This patient has had over 10 years of pain in her left leg. She complained of severe burning tingling and electrical pain radiating down from the knee to the top of the foot and in the calf itself. She could not even put bedsheets over the foot. Shoe wear was very difficult for her. She had a difficult time even touching the skin due to her severe neuropathic pain. We had diagnosed this patient with compression of the common peroneal nerve, the proximal tibial nerve in the calf, and the deep peroneal nerve on the dorsum of the foot. This patient underwent decompression surgery to relieve pressure off of each of these nerves at known areas of narrowing. The Patient responded beautifully to surgery. This was better than we expected. After only one week the patient's pain was nearly completely gone. She could touch the leg. She could move the ankle freely without electrical shocks shooting in the top of the foot. And she was elated with the outcome at this very early follow-up.
Many patients are diagnosed as having non-surgical peripheral neuropathy when they have pain such as this patient when in actuality a simple physical exam can diagnose them with possible nerve compressions, which is treatable with decompression surgery in the legs.
This patient only had symptoms on one leg. Most often a medical peripheral neuropathy will be present in both feet. we have also successfully treated many patients with bilateral symptoms as well. A physical examination is required to make the determination whether surgical decompression may be a recommendation for the patient.
While many patients will improve even though their symptoms have been present for many many years, chances of a successful decompression do tend to diminish the longer the compression has been available. This is simply because the health of a nerve usually diminishes over time. It can be harder for the nerve to recover, or if the nerve is damaged enough, it may not recover at all. Fortunately, this patient has had a very nice recovery and very quickly.