Does nerve decompression surgery work for everyone who has diabetes?

man with red irritated feet peripheral neuropathyNerve decompression is a surgical procedure used to relieve pain caused by a compressed nerve in the body. It can be an effective treatment for some people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, but it is important to understand that not everyone will benefit from the surgery. In order to make an informed decision about whether or not nerve decompression is right for you, it is important to discuss your options with your doctor.

Success of Nerve Decompression for Those With Diabetes

Even though nerve decompression can work effectively for some people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it is not an option for everyone. Those who are ideal candidates for the procedure have symptoms of numbness and tingling, either with or without the presence of pain due to peripheral neuropathy. If there is only pain without numbness or tingling, they may not be a candidate for nerve decompression.

Determining if nerve decompression surgery will be a successful option for you depends on individual factors such as:

  • The severity of your nerve damage
  • Whether your diabetes is well-controlled and your HgbA1c is less than 8.5
  • Weighing under 350 pounds
  • Not having uncontrolled swelling or restricted blood flow in your feet or any current open wounds

What to Discuss With Your Doctor Before Surgery

Before deciding if nerve decompression surgery is right for you, there are certain things you should discuss with your doctor. These include:

  • Your medical history, including any past surgeries
  • Any medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter drugs and prescription medications
  • Your current level of physical activity and lifestyle habits
  • Risk factors associated with nerve compression surgery, such as anesthesia risks
  • Recovery time frame and post-surgical care instructions 
  • Potential complications or side effects 

If you are considering nerve decompression surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Williams. He can determine if you will benefit from surgery and create a treatment plan to fit your needs. Find out more by contacting our Baltimore office at (410) 709-3868 or by filling out our contact form online.

Eric H. Williams MD
Specializing in reconstructive surgery and pain relief in the Greater Baltimore area.