April 10th, 2013
For the Asbury Park Press
For Gale Krywinski, 65, contracting diabetes 12 years ago was bad enough, but the subsequent tingling sensation she felt in her legs was more than she could bear.
“I could never get my legs comfortable and it was hard to sit in one place for a while,” she said of the throbbing pain that “made it difficult to go to a show or sit in a car or on an airplane” and which would often wake her at night.
Though the Brick resident and retired healthcare worker tried treating it with medication for a while, “I didn’t like the side effects and didn’t want to live on medication for the rest of my life,” she said. “Most doctors told me they really didn’t have much to offer for my neuropathy and that I would just have to live with it.”
Happily for Krywinski, another option was in store.
“In simple terms, neuropathy occurs when a nerve isn’t working properly, a condition which can result in numbness and tingling in the hands and feet,” said Dr. Michael Rose, cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive surgeon at The Plastic Surgery Center in Shrewsbury.
Typically associated with diabetes or of “idiopathic” origin with no known cause, neuropathy also can be triggered by alcoholism, lead poisoning, certain medications and chemotherapy “and can cause crippling pain that makes it difficult for patients to walk, sleep, hold things or work,” Rose said.
“Patients with severe cases often have to go on long-term disability,” Rose added. “It definitely impairs their lives.”
Nerves travel through tunnels, and can swell and choke within their housing if the nerves are not healthy, almost like someone’s neck when it’s restricted by a tight shirt collar, Rose said.
“This compression of the nerves causes a tingling or throbbing sensation in the extremities,” he said. “Many doctors consider neuropathy progressive and irreversible, but the truth is that a subset of patients will respond positively to a special technique that releases pressure on the nerves.”
About half of the patients who have the 45-minute, minimally-invasive outpatient procedure show improvement, Rose said.
To determine a patient’s potential for the procedure, Rose conducts an evaluation to assess their overall health and status of circulation to their limbs, and will then perform a test to determine if the nerve is alive enough to respond.
If the results are promising, he will proceed with the technique.
Krywinski took the chance in July 2012 when she elected to have the procedure performed on her left leg.
“It’s much better than it was before,” she said. “My toes can bend much more easily and I can put my leg up on the couch and cross my legs for longer.”
She is about halfway through the expected 18-month recovery period for her leg.
“I continue to get more and more sensation back as time goes by,” she said, adding that she returned to have the technique performed on her right leg in January. “My legs aren’t tingling or throbbing anything like what they were before and I’m so happy for this bit of relief.”
The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction (www.advancedreconstruction.com) at The Plastic Surgery Center is at 535 Sycamore Ave. in Shrewsbury and can be reached at 732-741-0970 or by visiting www.looknatural.com.
March 26th, 2013
American Diabetes Association Alert Day will be held on Tuesday March 26th. This is a one-day, national “wake-up call” asking people to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Nerve damage from diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy (new-ROP-uh-thee), also referred to as peripheral neuropathy. About half of all people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage. It is more common in those who have had the disease for a number of years and can lead to many kinds of problems. It can lead to decreased sensation and/or numbness or tingling in the extremities. This loss of feeling can lead to wounds that don’t heal, infection and even amputation.
Treatment Options for Neuropathy
Fortunately, in select cases neuropathy can be improved or reversed with nerve decompression surgery. Performed by experts at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction on an outpatient basis and taking less than an hour, the procedure involves relieving the pressure on a nerve by surgically removing the constricting tissue or bone, or widening the canal encasing the nerve. Decompression surgery is successful in relieving the symptoms of neuropathy in up to 90 % of well selected patients. The procedure is minimally invasive, requiring only small incisions over the affected area thus promoting a quicker recovery. Our surgeons are among fewer than twenty plastic surgeons in the world that have been specifically trained in this surgery. For further information or a free consultation, log onto http://www.advancedreconstruction.com/neuropathy/.
February 14th, 2013
Carpenter Frank Sussina of Bayville, New Jersey, was on the job for 25 years when he suffered his first accident, and it was catastrophic. He was putting up a roof on a building when a negligent piece of loose plywood gave way. He fell 32 feet, shattering both legs, breaking his back and snapping his neck. That was in 1993.
Since that time, the almost 58-year-old had a total of 29 surgeries: among them were those to rebuild his knees, 2 back surgeries, and one for his neck. He has been treated by orthopedists, a neurosurgeon and pain management specialists. In 2001, he had bilateral knee replacement, which led to crippling pain and numbness in his feet.
He went online, and as he tells the story, “I read an article on the website with an interview just like you’re doing with me right now. I said to my wife: let’s go.” The story was on The Institute For Advanced Reconstruction’s website, the practice of which Dr. Rose is a member (www.advancedreconstruction.com).
In September, 2012, Sussina went to see Dr. Rose. “He gave me a 50/50 chance he could help me. I accepted that.” At the time, Sussina was on a daily dose of 400 milligrams of morphine and 90 milligrams of Percocet.
Dr. Rose did the procedure, Sussina’s 30th surgery, on October 14th. “Since then, I haven’t taken any pain medicine at all.” Sussina, who now walks without any foot pain, was finally able to go back to work as a general contractor for more than 2 days a week.
Dr. Rose says, “Frank’s remarkable recovery is a testament to the power of this technique. We can’t help everyone with it, but when it works, it’s truly amazing how we can transform people’s lives in a positive way.”
Painful, tingling feet are a typical symptom of peripheral neuropathy. Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from neuropathy, a chronic condition that results from damage to or compression of the nerves outside the spinal cord and brain. Common causes of neuropathy include diabetes, trauma, chemotherapy and other medications.
Fortunately, in select cases neuropathy can be improved or reversed with nerve decompression surgery. Performed on an outpatient basis and taking less than an hour, the procedure involves relieving the pressure on a nerve by surgically removing the constricting tissue or bone, or widening the canal encasing the nerve. Decompression surgery is successful in relieving the symptoms of neuropathy in up to 90 % of well selected patients. The procedure is minimally invasive, requiring only small incisions over the affected area thus promoting a quicker recovery.
Of Dr. Rose Frank Sussina says, “He was the most polite doctor I’ve ever been to. He explained everything in detail, no big words. He put it all on the table. From the nurses to the technicians, the staff at the Ambulatory Surgery Center was excellent. And I’ve recommended four more people to Dr. Rose.”
December 13th, 2012
To those millions of people who experience neuropathy, you can possibly find relief at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction.
At the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, our surgeons offer a procedure that can only be performed by fewer than twenty plastic surgeons in the world. This procedure is called nerve decompression surgery and it is meant to relieve a select group of patients suffering from neuropathy, a condition with which nerves outside of the spinal cord and brain are damaged or compressed.
The nervous system is one of the trickier bodily systems to approach. This is because the nervous system is the pathway through which the brain communicates with the rest of the body. Disrupting these pathways can cause pain in seemingly unrelated areas of the body, loss of feeling, muscle atrophy, and paralysis. These severe symptoms are what make neuropathy such a difficult condition, one that causes such distress to the many patients we encounter.
Nerve decompression surgery can alleviate these symptoms by taking pressure off the compressed nerves. In a minimally invasive procedure, our surgeons make minor incisions in the affected area and remove small amounts of tissue surrounding the compressed nerves.
For further information about this treatment, please check out the educational Neuropathy page on our website.
October 2nd, 2012
Shrewsbury, New Jersey Doctor Gets Neuropathy Patient Back on Her Feet
(New Egypt, NJ- October 1, 2012) — Patient Barbara Isaac, who recently turned 81, resides in New Egypt, NJ (originally from Brooklyn). She had the symptoms (detailed below) for many years, until Dr. Michael Rose returned her to her active life. She exercises regularly now, resuming a life that previously included tap dancing (even on roller skates) since age four, and for 30 years conducted a therapeutic horse back riding camp at her farm for disabled children and adults. A farm girl, dubbed the “Jewish cowgirl”, she is the mother of 3 adopted children, two grandchildren and one great grandson, “the love of my life,” she calls him. When greeted with Happy Birthday, she replied, “Every day is a happy birthday.”
Of Dr. Rose she reports: “I fell in love with Dr. Rose. Besides how handsome and wonderful he is, he makes you feel good. And I didn’t ever see him wearing a white coat. That so impressed me.” Below is Ms. Isaac’s case history, outlined by Dr. Rose. Dr. Rose has unique qualifications for this procedure, which he has done successfully for a variety of grateful patients. He is particularly skilled in complex nerve decompression surgery for people suffering from all forms of neuropathy, and is one of only a handful of plastic surgeons specifically trained in this technique.
Barbara Isaac is an 81-year-old woman with past medical history including Diabetes, Hypertension and High Cholesterol. She takes oral medication to control all three of these issues. She was referred by a neurologist to Dr. Rose because she had compression neuropathy in her lower extremities. This caused her some pain, numbness and tingling in both of her legs, but the left leg was considerably worse than the right one, and was her main reason for seeking medical attention. In addition to the more severe symptoms, the left side was also experiencing weakness of the muscles that pull up the foot as she walked. This led to a moderate amount of “foot drop” which is a medical condition where one walks with a deliberate, foot-slapping gait in order to overcome the inability of the foot to pull upwards and reset itself for the next step the person takes.
The exact cause of her neuropathy isn’t totally clear as Isaac had three possibilities. 1) She had Diabetes which is a known cause of neuropathy 2) She takes Cholesterol medications, which can also cause neuropathy and finally, 3) She might have a genetic predisposition to neuropathy, also known as “idiopathic” neuropathy.
Regardless of the cause, the treatment is essentially the same. So Dr. Rose chose to decompress her nerves from the knee down. This led to almost immediate, and complete resolution of her symptoms.
About the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction
The physicians of the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction are recognized as leaders in the field of nerve reconstruction and plastic reconstructive surgery. They have over fifty years of combined experience, and are among the few nationally and even worldwide to perform a number of pioneering procedures. Their successful team approach to medicine results in the highest possible quality of care, and their reputation for excellence in their field draws patients from around the U.S. and the world. For more information on the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, please visit www.advancedreconstruction.com.