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Defeat Diabetes
Foundation
150 153rd Ave,
Suite 300

Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  

New Optimism For Patients Suffering From Numbness

Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2004

By David Joffe, RPh, CDE, FACA
Editor in Chief, Diabetes In Control.com

They can live the with the needle and finger sticks but for many the pain of neuropathy is unbearable.

They also hear that their condition is not reversible, and even those with tight glucose control can have progression of this complication.

For many, the neuropathic pain medications, either do not work, or so alter their thoughts that they cannot do their daily activities. With loss of sensation in the feet, many diabetes patients have balance problems, fall and break bones.

I knew that there had to be something new out there, I just had to find it.

My optimism has grown tremendously after learning about A. Lee Dellon, MD, Professor of Plastic Surgery and Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr Dellon, also a Hand Surgeon, first observed that patients, who recovered sensation in their hands after he decompressed nerves in the wrist and elbow, for Carpal and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, would ask if he could help their feet feel as good as their hands now felt. He knew that nerves in diabetes patients are swollen. Tight tunnels in the foot, like the Tarsal Tunnel, and the Fibular Tunnel near the knee, were areas in the leg where these swollen nerves become trapped.

Dellon reasoned that these nerves could be decompressed, just as he had done for diabetes patients with nerve problems in their hands.

In 1992, Dellon’s first clinical paper was published giving the results of his surgery. At that time, 88% of diabetes patients with symptoms in their hands and 69% of those with symptoms in their feet were relieved of pain and recovered sensibility in their feet.

Confirmation of this approach and these results came with scientific papers in 1995 from Kentucky, in 2000 from Florida, and in 2003 from Illinois.

In May, 2003, at the American Association of Plastic Surgery meeting, Dr. Dellon reported that 90% of diabetes patients with neuropathy who have a positive Tinel sign when their nerves are examined, and who have neuropathy documented with neurosensory testing can obtain relief of pain and recovery of sensation. He further reported that in a group of patients who had surgery on just one leg, no ulcers or amputations developed in the operated leg, while the opposite, non-operated leg went on to develop the expected ulcers and have amputations. This means the natural history of diabetic neuropathy can be changed.

Dr. Dellon has trained more than 180 surgeons in 43 states in these procedures.

A. Lee Dellon, M.D. is the founder of The Dellon Institutes for Peripheral Nerve Surgery®. He is an accomplished Plastic Surgeon as well as a Professor of Plastic Surgery and Neurosurgery at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland and at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.

He specializes in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy as well as other painful peripheral nerve disorders and has trained many surgeons worldwide in the procedures he has developed to relieve pain.

Dr. Dellon completed his BS at John Hopkins University and received hi Medical Degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1970. He Completed General Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery Residencies at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, John Hopkins Hospital and Union Memorial Hospital respectively. He has been in practice since 1978 and has been on the faculty of Johns Hopkins since that time.

Source: Diabetes In Control

 
 
 
 
 
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