Peripheral Nerve Surgery
Only peripheral nerve compression can be improved with surgery. These surgeries are typically short (1–1.5 hours) outpatient procedures performed in a surgery center with some sedation. They were pioneered by Dr. A. Lee Dellon, with whom Dr. Swier spent a year following his residency at Johns Hopkins. Studies at the Mayo Clinic and other institutions have since validated these procedures (see bibliography). The recovery following these procedures is similar to that with other procedures on the feet and includes limited walking and foot elevation. Most patients immediately notice a relief in the tingling and burning pain while the numbness takes longer to improve. It can take up to 1–2 years until the nerves have fully recovered and sensation is restored. In most series the amputation rate is 0% following these peripheral nerve releases, and therefore it appears to be an excellent way to prevent amputations in the lower extremities.
We can help those who suffer from compression neuropathy regain quality of life.
At the Swier Clinic, we offer a new surgical treatment for neuropathy—a disease of the nerves that exhibits symptoms from a mild tingling to a severe, burning pain. If you suffer from compression neuropathy, you may feel it in your hands (carpal tunnel syndrome), but it’s also experienced in the feet. This type of neuropathy is common in diabetics and chemotherapy patients, but has also been diagnosed in people that are not diabetic. Symptoms can be accompanied by a loss of balance, frequent falls and toes that curl under. Because of the loss of feeling, people may develop ulcerations and can even lose their toes or feet. Nerve decompression surgery reverses the nerve compression, prevents the development of ulcers and infections, and therefore prevents the need for amputation.