Surgical treatment of peripheral neuropathy: Outcomes from 100 consecutive decompressions

Juan M.V. Valdivia, A. Lee Dellon, Martin E. Weinand, Christopher T. Maloney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since 1992 it has been reported that patients with diabetes mellitus recover sensibility and obtain relief of pain from neuropathy symptoms by decompression of lower-extremity peripheral nerves. None of these reports included a series with more than 36 diabetic patients with lower-extremity nerves decompressed, and only recently has a single report appeared of the results of this approach in patients with nondiabetic neuropathy. No previous report has described a change in balance related to restoration of sensibility. A prospective study was conducted of 100 consecutive patients (60 with diabetes and 40 with idiopathic neuropathy) operated on by a single surgeon, other than the originator of this approach, and with the postoperative results reviewed by someone other than these two surgeons. Each patient had neurolysis of the peroneal nerve at the knee and the dorsum of the foot, and the tibial nerve released in the four medial ankle tunnels. After at least 1 year of follow-up, 87% of patients with preoperative numbness reported improved sensation, 92% with preoperative balance problems reported improved balance, and 86% whose pain level was 5 or greater on a visual analog scale from 0 (no pain) to 10 (the most severe pain) before surgery reported an improvement in pain. Decompression of compressed lower-extremity nerves improves sensation and decreases pain, and should be recommended for patients with neuropathy who have failed to improve with traditional medical treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-454
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Podiatric Medical Association
Volume95
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Podiatry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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