5.1% of the World Population has Diabetes and it is increasing every year! There are approximately 30 million people in the US that have diabetes, but about 6 million of those people do not know they have the disease.

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) is where there is a loss of sensation, numbness, loss of muscle strength, and other types of symptoms that occur due to the metabolic disease. Patients can have all, or any combination of these symptoms.  But what is important to know is that when there is a loss of protective sensation, a foot ulceration can occur.  Each year it is estimated that there are more than 850,000 cases of Diabetic Foot Ulceration (DFU).

Sadly, when a patient develops an ulcer, and finally gets it healed, there is a 30% chance of recurrence annually.

54% of type I diabetics will develop neuropathy, and almost 50% of Type II diabetics will develop it as well.  1 in 6 Diabetic Patients will develop a foot ulceration during their lifetime.

84% of all diabetic amputations are preceded by DFU.

15% of all DFU’s will lead to foot amputation!!!

This does not take into account all the pain a patient with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy suffers.  It used to be that doctors would tell patients, “sorry, there is nothing we can do for it—you will have to live with the condition and take either gabapentin or pregabalin.”  Well that is not true anymore…

Peripheral Nerve Decompression Surgery

In properly selected patients peripheral nerve decompression surgery is very successful, and in fact most patients come back for their other leg and foot to be decompressed.  It is an outpatient surgery, and in most cases, you can walk the same day.

Reference:

  1. Nickerson DS. Nerve decompression and neuropathy complications in diabetes: Are attitudes discordant with evidence? Diabet Foot Ankle 2017;8:1367209.