chronic pain after surgery

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

Disconnecting Nerves During Nerve Surgery Relieves Pain After Three Failed Hip Revisions

By | chronic pain after surgery, disconnecting nerves, Nerve Surgery, success stories | No Comments

Successful Nerve Disconnection Surgery Has Margaret Back in the Swing

Margaret Botts shares her story of recovery after successful nerve surgery. Her hope is to educate others with similar problems so they too can enjoy relief.

Three Hip Revision Surgeries Yet No Relief

“My journey back to a healthy body and mind was a difficult one. I am so grateful to Dr. Tollestrup for saving my life or should I say my quality of life. Bear with me as my story is long!

Stating in 2014 my left hip replacement from 2000 was beginning to deteriorate. Initial discomfort was significant and it led to a first hip revision.  After that revision, Physical Therapy and weak bones resulted in so much damage that it required a second revision.

The pain continued to increase as did the need for opioids.  After the second revision, it was discovered that I was allergic to the Ni in the steel parts and severe allergic reactions were occurring around the hip causing even more pain.  I then had a third revision wherein all stainless steel was removed and only Titanium was used.  The pain continued.

Life Changing Pain Leads to Depression

I had little life outside of sitting and laying down. My number one hobby, golf, was impossible.  Travel and sightseeing, which have been a major part of our lives, also came to halt.  My very active husband with whom we had done everything together was on his own.  The pain, even, with strong opioids, was debilitating.

Mentally I reached the point where I failed to believe I would ever be well again.  I was depressed to the point of having to be put on antidepressants.  While helping they did not bring me back to the positive, happy person I had been all my life.

Seeking Answers, Finding None

My surgeon, who is a terrific orthopedic doctor, had no answers for the pain.  The use of a strong bone growth medication had done a great job in getting the bones strengthened so that the new appliances were stable.  However, the repeated trauma to the hip caused the pain to accelerate and continue.

I went to five doctors about the pain and they all suggested. “I might have to learn to live with it.”  The last doctor threw up his hands but said he had heard of a doctor that was successfully treating pain and I might want to try him, Dr. Tollestrup.

Surgical Solution Thanks to Dr. Tollestrup

I called Dr. Tollestrup for an appointment immediately. He diagnosed the problem at my first visit in less than 15 minutes.

I had nerve surgery where Dr. Tollestrup disconnected nerves followed. The first surgery eliminated all pain down the side of my leg.  After the second surgery, my pain was instantly gone and my life was back.  I am still in PT gaining the strength back that I lost over nearly 4 years of inactivity and medication.  Dr. Tollestrup saved my life.  I am back into golf (so far on the driving range) and have most of my mobility back—best of all I am pain AND opioid-free.

Pain relief is a specialty expertise that few doctors understand.  I tell people to get a diagnosis by Dr. Tollestrup if pain problem is without a clear cause and persists. What do you have to lose?

I can’t imagine where I would be today if I hadn’t contacted Dr. Tollestrup and experienced his magical diagnosis and fix.  He likely saved my life or at least the productive life I had had prior to the first revision surgery.”

Margaret B.

Margaret is enjoying her active lifestyle again after Dr. Tollestrup surgically disconnected nerves injured during three hip revision surgeries.












If you or someone you know has chronic pain, please fill out the form on the right or call our office at 702-666-0463.

Denervation Surgery Helps Knee Pain After Knee Arthoplasty

By | arthoplasty, chronic pain after surgery, Dr. Tollestrup Blog, knee replacement, Nerve Surgery, Pain after Knee Surgery, success stories | No Comments

Knee Pain After Knee Arthroplasty

Larry had a total knee arthroplasty but after the surgery, he still had constant knee pain. He had decreased range of motion and aching pain in his shin. He couldn’t bear weight or twist without pain in the knee pain.  As a result of the knee pain, he has developed a limp that is causing problems with his hip and low back.

He asked his orthopedic surgeon for help with the knee pain but the surgeon didn’t have an answer for Larry. He believed the pain was just scar tissue and referred Larry to pain management medication.

Second Opinion from Dr. Tollestrup

Larry sought another opinion from Dr. Tollestrup, a peripheral nerve surgeon.

Dr. Tollestrup understands that an orthopedic surgery such as a total knee arthroplasty is rough by nature and can cause nerve damage.

Surgery on the knee joint, whether it is an arthroscopic meniscus repair or a total knee arthroplasty carries with it a small but significant risk of damage to one or more nerves. The trauma to the soft tissue envelope surrounding the knee joint causes swelling, inflammation and scarring that can entrap nerves causing severe pain with motion of the joint.

Patients like Larry who end up in this situation undergo multiple additional orthopedic knee surgeries before finally being consigned to the pain management realm. Once the pain generator is a damaged sensory nerve, it doesn’t matter how many additional orthopedic surgeries the patient has, the pain will not get better and frequently can be made worse.

Dr. Tollestrup examined Larry, listened to history and then ordered a diagnostic block that completely took away Larry’s knee pain. This proved Dr. Tollestrup’s hypothesis that the pain was due to damaged nerves, not some type of residual orthopedic issue.

Disconnecting Damaged Nerves

A detailed understanding of the nerve anatomy around joints provides the option of joint denervation procedure. In this surgery, Dr. Tollestrup locates the damaged nerves, disconnects them and buries them upstream from the area of injury. These nerves can then be handled in specific ways to prevent additional inappropriate stimulation and the formation of painful neuromas. This serves to shut off the pain signal to the patient’s brain and eliminate the sensation of pain in the knee area.

Larry underwent a denervation surgery by Dr. Tollestrup, relieving his chronic knee pain.

A few weeks after surgery, Larry told Dr. Tollestrup his knee pain is 90% gone. He is even playing golf again!

If you or someone you love has knee pain after a knee arthroplasty Dr. Tollestrup can help with peripheral nerve surgery. Fill out the form on this page or call the office at 702-666-0463.

Nerve Surgery Success After Six Failed Back Surgeries

By | back pain, chronic pain after surgery, Dr. Tollestrup Blog, nerve decompression surgery, Nerve Surgery, piriformis syndrome, success stories | No Comments

Failed Back Surgery Leads to Nerve Surgery Success

Thomas came to see Dr. Tollestrup after he endured failed back surgery six times. His chief complaint is pain and paresthesia involving the left lower extremity.

Pain and Numbness

Thomas’s pain starts in the left knee and radiates down into the lateral leg and over the dorsum of the foot. He also has pain in the calf muscle and the plantar surface of the foot. He states that he gets a lot of cramping in the toes and the arch of the foot.

Sitting makes the pain worse. When he sits, he also has pain in the left buttock and thigh.

He has a strange sensation that is kind of like a tingling from the knee down into the foot. He describes his pain as a “hard ache” most of the time with occasional intermittent painful electric shocks.

Thomas takes a sleeping aid otherwise he doesn’t sleep very well due to the pain. His wife says that he tries to sleep most of the day just to try to get away from the pain.

He has had a thorough workup with imaging of the spine from both his spine surgeon and his pain management physician. Neither of them can find any ongoing pathology at the spine level.

Sciatic Nerve Compression

On physical examination, Thomas shows evidence of compression of the large sciatic nerve at the level of the piriformis muscle in the deep buttock. This is called piriformis syndrome.

He also has compression of the common peroneal nerve just below the outside of the knee.

To confirm this, Thomas had a diagnostic injection of the left piriformis muscle which totally relieved his usual sciatica pain for about 48 hours.

With the diagnosis confirmed, Dr. Tollestrup took Thomas to the operating room and performed a surgery he developed where the piriformis muscle is removed and the pressure on the sciatic nerve completely relieved.

Surgical Success Times Two

After this surgery, Thomas has complete relief of the sciatic pain from the buttock to the knee level but persisted in having radiating pain down the outside of the lower leg and over the top of the left foot.

He went back to the operating room a second time for surgical decompression of the common peroneal nerve, a nerve that can become pinched just below the outside of the knee. After this procedure, Thomas is now completely pain-free of the original pain in his left leg.

Thomas is not being evaluated by Dr. Tollestrup for his chronic low back pain. Back surgery was supposed to relieve this pain but only made it worse.

Stay tuned for an update on Thomas’s low back pain.

“He has provided me with a quality of life that I thought I lost forever. I now have absolutely no pain in my legs. I am able to walk without pain again.”

Dr. Tollestrup removes Jackson's piriformis muscle and decompresses superior cluneal nerves

Dr. Tollestrup Helps Patient After Failed Back Surgery

By | chronic pain after surgery, Dr. Tollestrup Blog, Patient Stories, persistent pain after spine surgery, success stories, Uncategorized | No Comments

Lingering Pain After Back Surgery – What Does It Mean?

Robert Jackson’s story illustrates the problem of failed back surgery and why patients still have pain even after the surgical procedure. In Robert’s case, spine surgery did not help him at all. After the surgery he still had low back and sciatica pain. He agreed to let us share his story in hopes of reaching other patients like him.

As a result of a wakeboard accident, Robert Jackson had some nondisplaced vertebral body fractures at L2 and L3. After this injury, he had upper back pain at the site of the fractures as well as low back pain on both sides. Before the wakeboard accident, he was already dealing with right sciatica pain.  After he accident, this pain was much worse.

To understand Robert’s case, it is important to note that he had back pain in three places:

  1. Pain at the site of the injury in his upper back.
  2. Low back pain as a result pf the wakeboard accident.
  3. Right sciatica pain which predates the accident.

After about three months, the upper back pain went away because the fractures had completely healed. However, the severe lower back pain and right sciatica pain persisted. Eventually he underwent spine surgery with the assurance from the spine surgeon that it would relieve his low back and sciatica pain. Unfortunately for Robert, spine surgery did not relieve his low back or right sciatica pain.

Enter Dr. Tim Tollestrup whom he met in an unusual way. Dr. Tollestrup operated on Robert’s wife after she suffered a traumatic peripheral nerve injury.

Robert mentioned to Dr. Tollestrup that he had residual back pain after spine surgery. The pain was so bad that Robert was heavily dependent on pain medication to get through the day.

Upon physical examination Dr. Tollestrup diagnosed Robert with piriformis syndrome and superior cluneal nerve compression. Dr. Tollestrup surgically removed his piriformis muscle and decompressed his sciatica nerve. One week post op Jackson shared that his sciatica was pain gone.

Dr. Tollestrup performed a second surgery removing his superior cluneal nerves. Removing the superior cluneal nerves relieved the persistent low back pain.

Thanks to the surgeries by Dr. Tollestrup, Robert is now sleeping 6-7 hours straight at night (formerly he was unable to sleep more than 1-2 hours at a time) and wakes up feeling refreshed. He described his results so far as “life changing.”

Robert did not need spine surgery. After spine surgery he still had pain. But nerve surgery finally gave him relief.

Robert did not need spine surgery. After spine surgery he still had pain. But nerve surgery finally gave him relief.*

However an important distinction must be made about failed back surgery syndrome. Dr. Tollestrup cannot help all patients who have pain after spine surgery. If you have a traditional spine problem, you still need spine surgery.

However, in some instances, like Robert’s case, Dr. Tollestrup’s surgeries can provide relief for patients with pain after spine surgery. If you are unsure of which category you fall in, Dr. Tollestrup can examine you and offer his opinion.  His office can be reached at 702-666-0463.


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 performed nerve surgery on Deb to help relieve her of chronic foot pain.

Nerve Decompression Surgery Heals Foot Pain

By | chronic pain after surgery, Dr. Tollestrup Blog, success stories | No Comments

Foot Pain Healed

Deborah came to see Dr. Tim Tollestrup because of her severe foot pain. The symptoms started about a year before she came to see him. Several months prior to the onset of her symptoms, she suffered a serious slip-and-fall injury where she slipped on an orange peel on the floor with her right leg shooting out laterally and then falling hard on both knees. The pain in her knees resolved in a normal manner and she thought she was all better until the problem with the right foot started. Deborah’s symptoms involved the whole front half of the foot including the toes, top and bottom.

As time went on, the pain and numbness in the right foot became more and more severe. Deborah saw two different orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons and two different podiatrists, none of whom could identify the source of the pain in the right foot. Finally, the last podiatrist she saw told her that he thought she might have a nerve problem and recommended that she “go see Dr. Tollestrup.”

After examining Deborah, it became apparent that she was suffering from a complex series of nerve compressions in the right lower leg and foot. She underwent two separate surgical procedures to relieve the pressure on her pinched nerves. She is now completely pain free in the right foot and has had resolution of the numbness in her foot as well.

To say Deborah is happy is an understatement! This is what she had to say one week after surgery with Dr. Tollestrup.

“It is absolutely amazing to feel my foot again and walk normally. You never realize how bad it is until you are healed.”*

If you suffer from chronic foot pain, please call Dr. Tim Tollestrup. He can help. Our office number is 702-666-0463.


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.

Two surgeries to remove a piriformis muscle and decompress nerves helped heal Cindy

Dr. Tollestrup Helps Soccer Player With Chronic Pain Post Surgery

By | chronic pain after surgery, Dr. Tollestrup Blog, Patient Stories | No Comments

Tollestrup Offers Options For Chronic Pain Post Surgery

Dr. Tim Tollestrup often treats patients suffering from persistent chronic pain post surgery. After the initial injury heals, the pain remains for months or even years. Samantha is a patient who fits this description. She agreed to let us share her story in hopes of reaching others.

Here is an edited version of Dr. Tollestrup’s chart notes on Samantha.

“Samantha is a 21-year-old woman who presented for evaluation of chronic right lateral knee pain. As a teenager, she was an avid soccer player and injured the right lateral meniscus at age 15. She underwent arthroscopic repair at that time and physical therapy, making a fairly good recovery.

Samantha looked to Dr. Tollestrup to help with chronic pain post surgery that persisted for years after surgery on her knee,

Samantha looked to Dr. Tim Tollestrup to help with chronic pain post surgery that persisted for years after surgery on her knee.*

She unfortunately re-injured the right lateral meniscus and underwent a second right knee arthroscopy at the age of 16. After the second knee surgery, Samantha started to experience constant pain. As time went on, she started to develop a second kind of pain which was more posterior to the knee with radiation of the pain down the side of her lower leg. At times the pain would radiate all the way down over the top of her right foot and this would also make the top of her foot feel numb. Any time Samantha would squat down, the pain would also radiate into her thigh.

At the age of 18, she saw another orthopedic surgeon who told her that the source of the pain in the right knee was a problem with the way her kneecap was tracking over the knee. She underwent a third arthroscopic knee surgery to try and get rid of the pain which did not help.

When I examined her, i could see that she had an injury to the lateral nerve which innervates the lateral knee joint. This was confirmed with a diagnostic block where I put the nerve to sleep using a long-acting local anesthetic. This was the source of the sharp stabbing pain right in the side of the knee joint. She had also developed a compression of the right common peroneal nerve at the level of the fibular neck, on the outside of the knee, just below the knee joint. This was the source of the pain which would radiated down the leg and onto the top of the foot, making it painful and numb.

I operated on her on 12/16/16. I saw her in clinic for her 4.5-week post-op visit. Both the original stabbing pain in the right side of her knee joint and the pain and numbness in the lower leg and foot are completely gone. She is back to work and able to walk and stand without experiencing the pain she used to experience on an almost constant basis.”

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