BAXTER’S NEURITIS

WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?

Baxter’s nerve is also known as the inferior calcaneal nerve. This is the 1st branch of the lateral plantar nerve. This nerve has sensory innervation to the calcaneal periosteum and motor innervation to the abductor digiti minimi quinti muscle. Entrapment of this nerve branch can occur at the medial aspect of the heel due to hypertrophy of the musculature. The nerve may also become entrapped as it courses past the plantar calcaneal tuberosity or after a plantar fasciotomy procedure. This condition can be commonly seen with plantar fasciitis. Patients with baxter's neuritis can experience paresthesias that can radiate to the lateral aspect of the foot and may also have abduction weakness to the 5th toe.

Baxter’s Nerve Treatment:

Diagnosis is made with a clinical exam. Radiographs are taken to rule out boney pathology. MRI can be helpful in determining baxter's neuritis inflammation and/or thickening of the plantar fascia. Fatty infiltration can also be seen in the abductor digiti minimi quinti muscle belly. Conservative management is the same as plantar fasciitis. Surgical intervention involves releasing the nerve and performing a plantar fasciotomy. This is done only if conservative management fails to alleviate symptoms of baxter's neuritis.

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