Nerve disease caused by type 2 diabetes accounts for half of all amputations in the U.S., but a new treatment is helping patients keep their limbs. And it comes from a pregnant woman!
Diabetic sores on Rocco LoBosco’s left foot robbed him of his little toe and doctors said it could get worse.
“There’s still a chance that you might lose part of the foot, or the whole foot, or even the leg," LoBosco said.
However, by harnessing the power of amniotic fluid, Dr. Richard Jacoby, Medical Director at the Scottsdale Neuropathy Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, says he might avoid that.
“Amniotic fluid seems to meet the criteria to develop new tissue," Dr. Jacoby explained.
Amniotic fluid from a pregnant donor is injected into or wrapped around the nerve. The stem cells in the fluid stimulate the affected area, telling it to heal the wound.
“I’ve done 16 nerves with this technique and all of them have restored their sensation," Dr. Jacoby said.
The new technique not only helps save limbs, but lives as well.
“Your life expectancy is 2 years after an amputation," Dr. Jacoby explained.
LoBosco had the surgery, and a month later, there’s a noticeable difference.
“I had no feeling whatsoever in either of my feet," LoBosco said. “Now, I feel it. So, just doing this tells me that there is a definite improvement because I couldn't do this before."
There are about 100,000 amputations each year in the U.S. Dr Jacoby says a person’s life expectancy after one of those amputations is only about two years.