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Anne’s story: ‘Life is a little more normal’ after nerve entrapment procedure

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Pain. Unrelenting and wearisome. It made Anne Laurent’s life a daily struggle.

The 39-year-old mother of three already struggled with fibromyalgia, a condition in which the body experiences widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Now there was a new pain. It was equally as vexing as her fibromyalgia pain and equally as unresponsive to pain medication.

“I wasn’t able to make it through the day without a nap because the pain would just exhaust you,” Anne says. “Your entire body just hurt everywhere and it was like a debilitating and exhausting pain all over. Even just to stand to make supper, I would be exhausted from the pain in my legs and feet.”

Previous doctors and neurologists did little to help relieve her of the constant pain. They did tell her, however, to expect the pain to get worse.

That was an unacceptable prognosis, Anne says.

“I thought there had to be something else that I could do,” she says. “I’m only 39 and I have three kids. I want to be able to run around with them and go back to coaching their softball teams and things like that, that I haven’t been able to do in the last two years.”

That’s when she reached out to Dr. Danqing Guo, a specialist with BayCare Clinic Pain & Rehab Medicine.

“I had actually seen Dr. Guo a couple of years ago for acupuncture, for anxiety,” Anne says. “He did a great job with that and it got me through a really rough time. So, I knew he was there. I didn’t know what else he did. He’s obviously known for the carpal tunnel syndrome (procedure) and things like that. But I thought that it’s a pain clinic so maybe since I was in so much pain there was a chance that I could go and they’d be able to help me somehow.”

Anne scheduled an appointment with Guo. After examining her, he determined Anne’s pain was caused by peripheral entrapment neuropathy. The condition generally results from damage to peripheral nerves in a person’s upper and lower extremities. That can be caused by traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes or exposure to toxins. It often causes stabbing, burning or tingling pain.

Guo performed a minimally-invasive, non-surgical procedure called ultrasound-guided hydrodissection and block. This procedure released the trapped, irritated and inflamed nerves that caused Ann’s pain.

“Dr. Guo actually went beyond my small fiber neuropathy and actually looked at my big nerves going down my leg and they were also all inflamed,” Anne says. “So, he took care of that as well which is kind of a major underlying part behind the neuro symptoms. If those weren’t taken care of, I don’t know if anything else would’ve gotten better because that still would’ve been an underlying cause and problem.”

Anne Laurent walking her dog

Anne says her quality of life has improved dramatically since her procedure.

“I can go out and play catch with my daughter or catch while she tries to pitch,” she says. “I can take the dogs for a walk. At some point I hope that I can get back to where I was. But I’m starting to exercise again. My life is a little more normal and that’s more than I ever thought was possible … I’m confident that as I continue to move more things will get easier. But I think without that procedure I wouldn’t be where I am.”

“Thanks for giving me hope for the first time in a year and a half and for not pushing me aside like so many doctors beforehand did,” Anne says in reference to Guo. “He could’ve easily done that but he went a step further and investigated and found ways to help which I will forever be grateful for.”

Published: Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Author: Ashley Scott