The authors report the results obtained from peripheral nerve crushing in the treatment of ischemic rest pain and/or trophic lesions of toes and feet. They studied retrospectively 102 patients who were submitted to peripheral nerve crushing at the "Hospital das Clínicas da Universidade de São Paulo" during a sixteen-year period, from March 1971 to April 1987. These patients had no other choice, either clinical or surgical. The results were evaluated under three aspects: elimination of pain, evolution of trophic lesions and postoperative complications. The follow-up period varied from 1 month to 6 years (mean of 18 months). The results showed immediate elimination of pain in 94% of the patients. The remaining 6% were reoperated on within 24 to 48 hours, due to technical failure in identifying some of the nerves during the first operation. Regarding the trophic lesions, in 71% of the patients the results were good and the remaining underwent amputation at leg or thigh. The worst results were obtained in patients with necrotic lesions (p < 0.05). Three patients presented surgical wound dehiscence. The authors conclude that peripheral nerve crushing constitutes a valid alternative for a select group of patients with uncontrollable ischemic rest pain in the feet.