Patient Case Study: Foot Numbness

Image of Foot bones and location of Plantar Fasciitis

Female, age: 54

Chief Complaint: Numbness, tingling, pins and needle feeling on the bottom of the left foot 

History of Chief Complaint: The patient had plantar fascia reconstruction surgery. After surgery she experienced localized numbness and tingling. As she bare weight on her foot she experienced extreme pain and a feeling of walking on rocks. After she was released from surgery, the patient was unable to walk bare foot on her left foot for more than 3 minutes without experiencing extreme pain.

Examination: Small visible scar on the bottom of the left foot. The patient experienced slight pain and tenderness on palpating the bottom of the arch and on the lateral aspect (pinky edge) of the bottom of the foot. She rated the intensity of discomfort, using a VAS, as a level 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most severe.

Treatment: Acupuncture, electric stimulation of the acupuncture points surrounding the perimeter of the numb area, and gua sha on the scar was administered once a week for eight weeks. The acupuncture points were directed to activate the lateral bottom of the foot and to reduce pain. Electric stimulation of the acupuncture points were selected to reduce numbness and restore normal function of the nerves that may have been affected by the surgery. Gua sha was selected to break up the local scar tissue and activate the more superficial nerves. 

Outcome: After eight weeks the patient was able to walk bare foot with significant reduced pain. She was also able to feel less numbness on the bottom of her foot and the tender spots on palpation were significantly reduced from a VAS of 8 to a VAS of 2. There was no reported pain at the arch of the foot. The patient was able to resume normal activity. 

Treatment of Post-Surgery Numbness and Tingling: After eight weeks the patient continued acupuncture treatments periodically ranging from every other week to once per month. Continued treatment is advised for at least one year after the surgery. 

Acupuncture is cumulative. After surgical procedures acupuncture can help increase healing and restore normal function. Come in and see me for a free consultation to see what acupuncture can do for you!

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