Use of collagen conduits in management of painful neuromas of the foot and ankle

Academic Article


  • Background: Painful neuromas of the foot and ankle frequently pose a treatment dilemma due to persistent pain or recurrence after resection. The purpose of this survey was to evaluate the clinical and functional outcomes in patients in which collagen nerve conduits were used as an adjunct to the resection of a painful neuroma. Our prior experience with vein conduits for this purpose suggested that we might have similar success with the use of these devices. Materials and Methods: Chart reviews and telephone surveys were performed on patients operated by the senior surgeon (JSG) at our medical center from June 2006 to June 2011. A total of 50 patients underwent excision of painful single or multiple neuromas with the end of the resected nerve sutured into the collagen conduit. Each patient preoperatively was asked to describe the amount of pain he or she was experiencing on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 indicating the most severe pain. In the telephone interview conducted during this study, the same question was asked of each patient following revision. Patient ages ranged from 16 to 77 years, with a mean of 54 years. In all, 30 right and 20 left sides were operated, and 1 patient had bilateral involvement. Mean follow-up was 36 months (6-55 months). There were a total of 69 nerves that underwent conduit procedures. Results: Of 69 nerve conduit constructs, 30 (43%) were painless at final outcome, 23 (33%) had pain scores of 1 to 4, 6 (9%) had pain scores of 5 to 7, and 10 (15%) had severe symptoms with pain scores of 8 to 10. Satisfactory outcomes in which patients stated that they were significantly improved with the procedure and now functional occurred in 59/69 (85%). In all, 24 (48%) patients were completely symptom free, 13 (26%) had a pain score of 1 to 4, 6 (12%) had scores of 5 to 7, and 10 (15%) had severe pain with scores of 8 to 10. Three patients had superficial infections (stitch abscesses): 2 resolved with oral antibiotics and 1 resolved spontaneously. Three patients developed complex regional pain syndrome. One patient responded to a dorsal column stimulator and 2 responded to sympathetic blocks. No other complications were reported. Conclusion: Collagen conduits were safe and generally successful adjuncts to simple excision in the management of painful neuromas of the foot and ankle. Level of Evidence: Level IV, retrospective case series. © The Author(s) 2013.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gould JS; Naranje SM; McGwin G; Florence M; Cheppalli S
  • Start Page

  • 932
  • End Page

  • 940
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 7