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Plantar fasciitis excerpt: Baxter’s neuritis 

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

I noticed late last week that, bizarrely, I have published only a single except from my plantar fasciitis book as a free article. I usually aim for 2 or 3. A couple of my smaller books have none, but the plantar fasciitis book is a bit of a monster, pushing 60K words, so I can afford to give away a few of them.

And just a couple weeks ago I added a chapter about Baxter’s neuritis, a rare cause of stubborn plantar fasciitis. It stands alone well and will provide good value to a niche audience for many years to come, but without giving away too much from the book itself — exactly what I look for in an excerpt!

Here’s an excerpt from the excerpt:

Gray’s Anatomy, Plate 833, nerves of the bottom of the foot

Gray’s Anatomy, Plate 833, nerves of the bottom of the foot

Baxter’s neuritis, AKA distal tarsal tunnel syndrome, is entrapment of the first branch of the lateral plantar nerve. It’s rare, which is probably the best reason to regard it as its own condition, rather than a cause of plantar fasciitis. But when it occurs, it is often mistaken for plantar fasciitis. Podiatrist Dr. Patrick DeHeer:

Through my 23 years of practice, I often think of the old adage, “When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” I consider myself a very good diagnostician. I base my diagnoses on comprehensive history and physical examination. However, there are times when the patient is not progressing as expected and those “hoof beats” are actually zebras. One such case is heel pain from Baxter’s neuritis, which is entrapment of the first branch of the lateral plantar nerve.

So although rare overall, it’s probably common enough among people with stubborn heel pain to be well worth considering.