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Rob’s story: New procedure has been ‘a godsend’ for his pain treatment

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A routine tire rotation at an auto shop led Rob McDermott down a half century-long ride to pain relief.

That journey, begun in 1973, ended with a 2019 visit to Dr. Danqing Guo, a physician with BayCare Clinic Pain & Rehab Medicine in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

McDermott, who is retired and lives in De Pere, recalls the events that led to his journey.

“I went and got my tires changed and when I left, they hadn’t tightened down the lug nuts. My son was in the car with me and all of a sudden one of the tires went off … and we hit a pothole and the car just stopped and I went over the steering wheel; that was before seatbelts were mandatory. My son was sitting in the car. I reached over and braced him. He was all right. I wasn’t.”

The crash left McDermott with numbness in his arms and legs. He also had neck pain. He underwent diagnostic testing to pinpoint the cause of his discomfort. That didn’t go well, he says.

“(After the test,) I had a burning type … pain down my left leg for years and years and years until Dr. Guo.”

McDermott, a Navy veteran, consulted Guo on the suggestion of his local Veterans Affairs office.

“You can request to be seen in the community instead of going all the way down to Milwaukee,” he says. “He was given to me because of what he did … his specialties and that started the whole thing. It was a crazy thing to come across a person like him that did such a good thing with me.”

Guo examined McDermott and quickly identified the culprit behind his numbness and pain. McDermott had peripheral entrapment neuropathy. He would be a candidate for a new technique called Threaded Superficial Peroneal Nerve Release.

Developed by Guo and his brother, Dr. Danzhu Guo, the procedure relieves numbness, tingling and burning pain in the leg and foot. Surgical incision is not required.

Thread superficial peroneal nerve release is performed with ultrasound guidance. With the use of advanced sonographic techniques, ultrasound is used to examine the musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve systems. Ultrasound imaging helps to visualize the deep anatomy of the extremities.

The entrapped and swollen superficial peroneal nerve is separated from surrounding tissue by hydrodissection, a non-surgical procedure in which small amounts of fluid are injected around nerves to create space between the nerves and impinging tissue.

Then, guided by ultrasound imaging, a cutting thread is looped under deep fascia, a thin casing of connective tissue. Deep fascia, which is stiff, compresses and entraps the superficial peroneal nerve and causes the numbness, tingling and burning pain. Back-and-forth movement of the thread cuts open the deep fascia and releases the entrapped superficial peroneal nerve, providing pain relief.

McDermott says he felt relief shortly after the procedure.

“It’s been just a godsend for me,” he says. “Made me feel so much better and it’s been a long time. I was even unprepared to feel as good as I did. It made that much of a difference all the way around.”

McDermott could barely contain his delight.

“I was so happy about what he had done for me that I made him a plaque. It’s about 2 and 1/2 feet long. He’s a Packers fan. I put on there ‘Guo, Pack, Guo’. He still has it up on one of the shelves in the waiting room. He was pretty excited about that.”

His half century-long journey to pain-free living has left McDermott a Guo fan.

“What he’s done has made my life very bearable now, where it was not bearable before that. It was almost living in sheer hell at times.

“He’s quite the guy … Dr. Guo is No. 1 in my book.”

Published: Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Author: Femi Cole