Skip to Main Content
Make an Appointment

Baxter’s Neuropathy

Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, & Other Resources

Good afternoon, Dr. Markle of Centeno-Schultz Clinic, and today we’re discussing a condition called Baxter’s Neuropathy. It’s one of the many things that can create some chronic and intense heel pain. So we’ll be discussing

And, in addition, discussing some Regenerative Medicine and non-surgical interventional techniques for successful treatment of Baxter’s Neuropathy.

What is Baxter’s Neuropathy?

It is an entrapment syndrome, like carpal tunnel syndrome in your hand. This is an entrapment of a nerve in your foot, right around your heel, on the inside part compressing a branch of your tibial nerve called your inferior calcaneal nerve, and that is the Baxter’s nerve. Now, the inferior calcaneal nerve is the first branch of the lateral plantar nerve, which is a branch off your tibial nerve. It lives between a muscle belly called your abductor hallucis muscle, as well as the medial calcaneal tuberosity, which is a small bump where a common heel spur occurs in the foot.

Now, if we look at the way the nerve travels – So the tibial nerve comes down (see Figure 1).

Baxter's Neuropathy medial nerve
Figure 1

and then branches into your medial and lateral plantar nerve and then the nerve branches again into that Baxter’s nerve (see Figure 2).

medial nerve position in Baxter's Neuropathy
Figure 2

It goes by this muscle right here, which is to your abductor hallucis muscle. And then, after it gets past that muscle, it goes adjacent to your calcaneal tuberosity and your quadratus plantae muscle, which is at the base of the foot right there, and here’s the nerve going right under it, and then it traverses (see Figure 3).

medial calcaneal tuberosity in Baxter's Neuropathy
Figure 3

posteriorly around. Sometimes, there are common heel spurs in this area. Those three areas are the main regions and potential entrapments that create the entrapment itself.

 

Causes of Baxter’s Neuropathy 

Now causes of Baxter’s Neuropathy – sometimes you have some predisposing conditions, one such as muscle hypertrophy, meaning if one of those two muscles in the foot become overworked and hypertrophied, they can compress the nerves traveling around it. Obesity can be problematic. Then foot and ankle conditions such as hyper-pronation or flat feet can create some compression of that nerve.

If you have some bone spurs that were created from plantar fasciitis, or just irritation around the nerves, that can also create some bony compression of that nerve.

 

Symptoms 

Now Symptoms. A common – if we are looking at heel pain in general – diagnosis has always been plantar fasciitis. Now plantar fasciitis, typically, historically, has been pain first thing in the morning; you have pain directly into the heel bone. That first step or two in the morning becomes excruciating, and it loosens up as you stretch out the tissue.

Now, Baxter’s neuropathy is the exact opposite – meaning: you really don’t have any pain in the morning but towards the end of the day. Meaning: you’re walking on a nerve that’s getting irritated. So, the more you walk on it, the more that nerve gets irritated. So, pain tends to be at the end of the day. Irritation of that nerve can create some paresthesia, meaning numbness and tingling, along the bottom part of the heel.

As well as from an examination, if you can palpate the course of where the nerve is, you can elicit and aggravate the patient’s pain and replicate it.

Now, if you have these symptoms, how do you prove its back neuropathy?

You can get an x-ray that can show the pathology of a potential bone spur in that area. MRI can show if the muscles have hypertrophied around it, causing some compression of that nerve, as well as compression of the nerve does create some fluid and inflammation around that nerve and some thickening of the fascia itself.

Deeper Dive Into Baxter’s Neuropathy Symptoms

Pain in Back of Heel

The back bone may not be directly connected to the heel — however, it is connected via the nerve supply. The structures that make up the heel contain nerve branches that are rooted all the way up in the lower back. And that nerve branch is responsible for both sending and receiving signals between the foot (part of the peripheral nervous system) and the spine (central nervous system).This nervous system wiring is, in fact, one massive network, so if our S1 nerve becomes irritated in the lower back, for example, it can affect any structure down the leg—the hip, knee, ankle, heel, and so on. Interestingly, with an irritated nerve…

Read More About Pain in Back of Heel

 

How Do You Treat Baxter’s Neuropathy?

One of the common ways would be medications. So typically your primary care physician or physician starts you off on some sort of anti-inflammatory, or if you describe some burning neuropathic pain symptoms, they’ll put you on a neuropathic pain medication such as Gabapentin, Lyrica or a host of any other neuropathic medications. If you have any underlying issues, such as the flat fee or hyper-pronation, there are foot and ankle braces. They can help to help take some pressure off the nerve.

If all those fail, then injection-based treatments would be corticosteroid injections, where if there’s any inflammation around the nerve, those steroids help shut down that inflammation. But the problem with this long-term is it actually is toxic to the nerve cells. So, it could potentially make those symptoms worse, long term-wise, which, when it does come back, it could create damage to the muscles or tendons around it also re-aggravating that area. Opposite to that would be a surgical treatment, which is surgical decompression.

Now, here at Centeno-Schultz Clinic, we pride ourselves as some of the founders of the field of Regenerative Medicine, and, utilizing regenerative medicine such as platelet-rich plasma in the form of a platelet lysate, we’ve been able to utilize this in treating nerve pain for many years. We have published multiple papers, such as sciatica using PRP epidurals in the extremities. A lot of times we use musculoskeletal ultrasound to hydrodissect the nerve with the platelets. And that accomplishes two things at once.

  1. We’re creating some space around the nerve that was getting entrapped.
  2. We’re putting growth factors around the nerve to help those nerves repair.

And if one of the issues is a potential bone spur, then we can also utilize a technique called a Tenex Osteotomy, where we take a small device, under ultrasound guidance, and actually, break up the bone spur and remove the bone spur subcutaneously, or percutaneously – meaning through the skin just with a simple needle.

If we look at this video, we can see the nerve in the elbow right here:

And here is the bone spur. And we can see the machine, under ultrasound guidance, breaking up the bone spur. This gentleman was having intense pain in the elbow, as well as numbness and tingling. Within probably a week or two, he was nearly asymptomatic, and the pain has not come back since doing this procedure. Again, this was a combined Tenex procedure to remove the bone spur and then utilizing the PRP as an injectate to hydrodissect the nerve around it and give that nerve some space around it.

So, if you have been dealing with any heel pain issues and numbness and tingling and potentially been diagnosed with Baxter’s neuropathy, give us a call. We are happy to evaluate you either via telemedicine or in-person evaluation and discuss potential treatment options and further evaluate you to see some of the small details of exactly what is causing some of your symptoms.

Nerve Hydrodissection

Nerve Hydrodissection is a medical procedure that aims to free up scar tissue or adhesions on a given peripheral nerve. The procedure utilizes ultrasound guidance to visualize both the needle and the targeted nerve. Medication is then injected through the needle to free up the scar tissue. Nerve Hydrodissection is a minimally invasive treatment option for many peripheral nerves that are compressed or entrapped by scar tissue.Pain is an uncomfortable and at times painful sensation. It varies significantly from patient to patient. There are many different types of pain which include inflammatory, nociceptive, and neuropathic. Neuropathic pain is pain that arises from nerve compression or injury.

Read More About Nerve Hydrodissection

NSAIDs

The other day I was evaluating a patient and reviewing the treatment options for their spine condition.  After discussing prior treatments, we got to the topic of medications taken for pain relief. She explained that she mainly utilized anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications and then she told me to hold much she takes and has been for many years…..she takes close to 2 grams (2000 milligrams) on a daily basis which equated to about 9-10 capsules of medication per day.  I was shocked, considering she was pre-diabetic and with high blood pressure plus the kicker of it is that her PCP (primary care physician) is ok with this…

Read More About NSAIDs

PRP for Nerve Damage

Peripheral nerves are comprised of various combinations of motor, sensory, and autonomic neurons. Nerve injuries are a common condition with a broad range of symptoms depending on the severity of nerve damage which presents various challenges to patients, ranging from mild discomfort to life-long impairment. PRP for nerve damage has been shown to be effective. Let’s dig in. Nerve injuries can be classified based on the severity of damage and which structures in the nerve have been damaged. The most severe case is the complete transection of the nerve, called neurotmesis. The most common is neuropraxia from acute or chronic compression of the nerve.

Read More About PRP for Nerve Damage

 Our Doctors That Treat Baxter’s Neuropathy

Christopher J. Centeno, MD

Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in Interventional Orthopedics and the clinical use of bone marrow concentrate in orthopedics. He is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with a subspecialty of pain medicine through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Centeno is one of the few physicians in the world with extensive experience in the culture expansion of and clinical use of adult bone marrow concentrate to treat orthopedic injuries. His clinic incorporates a variety of revolutionary pain management techniques to bring its broad patient base relief and results. Dr. Centeno treats patients from all over the US who…

Read more

John Schultz, MD

My passion and specialization are in the evaluation and treatment of cervical disc, facet, ligament and nerve pain, including the non-surgical treatment of Craniocervical instability (CCI). I quit a successful career in anesthesia and traditional pain management to pursue and advance the use of PRP and bone marrow concentrate for common orthopedic conditions. I have been a patient with severe pain and know firsthand the limitations of traditional orthopedic surgery. I am a co-founder of the Centeno-Schultz Clinic which was established in 2005. Being active is a central part of my life as I enjoy time skiing, biking, hiking, sailing with my family and 9 grandchildren.

Read more

John Pitts, M.D.

Dr. Pitts is originally from Chicago, IL but is a medical graduate of Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville, TN. After Vanderbilt, he completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. The focus of PM&R is the restoration of function and quality of life. In residency, he gained much experience in musculoskeletal medicine, rehabilitation, spine, and sports medicine along with some regenerative medicine. He also gained significant experience in fluoroscopically guided spinal procedures and peripheral injections. However, Dr. Pitts wanted to broaden his skills and treatment options beyond the current typical standards of care.

Read more

Jason Markle, D.O.

Post-residency, Dr. Markle was selected to the Interventional Orthopedic Fellowship program at the Centeno-Schultz Clinic. During his fellowship, he gained significant experience in the new field of Interventional Orthopedics and regenerative medicine, honing his skills in advanced injection techniques into the spine and joints treating patients with autologous, bone marrow concentrate and platelet solutions. Dr. Markle then accepted a full-time attending physician position at the Centeno-Schultz Clinic, where he both treats patients and trains Interventional Orthopedics fellows. Dr. Markle is an active member of the Interventional Orthopedic Foundation and serves as a course instructor, where he trains physicians from around the world.

Read more

Matthew William Hyzy, D.O.

Doctor Hyzy is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Physiatry) and fellowship-trained in Interventional Orthopedics and Spine. Dr. Hyzy is also clinical faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; In addition, Dr. Hyzy is an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at The Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Hyzy also maintains an active hospital-based practice at Swedish Medical Center and Sky Ridge Medical Center. He is also recognized and qualified as an expert physician witness for medical-legal cases and Life Care Planning. He is published in the use of autologous solutions including…

Read more

Brandon T. Money, D.O., M.S.

Dr. Money is an Indiana native who now proudly calls Colorado home. He attended medical school at Kansas City University and then returned to Indiana to complete a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency program at Indiana University, where he was trained on non-surgical methods to improve health and function as well as rehabilitative care following trauma, stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, etc. Dr. Money has been following the ideology behind Centeno-Schultz Clinic and Regenexx since he was in medical school, as he believed there had to be a better way to care for patients than the status quo. The human body has incredible healing capabilities…

Read more
Mairin Jerome, MD

Mairin Jerome, MD

Dr. Mairin Jerome is a physiatrist with subspecialty fellowship training in Interventional Orthopedics and Regenerative Medicine. This subspecialty serves to fill the gap for patients who are interested in therapeutic options that lie between conservative treatment and surgery. Dr. Jerome uses regenerative medicine techniques, including prolotherapy and orthobiologics, via X-ray or ultrasound guidance to precisely deliver injections to areas of musculoskeletal injury or degeneration. Orthobiologics refers to tissue harvested typically from a person’s own body, such as platelets (platelet-rich plasma, PRP) or bone marrow, for use in treating painful musculoskeletal conditions. The goal is to stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms to improve pain, function, and decrease inflammation.

Read more

Other Resources

  • Stem Cell Treatment for Foot Pain: Learn the Truth.

    Foot pain can be debilitating. Dr. Schultz discusses the 7 major causes of foot pain, traditional treatment options, stem cell treatment options, the different types of stem cells, factors that will influence the specific stem cell treatment plan, and the advantages of stem cells over steroids and surgery.


  • Tibial Nerve Injury: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options

    Dr. Markle discusses tibial nerve injury – what that means, when you need surgery, and how to avoid surgery. Transcript: Introduction Hello, Dr. Markle of Centeno-Schultz Clinic, and today we’re going to be talking about how to treat tibial nerve injury. We’ll be discussing exactly what is the tibial nerve, the muscles the tibial innervates, … Continued


  • Morton’s Toe & Morton’s Neuroma: What Are They, and What Treatments Are Available?

    Morton’s Toe vs. Morton’s Neuroma – A small course on what they are and what can be done to treat them.  Transcript Dr. John Schultz Hi, everybody. This is Dr. Schultz with the Centeno-Schultz Clinic. I thought we’d have a little fun today. You know, summer’s here and we’re having fun. Some of us are … Continued


  • 3 Things to Know About Navicular Bone Pain

    Foot pain can be crippling.  Where is Navicular Bone?  Why Does my Navicular Bone Hurt?  How do you treat Navicular bone pain?  Let’s dig in. Where is Navicular Bone? There are 26 bones in the foot.  The Navicular Bone is a small C-shaped bone located on the inside portion of the midfoot.  It is nestled … Continued


  • PRP for Plantar Fasciitis

    Dr. Pitts discusses PRP for Plantar Fasciitis, how it compares to steroid injections, and 3 studies of PRP.  Transcript Hello everybody, this is Dr. John Pitts from the Centeno-Schultz Clinic. Today, I’d like to talk about PRP for plantar fasciitis. So, in short: yes, PRP can be used for plantar fasciitis. But let’s talk about … Continued


  • Life After Talonavicular Fusion: What Do You Know About this Surgery?

    Ankle pain can be excruciating often times making a simple step almost impossible.  What is a Talonavicular fusion?  What are the indications for a Talonavicular fusion?  What are the complications from a Talonavicular fusion?  What does life look like after talonavicular fusion?   Let’s dig in. Foot Anatomy The foot is compromised of  26 bones.  The … Continued


Wait! Did you get your copy of Orthopedics 2.0?

Ready to get help for your Baxter’s Neuropathy?

Get Help