Dr. Tollestrup Blog

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.

Surgical Nerve Decompressions Relieve Peripheral Neuropathy Pain

By | Dr. Tollestrup Blog, nerve decompression surgery, Nerve Surgery, Patient Stories, peripheral neuropathy, success stories, Uncategorized | No Comments

Peripheral Neuropathy Pain

James came to see Dr. Tim Tollestrup with debilitating peripheral neuropathy pain symptoms in his legs and feet. The pain started about ten years ago.

James symptoms were typical of peripheral neuropathy patients. He had a prickling tingling sensation in his feet with a severe burning numbness pain on the bottom of his feet. Walking was very painful. The pain would frequently wake him up at night resulting in chronic fatigue.

The pain was so intense that he dreaded getting out of bed. He was depressed by the thought of dealing with this pain the rest of his life

Seeking Help

James went to see many other physicians in his quest to get relief. They were all quick to prescribe pain medication. But James didn’t want to give up the hope of finding a permanent, non-pharmaceutical solution.

He finally found Dr. Tollestrup who understood the peripheral neuropathy pain was due to nerve compression in the legs and feet. Unlike many people in the medical community, Dr. Tollestrup does not believe that peripheral neuropathy is a chronic, incurable condition.

After speaking with James to get a complete history and performing a physical examination, Dr. Tollestrup developed a plan to perform a series of surgical decompressions in James’ legs.

Surgical Success

After each surgery, James felt immediate relief. He is back to doing the things he loves – playing basketball, working in his yard and enjoying an active lifestyle.

“What you did for me is a rejuvenation. I cannot thank you enough Dr. Tollestrup.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from peripheral neuropathy Dr. Tollestrup can help. Please fill out the form on the right side of this page or call the office at 702-666-0463.

Watch the video version of James’ journey to overcome Peripheral Neuropathy.

James was in so much pain from Peripheral Neuropathy that on some days he couldn’t get out of bed. Then he met Dr. Tim Tollestrup who performed a series of peripheral nerve surgeries.


Decompressing the Brachial Plexus to Relieve Pain of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

By | Dr. Tollestrup Blog, Nerve Surgery, news and events, success stories, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome | No Comments

Debilitating Pain from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Ladonna came to see Dr. Tollestrup for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and evaluation of pain, paresthesias, and motor weakness involving the right shoulder girdle and upper extremity.

A few years ago, Ladonna had a traumatic dislocation of the right shoulder. This was followed by four more spontaneous dislocation events within a period of several months. She underwent an arthroscopic procedure to try and prevent these repeat spontaneous dislocations.

After surgery, she experienced progressive worsening of symptoms. The first thing she noticed was severe pain in the posterior deltoid area. Steroid injections helped this for a couple of months each time however her symptoms continued to widen. She started to develop severe pain along the medial border of the right scapula. Radiating from the neck to the scapular angle. She went on to develop pain centered around the elbow, both medial and lateral, pain radiating throughout the dorsal forearm from elbow to wrist and into the dorsum of the hand, and volar wrist pain with radiation of the pain in the palm of the hand and paresthesias involving the entire hand.

Forced Life Change from Constant Pain

Eventually, the symptoms became severe enough that she was forced to retire from her job as a physical therapist as the vigorous use of the right upper extremity caused the symptoms to become excruciatingly painful. Ladonna that a year off work and then decided to go back to school to learn to cut hair. She now works as a hairstylist. She states that recently she tried to also go to massage therapy school. One week into her clinical work, the pain became so severe in the right upper extremity that she had to drop out.

The symptoms in the right arm and hand wake her up multiple times at night. Often she will be in a sitting position which allows her to sleep for a more extended period of time but she still frequently wakes up nonetheless.

At her lowest point, LaDonna considered suicide since her pain was so unrelenting. Pain impacted her personal life because she never knew how she would feel from day to day so it was hard to plan anything with her significant other.

Upon comprehensive physical examination and careful evaluation of her clinical history, Dr. Tollestrup diagnosed LaDonna with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. He surgically decompressed her Brachial Plexus which is located in the neck area. This was the source of her pain.

Second Chance after Surgery

After surgery LaDonna says she has all of her dexterity back in her fingers, she’s sleeping through the night and most importantly has no need for pain medication.

After her surgery, LaDonna said she was grateful to Dr. Tollestrup for saving her life.

Watch LaDonna’s story on video as she describes her pain and her journey back to health with the help of Dr. Tollestrup.

If you or someone you know has pain in their upper extremities with symptoms that can mimic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, please contact Dr. Tollestrup’s office at 702-666-0463. He might be able to help. You can also fill out a form on the right side of this page.

LaDonna had surgery with Dr. Tollestrup to decompress her brachial plexus. Now she is pain free and has all of her dexterity back in her hands and fingers.

Debilitating Migraines Gone Thanks to Peripheral Nerve Surgery

By | chronic headaches, Dr. Tollestrup Blog, migraine headaches, news and events, success stories | No Comments

Excruciating Migraines Wreaked Havoc on Dana’s Life

My patient Dana S is sharing her story of overcoming migraines. She endured decades of debilitating pain that compromised her life in countless ways. Luckily, I was able to help her. For that I am grateful.

Here is her journey in her own words.

Plagued by Pain

My name is Dana. I have had headaches since I was five years old, with a formal diagnosis of a migraine at age 8. For many years, my migraines were bi-monthly with nausea and vomiting. They were severe on the pain scale but controlled by medications.

As I got older my migraines became much more frequent and increasingly severe. Migraine medications alone no longer controlled my pain or nausea and vomiting. Severity and frequency increased as the years went by and I became hopeless. I spent a lot of time in urgent care and our local emergency room because often my medications were not strong enough. I spent days in bed surrounded by darkness.

For many years doctors felt I had a muscular issue along with my migraines. I developed nagging pain on both sides of my neck that was present with and without a migraine. The pain never went away and it was exhausting. I slept on ice nightly to help numb the pain.

Missing Out on the Joy

My pain interfered with every aspect of my life. My friends could tell I was in pain as soon as they looked at me and my family came to expect this as my normal look.

I am married and have a 17-year-old daughter. I am also a kindergarten teacher. My daughter is an athlete and I missed many important games and activities. I did not want her friends at our house. My relationships were negatively impacted as I couldn’t be counted on to follow through.

Dana suffered from migraine headaches for many years. The headaches impacted her life with her husband and teenage daughter.

I would drag myself out of bed in pain each day to do what I could but often returned from work at 4 or 5 pm and went straight to bed, experiencing very little joy in my life.  Interacting with my family did not happen as it should have and I felt awful for letting them down.  I felt like a failure in all that I did. Frequently at work, I would have to request someone to watch my class because I was sick to my stomach or because my words were slurred and even sometimes said backward.

Desperate for Relief

Through the years I tried a plethora of treatments, including biofeedback, acupuncture, exercise, massage, physical therapy, spinal manipulation, chiropractic care and too many medications to list.

I gave myself injections, nausea and pain medication to get through the day. I often fought with doctors to receive treatment as many over the years viewed migraines as a drug-seeking excuse. I’ve cried and pleaded with doctors to believe me, have taken doctors notes and letters of diagnosis with me and while I usually ended up receiving treatment it often came with stern words that I needed to go to my neurologist or pain doctor, whom by the way do not work past five or on weekends and in the case of the neurologist, took three months or more to get into.

Migraines don’t follow a schedule. When you experience that intense pain you just want it to end. I remember praying that I would just die as I couldn’t stand it.

I’d already undergone a disc replacement, an occipital stimulator implant, a hysterectomy, hospitalizations and years of nerve blocks and radiofrequency lesioning (nerve burning).

I was unlucky in finding a neurologist that was helpful.  Each one wanted to run the exact same tests and try the same medications in differing combinations and dosages but there was no reduction in my pain.

Finding Dr. Tollestrup

A wonderful pain management doctor, Dr. Erkulwater, suggested a nerve specialist and had heard of Dr. Tollestrup. So off I went to see him.

Dr. Tollestrup thought I was a good candidate for an occipital nerve excision. It was a true fight getting my insurance to approve this but after waiting three years I finally had the opportunity to move to my husband’s insurance and it was approved immediately.  I had surgery within three weeks of that date.

During the surgery, Dr. Tollestrup disconnected six nerves and sewed grafts on. The nerves disconnected were the greater, lesser and 3rd occipital nerves.

Dr. Tollestrup disconnected 6 nerves and sewed grafts on. The nerves were the greater, lesser and 3rd occipital nerves.

One Giant Leap

It’s been 2 months since my surgery and I have not felt this good for years!!   I am not waking up in pain every day or taking pain medication on a regular basis. My migraines are much less frequent.

“My head feels clear. I am excited to be an active participant in my life,  giving 100% to my family, friends, and students.  I am managing my household and I am not missing work at all!”

Since my surgery, I even checked an item off my bucket list— skydiving! It was the most incredible experience!

I can’t thank Dr. Tollestrup enough! My life began again after surgery. Even though the recovery process, I never doubted I’d made the right decision. While part of my head is permanently numb, I barely notice it.

This surgery has already given me more pain-free days than anything else in the 45 years I’ve struggled.  As I turn 50 this next month, I give thanks to all who have helped me through the trying times. I know I will never be 100 % free of migraines and that I may even experience some nerve pain, but the relief I have now is worth more to me than any words could express.


If you or someone you love suffers from migraines Dr. Tollestrup can help. Fill out a form on the right side of this page or call the office at 702-666-0463.


Low Back Pain Involving Superior Cluneal Nerve Compression

By | back pain, Dr. Tollestrup Blog, nerve decompression surgery, Nerve Surgery, news and events, persistent pain after spine surgery, success stories | No Comments

Low Back Pain Not Coming from the Spine

Low back pain stemming from superior cluneal nerve entrapment is an underdiagnosed condition. Dr. Tollestrup has developed a surgical approach to help alleviate low back that does not emanate from the spine. He has many patients who have had success with this procedure. Marty is one of them. He is sharing his story in hopes of reaching others still struggling with chronic low back pain.

Marty’s First Nerve Surgery

Marty first came to see Dr. Tollestrup for groin pain after an inguinal hernia repair. Dr. Tollestrup eliminated the nerve pain by removing several damaged nerves in the right lower abdominal and groin area.

After nerve surgery, Marty continued to have some deep right groin pain due to severe arthritis in the right hip joint. After undergoing a right hip replacement, Marty’s right groin pain was finally completely gone.

New Low Back Pain

Unfortunately, during the time it took to resolve the orthopedic hip problem, Marty developed severe right-sided low back pain with radiation of the pain into the hip area. This pain became constant and debilitating. Lying on his back intensified the pain, making it impossible to sleep.

CT imaging of the spine did not show any reason for the low back pain and hip pain. With imaging clear, Marty tried pain management but was not able to get any relief.

Back to Dr. Tollestrup

Marty returned to see Dr. Tollestrup in hopes that he might be able to do something for his low back pain. After listening to Marty describe the location of the pain, Dr. Tollestrup suspected that Marty might be suffering from compression of the superior cluneal nerves.

The superior cluneal nerves are a cluster of nerves that branch off the main L1, L2, and L3 nerve roots and travel along the lumbar spine. These nerves pass through tight tunnels made up of fascia and bone and can become entrapped.

Entrapment of the superior cluneal nerves can cause severe low back pain which is usually off to the side slightly rather than in the middle, directly over the spine. There can also be a radiation of pain into the buttocks or hip. It is a common problem that is rarely diagnosed correctly. Many patients with this problem will undergo unnecessary spine surgery. Undergoing spine surgery when the low back pain is actually due to superior cluneal nerve entrapment will have no effect on the original pain at best, and at worst, can make the original low back pain become much worse.

Superior Cluneal Nerve Entrapment

Dr. Tollestrup sent Marty for a diagnostic block of the right superior cluneal nerves. Once the nerves were anesthetized Marty’s low back pain was instantly relieved. This let Dr. Tollestrup know that the real source of the low back pain was entrapment of the superior cluneal nerves and not some type of problem with the spine itself.

In this photo the green circle is around the superior cluneal nerves.

With this knowledge, Dr. Tollestrup was able to take Marty to the operating room and remove these small, unimportant sensory nerves to permanently relieve his low back pain.

Low Back Pain Gone

A week after surgery Marty is once again pain-free thanks to Dr. Tollestrup.

Superior cluneal nerve entrapment usually goes undiagnosed by orthopedic surgeons simply because they do not have comprehensive knowledge of the peripheral nervous system.

If you have unresolved low back pain, Dr. Tollestrup can help. Please fill out the form on the right or call the office at 702-666-0463.


Removing Piriformis Muscle Heals Sciatica Pain

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

Dr. Tollestrup Doubles Up on Successful Surgeries To Heal Sciatica Pain

We recently shared this video story about Spencer Hawkins, a patient of Dr. Tollestrup’s who battled severe sciatica pain for years. Dr. Tollestrup was able to eliminate Spencer’s pain by surgically removing his piriformis muscle. Now Spencer is back playing the sports he loves.

Click Here to Watch Spencer Get Back in the Game

Ironically, Spencer’s softball buddy David Sherman was suffering from a very similar pain problem. The two researched online together and discovered they both had piriformis syndrome. David came to see Dr. Tollestrup first but opted to wait until Spencer had surgery. After seeing Spencer’s results, David decided to go for it too. This is his story.

Decade of Chronic Pain

David’s original problem was severe low back pain and bilateral sciatica pain. The sciatica pain in the left leg was much worse than the right leg. David suffered for more than ten years. He endured 11 epidural injections with varying degrees of relief.

Eventually, David decided to undergo spine surgery. His spine surgeon confidently told him that surgery would fix both his low back pain and his sciatica pain. He had a fusion of the lumbar spine from L4 to S1.

The results of the spine surgery were mixed. While the fusion fixed his low back pain, it did nothing for the severe sciatica pain in the left leg. The pain eventually got so bad that it limited David to walking no more than a couple of blocks at a time. This resulted in David having to give up tennis and softball, two sports that he loved to play.

David came to see Dr. Tollestrup after researching online. After an evaluation, Dr. Tollestrup diagnosed David with piriformis syndrome. A follow-up diagnostic injection of the left piriformis muscle resulted in two weeks of almost complete relief from his usual pain.

Bye Bye Piriformis Muscle

Based on his excellent response to the piriformis injection, David opted to undergo surgery with Dr. Tollestrup to remove the piriformis muscle pinching his sciatic nerve. A piriformis muscle is a spare part – like an appendix – that most people don’t need.

By the time David came back to see Dr. Tollestrup for his one-week postop appointment, his original sciatica pain was essentially completely gone.

Cautiously optimistic, David is back playing softball in two different leagues 3 to 4 times a week with his friend and fellow success story Spencer.

Here is what David had to say after his successful surgery.

“After suffering from sciatica pain for more than 10 years, one week after surgery to remove my piriformis muscle my pain is gone. I am now back to enjoying my life again.”

If you or someone you know has sciatica pain, the problem could be piriformis syndrome. Dr. Tollestrup can help. Fill out a form on the right or call 702-666-0463.


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

Severe Nerve Compression Goes Undiagnosed for Ten Years

By | Dr. Tollestrup Blog, nerve decompression surgery, Nerve Surgery, success stories | No Comments

Nerve Compression at Multiple Sites Causes Ten Years of Chronic Pain

Carrie is a patient of mine who needlessly suffered for ten years because no one could properly diagnose nerve compression as the source of her pain. I am sharing her story in hopes of reaching others who may be dealing with the same problem.

Spine Surgery

Carrie started her chronic pain journey more than a decade ago with severe sciatica pain in both legs. She underwent decompression of the spinal cord with a fusion of the L4-L5 vertebrae.

This surgery resolved her right leg pain but left her with numbness in both feet and shooting pain in her left leg radiating into the top of the left foot.

Through the years, Carrie tried dozens of therapeutic interventions. Sadly, one treatment she tried involved a charlatan chiropractor who charged her $5000 for powdered drink supplements and two small, ultimately useless machines. Neither of these offered her any relief.

Spinal Injections

Last year Carrie underwent multiple spinal injections by her pain management doctor. These spinal injections resolved most of the sciatica pain from the low back/buttock area down the posterior thigh to about the level of the knee.

However, again she was only able to achieve partial relief. The injections did not help any of the symptoms from the knee down. The more active she would be, the more pain she would experience in the lower leg and foot. She also started to have weakness in the left leg.

Correct Diagnosis

Carrie’s podiatrist referred her to me. Upon examination, I diagnosed her with serious nerve compression syndrome which involved entrapment of multiple nerves at various locations throughout the left leg. The problem started with a compression of the left sciatic nerve deep in the left buttock called piriformis syndrome. She also had a simultaneous compression of other nerves in the lower leg and top of the foot at three additional locations.

I performed surgery on Carrie, releasing the pressure on four different nerves at four different sites in the left pelvis and leg.

Nerve Decompression Surgery with Dr. Tollestrup can help eliminate migraine headaches.

Dr. Tollestrup performs nerve decompression surgery







Two months later Carrie has complete relief from the pain in her left leg! She continues to have some numbness and weakness on the top of her foot. With these types of nerve injuries, especially ones that have been present for many years, recovery can take a year.

For most patients, the thing that really affects their quality of life is the pain. They usually do very well dealing with numbness or weakness as these problems do not occupy the mind every waking moment and rob the patient of sleep at night.

If you have been unable to achieve relief from chronic pain, I might be able to help. Please fill out a form on the right or call my office at 702-666-0643.

Tim Tollestrup MD

Denervation surgery helps patient with chronic knee pain

Knee Replacement Surgery Fails to Heal Pain

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Pain Increases After Knee Replacement Surgery

Wanda had a left total knee replacement done by her orthopedic surgeon.

Unfortunately, after surgery, she still suffered from terrible pain. In fact, physical therapy made her pain worse. During physical therapy, she was using a Continuous Passive Motion machine. The more Wanda used the CPM machine, the more she started experiencing numbness and tingling involving the skin over the inside of her lower leg and pain on the inside of her ankle.

In addition, she started having severe, radiating pain starting near the inside of her knee and traveling up her inner thigh into the groin area.

Orthopedic Surgeon Denies Pain

Baffled by the cause of her persistent knee pain, Wanda’s orthopedic doctor just continued to send her to physical therapy. In total, Wanda participated in three rounds of physical therapy. Despite extensive therapy, Wanda’s symptoms never improved.

Wanda’s orthopedic surgeon told her many times that he didn’t understand how she could still be having pain and that everything was perfect with her knee replacement. Eventually, her surgeon started to intimate that the problem was all in Wanda’s head. Unfortunately for patients suffering from peripheral nerve damage, this is not an uncommon experience.

Finding Relief

Luckily for Wanda, her husband researched constantly on the internet and found Dr. Tollestrup. Wanda then came to see Dr. Tollestrup for an evaluation.

After learning about her arthroplasty, Dr. Tollestrup knew that Wanda had most likely undergone an unnecessary surgery because her knee pain before surgery was exactly the same as after the knee replacement. He also suspected that the source of her ongoing pain stems from the small sensory nerves that give sensation to the soft tissue around the knee joint itself.

Based on the description of the location of the new pain and numbness from the groin down to the inside of the ankle that Wanda started to experience after the knee surgery, Dr. Tollestrup also knew that there was a problem with Wanda’s saphenous nerve. A brief physical exam confirmed that the saphenous nerve was being compressed or pinched deep in the inner thigh in a tight space called the adductor canal. Using local anesthetic, Dr. Tollestrup put to sleep the small sensory nerves causing the pain in the area of the left knee. This gave Wanda immediate, temporary relief from her left knee pain, thus confirming Dr. Tollestrup’s diagnosis.

Disconnecting Damaged Nerves

With the accurate diagnosis made, Dr. Tollestrup took Wanda to the operating room.

Through a single incision just above the knee on the inside of the thigh, he was able to find and disconnect all of the damaged nerves to the knee. He also relieved the pressure on the main saphenous nerve in the adductor canal.

Click here to watch this video from the operating room showing exactly what Dr. Tollestrup did in surgery.

By the time Wanda came back to see Dr. Tollestrup for her one-week post-op visit, all of the original pain in the left knee was gone. The sensation on the inside part of the lower leg had returned to normal. She was no longer experiencing the shooting pain up the inside of her left thigh into the groin or the pain on the inside of her ankle.

“I don’t have any pain at all,” Wanda said. “I am so happy I found Dr. Tollestrup.”

If you or someone you know has persistent knee pain before or after a knee arthroplasty, Dr. Tollestrup may be able to help. Please fill out the form on the right or call the office at 702.666.0463.

Schwannoma Removed During Complex Peripheral Nerve Surgery

By | Dr. Tollestrup Blog, failed morton's neuroma surgery, nerve decompression surgery, Nerve Surgery, news and events, success stories | No Comments

Complex Peripheral Nerve Surgery Solves Chronic Pain Problem

Marilyn came to see Dr. Tollestrup for a complicated peripheral nerve pain problem. Dr. Tollestrup performed a tedious peripheral nerve surgery which fixed her issue permanently. This is her story,

For many years, Marilyn’s ankle was swollen. When she bumped her ankle, she would feel a painful electric shock sensation radiating down into her foot. A CT scan showed a tumor involving the right posterior tibial nerve.

The preliminary diagnosis was a schwannoma, a tumor found in peripheral nerves. Schwannomas are usually benign. But because they are located in peripheral nerves, schwannomas can cause significant nerve pain and weakness.

When a schwannoma grows inside a nerve, the rest of the nerve fibers end up plastered to the outside of the tumor kind of like spaghetti stuck to the outside of a balloon. This can make surgery to remove the tumor difficult.

With this diagnosis in mind, Dr. Tollestrup brought Marilyn to the operating room.

First, he decompressed nerves in the medial ankle area. Using an overhead operating microscope, he then carefully dissected the tumor out of Marilyn’s tibial nerve without injuring any of the other important nerve fibers.

The surgery was a complete success! Marilyn no longer has to endure the sharp, shooting pains in her ankle. Additionally, Dr. Tollestrup was also able to preserve normal sensation to the bottom of Marylin’s right foot.

Here is what Marilyn had to say about her experience. Take a listen here.

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

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

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.