off the main nerves which used to innervate the palmar skin of her right hand. These nerves had all formed painful neuromas on the ends which were stuck in scar tissue underneath the skin graft. This was the reason for the severe pain whenever anything touched the palm of her hand.

Dr. Tollestrup disconnected all of these small nerves and then had to carefully dissect these small nerve fascicles out of the main median nerve without injuring any of the surrounding nerve tissue. The little damaged nerves were dissected out of the main median nerve all the way up above the level of the wrist into the forearm area. At this point, he excised all of the damaged ends of these small nerves and then sewed all four of the small nerve fascicles which were less than 1mm in diameter to a single cadaveric nerve graft. The purpose of sewing the tiny nerves to the nerve graft was to allow the nerves to grow into the graft and burn out without forming new painful neuromas.

At her six week follow up appointment, the results were amazing. Miraculously, Corrine no longer had any pain in her right hand and could easily make a fist which she does in this video*.

Dr. Tollestrup is still following her case closely but it looks like he has surgically solved a complex, unique problem.

Here is what Corrine has to say about here experience with Dr. Tollestrup*.

corrine“After three unsuccessful surgeries on my dominant hand, many years of pain and inability to fully utilize the hand, I can see the “light at the end of a very dark tunnel”.  I am so thankful that I found Dr. Tollestrup.  After he performed a more than six hour surgery on my hand, in just two months post-op, I am experiencing more comfort and the use of my hand than I have had for years.  My prognosis is very optimistic per Dr. Tollestrup.  I am certain that I am much better off than before the surgery he performed and am getting more comfortable and better use as time progresses.   Dr. Tollestrup spent hours with me in the consultations before, after, and post-op appointments.  He is very patient, has an excellent bedside manner, and is the most capable, confident, and experienced surgeon I have met.”

*Disclaimer

We do not guarantee any specific results or outcomes for surgery, should our practice work on your behalf. Information on this website may be used as a reference for successes we’ve achieved for our patients, and not as an assurance or guarantee for similar results in all instances.

Foot Pain and Sciatica Pain Gone Thanks to Peripheral Nerve Surgery

By | Dr. Tollestrup Blog, Nerve Surgery, Patient Stories, piriformis syndrome, success stories | No Comments

Foot Pain and Sciatica Pain Gone Thanks to Nerve Surgery

Luanne’s active lifestyle was severely compromised by constant, debilitating foot pain in her right foot and intermittent right side sciatica pain.

She was originally diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and then heel spurs, but treatments for both conditions did not give her any relief from her pain.  Over time the foot pain became progressively worse until she finally sought help from Dr. Tim Tollestrup.

When meeting with Dr. Tollestrup, Luanne describes the pain in the right foot as involving the entire bottom of the foot. The worst pain is a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel. The rest of the pain over the plantar surface of the foot is characterized as a “pricking pain” which is not as severe as the heel pain. The symptoms on the bottom of the foot are constant and exacerbated by any kind of weight bearing.

Luanne also shared with Dr. Tollestrup her long history of intermittent sciatica pain in the right buttock and thigh which usually radiates down her leg. When the pain is bad, it can radiate all the way down to the ankle.

After an extensive physical examination, Dr. Tollestrup determined she had right piriformis syndrome with compression of the sciatic nerve which was the source of the sciatica pain. She also had additional nerve compressions in the right leg, most severe in the calf and ankle area which were causing the severe pain in the bottom of the foot.

In surgery, Dr. Tollestrup decompressed all three areas.

Seven weeks later, Luanne returned to Dr. Tollestrup’s office for her post-op visit. She said that all of the pain in her right leg is completely gone. Before the surgeries, she was noticeably hobbled. But now when she walks around her neighborhood, her friends comment that they are glad to see she has her brisk stride back.

Dr. Tollestrup decompressed nerves to heal foot pain and removed Luanne's piriformis muscle to heal sciatica pain.

Luanne is walking briskly again thanks to nerve surgery.*

*Disclaimer

We do not guarantee any specific results or outcomes for surgery, should our practice work on your behalf. Information on this website may be used as a reference for successes we’ve achieved for our patients, and not as an assurance or guarantee for similar results in all instances.

Foot Pain and Sciatica Pain Gone Thanks to Peripheral Nerve Surgery

Sharon is back to long walks and sleeping through the night thanks to surgery from Dr. Tollestrup to remove her Piriformis Muscle.

Dr. Tollestrup Removes Patient’s Piriformis Muscle to Eliminate Chronic Pain

By | Dr. Tollestrup Blog, news and events, Patient Stories, piriformis syndrome, success stories | No Comments

Sciatica Pain Gone After Dr. Tollestrup Removes Piriformis Muscle

Sharon came to see Dr. Tollestrup for evaluation of severe, chronic sciatica pain involving the the back of her left thigh which is where the piriformis muscle is located. This pain started five years ago.

Over time the pain has become progressively worse to the point where she can no longer go for walks, which she loves doing, or ride her bike. More recently, it has even become difficult to bear any weight at all on the left leg due to the severe pain. Sitting in a car for long periods is one of the worst things she can do as this really makes the pain go crazy.

MRI imaging of Sharon’s low back did not show any evidence of impingement of compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots, ruling out the back as the source of the problem.

On physical examination, Sharon showed classic evidence of a left piriformis syndrome which is entrapment of the big sciatic nerve between part of the bony pelvis and a small muscle called the piriformis muscle, hence the name of the syndrome.

Dr. Tollestrup took Sharon to the operating room and decompressed the sciatic nerve by removing the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is a “spare part” so to speak. Removing it does not affect the patient’s ability to move or use the leg in any way.

At Sharon’s one week follow-up appointment after surgery, all of her original “sciatica” pain was gone and she was only experiencing mild pain from surgical procedure itself. Before surgery, she said that her pain was so bad that she would be awake most of the night in severe pain. Now she is sleeping right through the night again and is not longer chronically fatigued.

Piriformis syndrome is a common condition that is almost always overlooked. Most of the “sciatica” pain out there that cannot be explained by a problem with nerve compression at the level of the lumbar spine, or low back, comes from compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle. Even when the diagnosis is correctly made, most doctors and physical therapists are unaware of the fact that there is a very effective surgical solution for patients who do not respond to conservative management like physical therapy, etc.

Here is what Sharon had to say about the experience*.

“It was so easy and simple.  Pain was so minimal and I was up and around immediately.  I could not get over the almost no pain!  It is very safe and easy.  Now, 2 months later, I am at 95% +.  I have absolutely no nerve pain at all.  It was just something that had to be done!!

Thanks Dr. Tollestrup!!!  The Dr. has a great staff in his office.  You can’t go wrong!  Sharon W.”

*Disclaimer

We do not guarantee any specific results or outcomes for surgery, should our practice work on your behalf. Information on this website may be used as a reference for successes we’ve achieved for our patients, and not as an assurance or guarantee for similar results in all instances.

CRPS Cripples Patient Until Surgery with Dr. Tollestrup

By | Dr. Tollestrup Blog, Nerve Surgery, news and events, Patient Stories, success stories | No Comments

CRPS Patient Healed Through Nerve Decompression Surgery by Dr. Tim Tollestrup

CRPS/RSD is a condition that is widely misunderstand. Patients often feel that they are destined to live a life in pain. But in reality, many of these patients can be helped through nerve decompression surgery. One such patient is Jason Russo. Jason agreed to share his story in hopes of helping others with CRPS/RSD.

Jason Russo was a young father who suffered a devastating injury to his right knee involving complete tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL).

After the injury, Jason underwent a seven hour surgery to repair the damaged right knee. When he came out of anesthesia he was in such excruciating pain in the right leg that he told the medical staff to cut his leg off to make the pain stop. In addition, both legs were numb from the waist down and he could not move them. There was no pain in the left leg, just the numbness and paralysis.

It took about two months for the numbness to resolve and the normal ability to move the left leg returned. The right leg was a much different story. By one month post-op, the pain in the right leg and foot had become so severe that that Jason would go into uncontrollable bouts of screaming. The pain became so severe that eventually he moved into the trailer on the back of their property because the pain would cause him to scream in agony throughout the night making it impossible for his wife and children to get any sleep. During this period of time, Jason could not even stand to have a breeze blow across the skin of the right leg.

Jason’s original orthopedic surgeon misdiagnosed the problem as “gout” and Jason suffered through a futile treatment regimen which did not help anything. At this point, his bewildered orthopedic surgeon referred Jason to pain management. He underwent two different series of injections into the spine which made the pain worse temporarily before coming back to baseline. Nothing gave him any relief, however.

Eventually, his pain management doctor diagnosed him with CRPS type I. CRPS is a diagnosis kind of like “Fibromyalgia” or “Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” The medical community has come up with this “diagnosis” for patients with pain problems like Jason’s which seem to be out of proportion with their physical condition and which no one can really figure out. Current medical teaching is that there is no cure for CRPS and that patients with this condition must learn to live with the chronic debilitating pain.

In reality, the vast majority of CRPS patients are just people who have one or more injured peripheral nerves which no one has been able to diagnose. Once the nerve injuries have been correctly diagnosed, the appropriate surgical treatment can be rendered and the patient can be relieved from their horrible pain.

This is what Dr. Tollestrup did for Jason. After carefully examining him and identifying the various nerve compression injuries that he had sustained,Dr. Tollestrup formulated a surgical plan. It required two separate operations to address all of the nerve pathology in Jason’s right leg. The operations basically consisted of multiple nerve decompression surgeries.

After relieving all the nerve pressure points in Jason’s right leg he is now essentially pain free and able to play with his children again and sleep in his own house again.

The bottom line is that probably 80-90% of CRPS patients can be surgically cured of their pain by correctly diagnosing and treating the injured nerves appropriately.

80-90% of CRPS patients can be surgically cured of their pain by correctly diagnosing and treating the injured nerves appropriately.

Dr. Tim Tollestrup’s patient Jason no longer suffers from CRPS thanks to nerve decompression surgeries.*

*Disclaimer

We do not guarantee any specific results or outcomes for surgery, should our practice work on your behalf. Information on this website may be used as a reference for successes we’ve achieved for our patients, and not as an assurance or guarantee for similar results in all instances.