Changes in Patient-Reported Pain Interference After Surgical Treatment of Painful Lower Extremity Neuromas

Adam Liebendorfer, Esther Ochoa, Christopher J. Dy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Painful neuromas commonly cause neuropathic pain, in up to 1 in 20 cases of traumatic or iatrogenic nerve injury. Despite the multiple surgical treatment types that reduce pain, no type has been universally accepted. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study by administering follow-up surveys to all surgical patients treated in our department for lower-extremity neuroma from September 1, 2015, to October 22, 2021, that could be contacted, excluding those with Morton neuroma. In addition to the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Pain Interference (PI) questionnaire, survey questions covered the time to pain reduction, use of physical or occupational therapy, and characteristics of the pain. When available, previously collected preoperative and postoperative PROMIS PI data were used for patients who could not be contacted for the telephone survey. Paired-sample nonparametric testing was used to compare preoperative and postoperative PROMIS PI scores. Results: Initial query in the medical record by Current Procedural Terminology codes yielded 1,812 patients for chart review, of whom 33 were eligible to call. In total, 9 (27%) patients completed both preoperative and postoperative PROMIS PIs: 6 (18.2%) completed full telephone surveys and 3 (9.1%) had preoperative and postoperative PROMIS PI data in the chart review but could not be contacted for the full telephone survey. Four of the 6 telephone-survey respondents reported pain reduction within 12 months of their surgery. Wilcoxon signed-rank testing demonstrated a moderate but nonstatistically significant reduction in PROMIS PI scores, with a median difference of −4.85 (P = .1; 95% CI −12 to 1.2). Conclusions: There were notable improvements in our cohort, but larger studies are needed to determine whether surgical treatment of lower-extremity neuroma results in a clinically important and significant difference in PROMIS PI scores, as well as to discern the advantages each treatment. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery Global Online
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Nerve pain
  • Nerve surgery
  • Neuralgia
  • Neuroma
  • Neuropathy


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