1355 Riverside Avenue Ste C.
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 484-4620 / (800) 866-4620
About the Neuropathy Testing
Center of Colorado
The Neuropathy Testing Center of Colorado opened in 2001 and was the first of its kind in the entire Rocky Mountain region.
The Center is located in the Poudre Valley Foot and Ankle Clinic, which was founded in 1981 and has its own surgery center. The Poudre Valley Foot & Ankle Clinic is well known for its accurate diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle conditions, often without surgery, that have not been resolved elsewhere.
The Foot Surgery Center of Northern Colorado, located adjacent to the clinic, was founded in 1987 also the first in the region. It provides a comfortable and intimate setting and the staff are specially trained to provide the best surgical care possible for the foot and ankle.
Our Testing Procedure
The Neuropathy Testing Center of Colorado introduces the newest form of Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST): Neurosensory and Motor Testing (NMT) with Pressure-Specified Sensory Device (PSSD) technology. This form of testing is more sensitive and accurate than any other form of testing currently being used.
What does it do? It will tell the doctor the exact stage of a person's neuropathy so that appropriate treatment can be done. It also accurately diagnoses other conditions that have similar symptoms to neuropathy so the correct treatment can be performed.
How is the test performed? The test is done using a two-pronged device on the lower leg and tests for either a feeling that the two prongs are one two-point discrimination-or no feeling at all. The test takes forty-five minutes to one hour and results are printed as a series of bar charts.
If neuropathy is diagnosed, appropriate treatment and care is established.
The American Diabetic Association recommends yearly testing for diabetics.
New Treatment for Neuropathy
Conservative methods of treatment, such as special shoe inserts, nerve blocks or anodyne treatments (infrared light) can be used when neuropathy is in its early stages.
Surgical candidates: If the neuropathy has progressed to the point where there is numbness and tingling throughout the day and weakness interferes with daily activities, then the person might be a candidate for a new surgical procedure: peripheral nerve decompression surgery. This is particularly suited to the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, with about an 80-90% improvement rate. It is also beneficial for non-diabetic neuropathy, and provides similar results. Ideally, surgery is done before there is no feeling left in the nerve and before the condition has worsened to the point of ulcerations.
Peripheral Nerve Decompression Surgery Diabetic & Non-Diabetic Neuropathy: The Theory>
Dr. Lee Dellon, Professor of Neurosurgery and Plastic Surgery, John Hopkins University, made the discovery in 1988 that a diabetics nerves were subject to compression and swelling in areas that were anatomically tight-such as the inside of the ankle thus causing symptoms of neuropathy.
There are two reasons why a diabetic's nerves are subject to compression:
Opening the nerve tunnel allows the flow of proteins to resume.
In the case of non-diabetic neuropathy, the neuropathy may or may not be caused by swelling nerves, but is thought to be caused by tight nerve tunnels. Surgery may be effective in many cases where the neuropathy is unrelated to diabetes. Success rates in non-diabetic neuropathy are equal to those in diabetic neuropathy patients.
Peripheral Nerve Decompression Surgery: What to Expect
The surgery that is done for neuropathy is similar to the surgery commonly done for nerve compression in the wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome) and the ankle (tarsal tunnel syndrome).
The surgery opens the tight area through which the affected nerve passes by, dividing a ligament that crosses the nerve. This opening gives the nerve more room, allows blood to flow better in the nerve and permits the nerve to glide with movements of nearby joints.
The surgery can be done in our Surgery Center and takes about one hour, with one hour of recovery. (Times vary for individual patients)
A long-acting local anesthetic will be put into the incisions so that once awake you will feel very little pair, along with numbness in your foot that wears off in 12-24 hours. Many surgical patients have noted restoration of sensation and reduction of pain immediately after anesthesia wears off.
When the nerves that have been "asleep" awaken, you may temporarily experience hot or cold or shooting pain in your toes. This is a good indication of recovery, but there still may be some discomfort to the patient. There is medication available that can help with this discomfort.
How does this type of surgery help diabetic neuropathy?
Most recent studies show that 80-90% of those diabetic patients who have had a nerve decompressed have had decreased pain and improved sensory and motor function with improved balance.
The surgery to decompress the nerve does not change the basic, underlying metabolic (diabetic) neuropathy that made the nerve susceptible to compression in the first place. When the surgical decompression is done early in the course of nerve compression and nerve fibers have begun to die, decompression of the nerve will actually permit the diabetic nerve to regenerate or regrow.
Those patients with advanced neuropathy (ulcerations or lost toes} may recover less sensation because damage to the nerve has become irreversible. In this case, a consultation can determine how much help you can get from the surgery.
About the Doctors
Both our Physicians are:
Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery Members of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Members, Colorado and American Podiatric Medical Associations
Dr Anderson also holds a Fellowship with the American Academy of Sports Medicine
|Dr. James C. Anderson,DPM
received his training in peripheral nerve surgery at John Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He trained under the tutelage of Dr. Lee Dellon, M. D., the first surgeon to perform peripheral neuropathy surgery. Dr. Anderson is owner and head podiatrist of the Poudre Valley Foot & Ankle Clinic, The Neuropathy Testing Center of Colorado, and The Foot Surgery Center of Northern Colorado'
|Dr. Michael I. Thomas, DPM
also received his training in peripheral nerve surgery at John Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, Maryland with Dr. Dellon, M.D. Dr. Thomas is tenacious in getting his patients well and enjoys the successes he has seen in his pool of patients and peripheral neuropathy.
|Dr. Jared L. Overman,DPM
Received his training via his residency director in Chicago, who was also part of the first group of podiatrists trained by Dr. Lee Dellon at John Hopkins.Overman is looking forward to working with patients with neuropathy as it is very satisfying to be able to provide answers and relief to people who have not been able to find help until now