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UT Southwestern launches study of surgical option for treating diabetic and other neuropathies
Date:7/10/2008

nt of patients with diabetes. The treatment of choice in these patients, if conservative treatment has failed, is surgical nerve release."

In addition to pain, patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy have decreased sensation on the bottoms of their feet. Because they can injure their feet without noticing it, many develop ulcerations. About one out of every six patients with ulcers require amputations accounting for the nearly 100,000 amputations per year in the U.S. because of diabetes.

"If we are able to restore at least protective sensation that means patients will feel it if they hit something with their foot it may decrease the amount of ulcers and eventual amputations in this high-risk population," Dr. Rozen said.

Peripheral nerves supply sensation and are responsible for activating different muscles in the body. If these nerves are injured or compressed, they may be responsible for pain, loss of sensation, or even loss of function. Some of these problems may be helped by nerve surgery.

"Pain problems like these are not uncommon. The main problem is education and awareness among patients and physicians alike that there may be surgical solutions to some of these problems," Dr. Rozen said. "We all know patients who had surgery for a 'pinched' nerve in the back. The concepts are very similar relieve a nerve from pressure, repair it or even cut it in certain cases, and the pain may be relieved."


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Contact: Russell Rian
russell.rian@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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UT Southwestern launches study of surgical option for treating diabetic and other neuropathies
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