Fresno ballet dancer returns to stage after chronic foot pain prevented her from performing for nearly 10 years

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Arielle Dolezal is performing on her two feet again.

Since the age of seven she has danced as a ballerina, but as years went on, the pain of putting her entire body weight on her toes and ankles was too much.

"Since I started dancing through college my foot just kind of hurt all the time and I thought you know I'm a dancer, it is totally normal, you know, no pain, no gain," said Dolezal.

Working full-time on her feet as a nurse in the emergency room of Community Regional Medical Center wasn't helping either.

Dolezal would take breaks every 20 minutes to ice her feet

During a three-year period, Dolezal would see over two dozen doctors.

One diagnosed her with an inflamed nerve in between her toes on her right foot, having it removed.

"So after I had the nerves removed I thought of this is great and it was a little bit better. But then I went to my follow up appointment I realized that a nerve could regenerate, one of them regenerated. So I wasn't out of the woods," said Dolezal.

But last year there was finally light at the end of the tunnel.

A Stanford doctor recommended her for a StimRouter by Bioness.

Dolezal would have minor surgery to have a small implanted lead device placed under her skin.

"The implanting physician is continually communicating with the patient to make sure that they are getting paresthesia or the tingling sensation in the area that the patient is experiencing the pain," said Mark Geiger, Global Director of Bioness.

The StimRouter has a second part above the skin where an external pulse transmitter sends wavelengths to help control pain with a remote.

Weeks after the surgery Dolezal was able to lace up her ballet shoes for the first time in over a decade.

"I was able to feel like myself again. Whenever I danced it was the feeling that I'm the only person in the room and I can do whatever I want, and I just felt so fulfilled," she said.
Dolezal is now taking ballet classes and practices on the stage of the Tower Theater.
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