WHAT IS PODIATHERM?
Podiatherm uses radiofrequency (RF Therapy) energy to disrupt nerve related pain. When this is done to a peripheral nerve, such as that as found in the foot, the nerve can no longer transmit pain. It is performed in office under local anesthesia.
WHAT TYPES OF FOOT PAIN CAN IT TREAT?
Heel pain related to plantar fasciitis and neuromas (pinched nerve in the ball of the foot) are the two conditions most often treated with radio frequency. Patients who have these conditions may experience burning, tingling, or numbness due to peripheral nerve entrapment. They may also experience pain radiating along the foot upon waking up in the morning or upon standing. Pain may be temporary or remain through the day.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING TREATMENT?
A local anesthetic is used to numb the surface of the skin. The doctor will then insert a thin needle near the point of pain. An ultrasound image may or may not be used to position the needle. The doctor will then check to make sure the needle is at the correct nerve by stimulating the nerve. The area will then be numbed and then the radiofrequency treatment will be performed in two or three locations to ensure the pain has been alleviated.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE RF THERAPY?
There are no restrictions afterward and you will be able to walk out in normal shoes. The area may be covered with a few gauzes. Some of our most active patients have competed in triathlons within days of the procedure pain-free. You may feel sore for one to four days. This is normal. Pain relief may be present the next day, but full pain relief normally comes in four to six weeks. If you received RF Therapy for a neuroma, then the two toes that were painful may be numb after therapy. Typically the nerve regenerates after RF Therapy in two years. Your pain may or may not return after the nerve regenerates. If it does, another RF Therapy can be done.
The Podiatrists of Premier Foot and Ankle have performed many RF Therapies and find it useful for treating the above conditions when traditional conservative measures fail to offer relief. We have found RF Therapy prevents invasive surgery in many patients.