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Treatment of diabetic neuropathy by decompression of the posterior tibial nerve.

Hollis Caffee H.

A series of 58 operations on 36 patients were performed for decompression of the posterior tibial nerve for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Preoperative symptoms included lack of sensation, pain, or both. Eleven of the 36 patients had neurotrophic ulcers, which were treated simultaneously. The operation was found to be effective for relief of pain in 24 of the 28 patients with that complaint (86 percent). Restoration of sensation was less consistent with improvement noted in 18 of the 36 patients (50 percent). The follow-up period ranged from 12 to 84 months (mean, 32 months) and five patients had some degree of recurrent symptoms. No patient has developed a new ulcer after nerve decompression. Wound complications were minimal (12 percent), even though ulcers were treated simultaneously. No patient required surgical treatment for the decompression incision, although one did require hospital admission for treatment of a wound infection. In general, the procedure seemed to be a worthwhile treatment, which should be considered  in selected diabetics with symptomatic neuropathy.

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2000 Sep;106(4):813-5.