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.

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

Dr. Tollestrup Pioneers a Nerve Decompression Surgery to Relieve Lower Extremity Pain

By | nerve decompression surgery, Nerve Surgery, Patient Stories, success stories | No Comments

Dr. Tollestrup Uses Nerve Decompression Surgery He Pioneered to Help Sara

Sara had successful nerve decompression surgery with Dr. Tim Tollestrup and is sharing her story in hopes of helping others. 

Sara originally came to see Dr. Tollestrup with pain and weakness in her left hip, groin, and leg. She injured herself carrying her autistic nephew. When she fell, she felt a pain radiate through the entire left leg from the pelvis all the way down into the foot. Immediately, she was unable to bear weight on the left leg while feeling severe pain throughout the entire leg.

Over time, the pelvic pain became more localized to the left groin area. Also, the pain which would radiate down the leg with weight-bearing started to become more constant, even when she wasn’t weight-bearing on the leg.

First Diagnosis

Initially, Sara was diagnosed with a sprained back. Physical therapy failed to improve her symptoms and a subsequent MRI of the lumbar spine showed herniated disks at L4-L5 and L5-S1. An orthopedic evaluation with a hip injection did give her some relief of the groin pain but did not resolve the radiating pain down the leg.

Sara has been tested extensively for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, hemochromatosis, and psoriatic arthritis, all of which have been negative. She has also tried a variety of pain medications, none of which have worked.

Numbness and Weakness

At the time she came to see Dr. Tollestup, Sara had pain in the left hip down into the inner thigh, knee, lower leg and the arch of the left foot. She frequently experiences numbness in the lower leg for long periods of time. Sometimes these periods of numbness last for more than two months.

When the numbness wears off, she experiences a deep burning sensation in the same area. Sara notes some motor weakness in the left leg, particularly when trying to walk downstairs. The pain in the left leg is constant and interferes with her ability to sleep. Overall her symptoms have become progressively worse since the time of the original injury.

Relief Through Nerve Decompression

When operating on Sara, Dr. Tollestrup surgically decompressed the left femoral nerve using an operation that he invented. During this surgery he splits the inguinal (groin) ligament, allowing the entire abdominal wall to be raised up. This then gives access to the femoral nerve from deep in the pelvis all the way out onto the upper thigh, ensuring that the nerve is completely and safely decompressed.

At the same time, he also decompressed the saphenous nerve in the adductor canal which is in the mid-thigh area. These were outpatient procedures and she was able to walk right away.

By the time she came back for her one-week post-op visit her original pain in the left leg was gone.

Here is what Sara had to say after surgery.

“Dr. Tollestrup changed my life. I am finally pain-free. I walked out of the surgery center and into my new life.”

If you or someone you love has chronic pain, fill out a form on the right or call the office to set up an evaluation by Dr. Tollestrup 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.

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.