Aims: To assess the efficacy of surgical decompression of lower extremity nerves for the treatment of painful diabetic peripheral sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DPN).
Methods: People with painful diabetic neuropathy were randomized single-blind to a lower extremity decompression surgery (n = 12) or observation (n = 10) for 1 year.
Results: Pain was the primary outcome assessed with 2 measures. The McGill pain visual analogue scores over time changed within the groups (p for time < 0.0001), and changed differently over time within the groups (p for group × time = 0.0138). The NeuroQoL pain sensitivity analysis significantly changed from baseline to 12 months comparing intervention to control (p = 0.0079), and the joint effect of group and time on pain scores was statistically significant (p for group × time = 0.0009). At the study end-point of 12 months, intervention group participants had over 3 times the odds of rating their pain as "better" compared to "unchanged" or "worse" in the control group (p = 0.0177).
Conclusions: Surgical decompression of lower limb nerves was an effective treatment for decreasing pain in patients with DPN and superimposed nerve compressions.
Keywords: Chronic painful diabetic neuropathy; Decompression of peripheral nerve; Pain; Quality of life.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.