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Patient Reviews

August 22, 2019
Nerve decompression surgery left leg
Lives Show Low AZ

My first surgery was done in 2005. I had meniscus tear in the left knee. I did exercise and physical therapy for almost three months before surgery. After surgery several medications were tried for pain, but nothing worked. Then I was put on OxyContin, but that medication caused nausea. I might also add during this time I was working at Lowes as a cashier and on my feet 8 hrs per day.

Early spring of 2011 my husband and I moved to Richmond, Texas. There at the Richmond Bone Clinic in TX, I went to have knee checked out. Everything to them was fine and another prescription for OxyContin. I was in TX about four years, and went to several small hospitals for pain. I was given gabapentin, amitriptyline, in addition to the OxyContin for pain.

Then I returned to Show Low area. I went to the valley for back and leg pain - no help­ just more therapy and pain medications. I went also to a bone specialist in Flagstaff (nothing again), no help there. I have been in pain management in several cities in AZ. No help!

By the time I got to Dr. Shumway, I could not walk and averaged falling about four times per week.

I went to Dr Shumway to do nerve decompression surgery. I have been told I have type II Diabetic peripheral neuropathy and big problems with balance.

Left leg was operated on 7-9-2019, so far so good. I will have therapy for 2-3 weeks. As for falling, I was doing so well then morning after surgery on 7-10-2019, got up to go to the bathroom on my return; I went down on my return; I went head first into chest drawers. Big gouge out of hand on left side and hit head hard on chest. So - back to hospital. So far no other falls I can walk without walker, but I keep walker very close. I also went Walmart on 8-6-2019 of this week for a few items - again no falling.

I think everything considered, my leg is in excellent shape. I do not think it is necessary to do the right leg. I’m trying to be patient with myself and take things slow. I really had no idea about procedure until I went through it. It is remarkable how each day I see improvement. Thank you so much for encouraging me to do this procedure. I would like to have my back feel better. It is just in the morning when I get up that it hurts. I'm just so happy that I can walk again! Thanks for all you do!

Jan Byrne


Dr. Shumway

I want to thank you for performing Diabetic Nerve Decompression on both of my legs. I am feeling a vast improvement in the quality of my life. I thank God that I heard your radio advertisement on the local AM radio station.

The last five to seven years have been the worst of my life, with the ever increasing pain and numbness in my feet and legs from my diabetic condition. I was running out of options to control the pain, I was taking three different medications of ever increasing strength with no abatement in the pain. I was not able to pursue my favorite outdoor sports and hobbies, and felt that my life was passing me by.

You are one of the most compassionate persons that I have ever met, I felt that you truly cared about me as a patient and as a person. I continue to feel better every month, I would recommend your treatment to anyone -suffering from the pain and disability from Diabetic neuropathy associated pain.

God Bless You Dr. Shumway.

A very grateful Patient
Kenneth Synnott


April 30, 2019

This is the story about my right leg and foot problems! I had several bouts with gout in my big toes over several months! On my first visit to a DPM back in 2014, I was told I had plantar fasciitis in my foot and was given an injection to ease the pain! A few months later I returned to the DPM and was told my toe was not connected properly and needed surgery to correct it and clean bunion of deposits! I put off surgery for a while and during that time I had several gout flare ups which his very painful! I was seeing my VA provider in early 2017 and was told that they had a Dr. of DPM at the clinic now and he make appointment for me to see him there! I thought that was great as he was the same Dr. I was seeing outside of the VA! On my first visit at the VA Clinic he said I should have surgery now through the VA as they pick up the bill! Surgery on the 11/20/2017! Long recovery as I wasn’t able to walk for 5 weeks on foot! Feb. 2018 spoke with a MD and was told not all surgeries were a success and to hope it would get better!! Fast forward to August when the VA finally got me the ok to see another DPM. This time I seen a Dr., would told you up front what was going on and showed photos as to why I was having pain and how to correct the first surgery! Fast forward again 6 months to get the VA to give Dr. Shumway permission to do surgery! Pre-op with Dr. Shumway was a learning experience of a life time! He explained in detail what he was going to do and again photos of the human leg and foot, where he was going to repair my problems! I’ve seen several Drs. in my life time and he is the first to show and tell what was going on in my leg and foot!! Surgery was about 3 hours and recovery time for healing 6 weeks! My pain level is about the same as it was before surgery and I’m able to walk on it with this post-op shoe! My stitches come out on 05/02/2019 which is good news as I can shower without plastic bag on leg! The reason for the long saga is to give insight on treatments with from different Drs. If I didn’t see Dr. Shumway and get his opinion on my problem I would be limping still in pain today! Listen to your heart and mind when you visit a Dr. for any reason! I can tell you this if you need a DPM for any reason, give Dr. Shumway a visit and see for yourself if what I’m stating is a Dr. whom will give you the best treatment for your condition! By the way, I almost forgot to tell you I’m walking down my stairs now the right way after surgery! Before that I had to walk down backwards to ease the pain in my toes! Like I said, I’ve seen many different Drs. in over 70 years of my life time and we all said they were practicing their crafts! Dr. Shumway in my opinion is not practicing DPM, he has mastered it the fullest! Don’t take my word from this saga, go see him and you will leave knowing what it is and isn’t that he needs to do to correct your problem! Thank you for reading my story and hope you and yours have a healthy life!

Arthur Bans
Ps. Thank you Dr. Shumway


March 28, 2019
Taylor, Arizona 85939

My feet have slowly over the last years, become numb on the bottom. They felt like I had dipped them in wax and that the wax had dried on them. It was just an irritation when I took my shoes off and the feeling of each foot was like J had wax on the bottom. I felt this wax moving upward toward my toes.

I was listening to the radio one day and I heard Dr. Don Shumway telling about a surgery that would help the numbness on the feet. I went right away to see him. He tested my legs below the knees and said that I was a good person for the new surgery he did. I told him I would like him to do it.

On the 23rd of January 2019 De Shumway did the surgery on my left foot. It was Nerve Release surgery. He had the anesthesiologist put a block in my left knee and there was no pain for the next three days. I then took a pain pill for the next three 8 hr. periods. After that I needed no pain killers. I could see as time went on, that my left leg was pinker than the right one. Also the left foot looked smoother than the right one.

I was so excited to have the right foot done and see what other amazing things happen. I am two weeks past the right foot surgery now. I have had more pain with this foot but now I am in regular shoes and there is no pain at al11 except when I forget to put it up, so it is above my heart.

The wax feeling is gone from my feet now. I am so excited to see what will happen from now on. I have learned that all nerve endings in the body end in the feet and hands. I am thinking this will be one of the best things I have done health wise for my legs and feet. Both legs are now the same color and both feet smooth.

Dr Shumway has been amazing through these two surgeries. He has called many times to see how J was doing. He is a very caring care taker.

Thank you Dr. Shumway, you are my hero.
Loretta Shumway


April 30, 2018

This is a letter of review for Dr. Don Shumway.

Dr. Shumway has been our doctor for thirteen years. He has always gone above & beyond for us. My husband has major problems with his feet from diabetes. Dr. Shumway was the doctor that discovered this. He has done surgery on both of his feet to help him walk better and it has worked. We are getting ready to have another surgery to help with the pain that my husband has. We have so much confidence in Dr. Shumway and we cannot tell you how much he means to us.

Recently my husband was having swelling in his legs and feet. Dr. Shumway had us go and get his heart checked and because he cares and takes so much care for us, we have found out that he has something wrong. We are now going to a heart doctor to get it taken care of. Dr. Shumway has helped us so much with more than just his feet and for this I would like to thank him and let other people know what a great doctor he is.
Also, Kelly is his office manager and has also gone above and beyond for us.

Thank You and Sincerely,
Jeff and Linda Kusche 


Hello, my name is Katherine Carlsten and in Novernber of 2010 around Thanksgiving time I injured my right ankle. It happened by Kohls Ranch - my boyfriend was working for them at this time. We decided to go camping for the weekend, because this was something like the fourth weekend he was working.

We found our camp spot and started to back in....that's when it happened. I was getting a wrench from inside the cab-over-camper on my 4x4 old Chevy truck. Now I always put my foot on the bumper to get in and out while setting up camp until I get the stairs out... Well, I slipped and landed on the right side of my ankle - rolled it all the way under. I had cuts on top of my foot from the ground. I started to go to the right, and I heard a crack. I slammed to the left, and I heard another crack. My foot flung back to its normal position, and I started shaking. I was kinda dizzy, and kinda out of it but not. Two months later I was told that was shock.

Meanwhile my boyfriend is in the truck waiting for me to get the wrench and lock in the 4x4. He couldn't see me behind the truck on the ground. I was yelling but the engine was running, and he couldn't hear me. So, I crawled out from behind the truck and yelled... he heard me that time. He got me up and into a chair, and he set up the rest of camp and then ran to work.

I did my best to get up, figuring that I sprained it really good. I couldn't put weight on it at all! But I needed to get firewood, so I tried.... I hopped on one leg and got four sticks! I figured, this is not going to work! So, I got in the car and drove to Payson to the Walgreens and got an ankle brace - the first of many - two bottles of wine and dinner (trail mix!) I drove back to camp and ate dinner and drank both bottles of wine - it did nothing for the pain. I was very disappointed in that. My boyfriend called some friends to come help me when he got to work, and they had just showed up!

So, in February of 2011 - 3 months later - my ankle has not gotten better. It is actually worse - swollen blue and purple. I can't move it, can't put all my weight on it, etc. I go to Urgent Care in Payson. They tell me after X-rays that I fractured it in two places - one going with the bone and one going across the bone, but that it's already almost healed and that my symptoms were to be expected with this kind of injury. They wrap it and tell me to stay off of it.

Now I have been bartending all this time with a camber boot on, because I have to work to pay the bills. So, I go home and work, and when I'm not at work or when I'm called in sick, I stayed off of it. Probably two months go by - maybe three - and it still hurts a lot. So, I find a doctor that will take acchcs. I go to this doctor, and he tells me that there is no fracture - there never was. I sprained my ankle and it's gonna hurt. He sends me home.

Another three or four months go by, I go to the doctor again - same one - he tells me the exact same thing. I tell him that this injury is now almost a year old! He says that sometimes sprains take a while to heal and sends me home with 1000 mg of Tylenol every four hours for pain!!!!!!! I thought "that much Tylenol would kill you" - so I looked it up… yep!

So, needless to say, I did not take the Tylenol and I got rid of that quack. I got another doctor in Payson. This one had me get an MRI - I thought things were starting to look like maybe I can get this fixed now! They say that there is soft tissue damage - I kept telling them something's wrong, but the bone is fine!

Well, the MRI showed that I was missing the ligament in my ankle that controls the three small toes, and that lots of people don't have this ligament and to deal with it. He says I have RSD and here is some gabapentin ... talk about a high! I couldn't even talk, let alone function!! I went to another doctor.

He says, "I'm not going to do the surgery, it's not worth it". Nice doctors, huh??? So, I tried to live with it. I lost four or five jobs because of my injury, it was totally hopeless. I figured I got a few years of walking left. It started to make my leg not work - I would try to pick it up, and It just wouldn't, it was like my leg and ankle were dead. I got really depressed and didn't work at all then.

Well, being off of it and not working, it started to feel a little better after a while, so I got a job at Ace Hardware in Overgaard. I worked for the summer, and it would hurt at night, so I would stay off of it. Each night was worse as time went on. So, three years have passed, and I've calmed down since the last doctor with the MRI. So, I decided to try the new doctor in Overgaard, Dr. Bornstine. He was a vet, so I thought maybe he would listen to me.

The other doctors didn't seem to listen or care. They never even touched my foot, just looked at it. Dr. Bornstine looked at my foot, he listened to me, he sent me a referral to Dr. Shumway. I called and made the appointment. To be honest, I figured Dr. Shumway would say the same things as the rest of the doctors. I told myself, now don't start crying when you tell him what happened. I had started to cry before when telling my story for the fifth time to the fifth doctor that didn't care. That doctor told me "stop my crying, he didn't want to hear that", and sent me on my way, feeling like a drug addict trying to get pills from him!!

I Just wanted it fixed! I don't like pain pills! So, I tried not to cry, but that didn't work. I'm crying now telling this story! I digress – sorry! Anyway, Dr. Shumway was amazing! He listened to me, he looked concerned about me, he touched AND moved my foot. He took x-rays, gave me answers and options, he got me my second MRI, and found out a whole bunch of stuff and did a nerve test!!!

I didn't even know such a thing existed - what an amazing thing! I can't really even tell in words how grateful I am to Dr. Shumway! He is AMAZING! I can wiggle my toes now! I can cross my right leg over my left now! I can WALK! I don't have nearly the pain I had!


February 23, 2018

I am writing this letter to share my experience with the recent Nerve Decompression Surgery I had done to help alleviate the discomfort and pain due to Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN) in both of my feet. Let me give you a little history. I was diagnosed with DPN in September 2014. At that time I was put on several medications including amitriptyline once daily, and duloxetine twice daily to aid in lessening the consistent burning, extreme stinging and even numbness I was experiencing in my feet. Over time I experienced more and more difficulty doing the simplest things including walking or standing without severe discomfort. In January 2015 tramadol was added to my medication regimen, taking it up to 3 times a day. Then in February 2016 gabapentin was added to be taken 3 times a day.

Over time, not only were all these medications not helping ease the pain and discomfort, walking, even sleeping became more and more difficult. To add insult to injury not only was I uncomfortable and in pain the medications began to take their toll on my memory. Over time I would forget things that I did the day before, forget where I put things away at and even worse, forget how to make my way home. It was crippling to think that to reduce the pain and discomfort in my feet, the medications were making things worse. In September 2017 I was taken off the gabapentin as it was having the most traumatic effects on my memory.

As my AlC numbers came down and the fact that these medications I was still taking were not working to alleviate or eliminate the pain I was in, in conversation with my doctor it was determined I would be a prime candidate for the procedure Nerve Decompression Surgery. Dr. Don Shumway, DPM provided reports showing how Nerve Decompression Surgery can reverse diabetic peripheral neuropathy of the foot. The report stated there is an 80% chance of removing the pain and numbness by decompressing the nerve in 3 places, just below the knee, below the inner ankle, and on top of the foot. Wanting to be free of pain and all these medications I met with Dr. Shumway and decided to move forward the procedure on my left foot.

After having the procedure, with no pain medication after the surgical procedures for 9 hours, I was no longer experiencing any pain or discomfort in my left foot. With the success I had in the first procedure with my left foot, 6 weeks later I had the same done on my right and am ecstatic to share that my experience was exactly the same. I am still dealing with slight numbness, but that continued to Improve over time.

I want to extend my thanks to Dr. Shumway for not only alleviating the pain and discomfort of the DPN through this new procedure, but for helping to give me my life back. I am no longer suffering from the extreme memory loss I had on the medications but am able to more easily walk and sleep with little to no pain. My son’s wedding is coming up in CA this spring and I will be elated to not only enjoy this special occasion with my family but enjoy a walk on the beach. I owe it all to Dr. Shumway.

Sincerely,
Carrol May



Book of Job II

Epistle to the Medical World of how Podiatrist Don Shumway Ended 17 Years of Torment

1991 At age 30, Tom Nauman contracts testicular cancer. Had right testicle removed June 1991.

1991 June through August he had high-dose chemo (23 hours per week) because seminoma had spread to the left side lymph nodes and teratoma growing testicular matter (3 tumors) around the right kidney.

1991 Tumors actually GREW during chemo so had lymph node dissection and removal of teratomas ln November 1999.

1994 Teratoma grew from nothing showing during August 1999 scan to huge testicular matter growth around heart and trachea about Thanksgiving of 1999. Cancer completely gone (cut out) not just in remission.

2001 First signs of neuropathy hit feet with slight numbness and tingling. Specialists said cause was metal (platinum) in one of several chemo drugs called Platinol or Cys­Platinum. Nauman was told chemo poisons can stay in system and progressively cause damage over years. Regular Gabapentin didn't work. Lyrica didn't either, I just get all bad side effects.

2005 Neuropathy had progressed from numbness and tingling to electric shocks to hot shards spiking through toes and feet to FULL burning alive feeling in all of feet and progressing up lower legs. (Worse pain always right where toes meet rest of feet. Feet were numb on outside and full burning deep inside feet. Legs not numb - just burn all over legs). During this time pain specialist would use up to 1200 mg Morphine then titrate with Methadone, then use Morphine again. He did this for several years and is now the Executive Vice President of ABAM (American Board of Addiction Medicine) in Bethesda, Maryland.

2007 Nerves around veins had shut down to point where feet and lower legs were blackish/blue and pain specialist was talking about possible amputation right below knees due to infection risk.

2007 Summer - As a last resort, church member recommended a local acupuncturist who was trained in China. She got circulation working but could do nothing for pain. A second acupuncturist offered to try for free just for the challenge. After 2 to 3 months, still could not relieve any pain.

2008 Lack of resources on Big Island where we lived at time. Neurosurgeon said spinal cord stimulator was current best treatment for neuropathy.

2008 Summer of 2008 - Neurologist in Tacoma-Seattle area tried three times to place spinal cord stimulator. Did not work. Trying to get by on about 360 mg of Morphine a day.

2009 Spring of 2009 - Neurosurgeon Dr. Daniel Drennan supposedly best spinal stimulator placement specialist at University of Utah Medical Center attempted lead placement much lower on spine than prior Tacoma-Seattle neurologist. He got electricity to hit most painful place (where toes meet rest of foot). But even at highest voltage, pain would just jump over electricity. I could literally feel pain jumping over electricity. Medtronic (stimulator maker) representative could not believe I used highest voltage. Unable to walk or function with ligaments and tendons so tense and causing legs to spasm out of control from being shocked. I would only use the spinal cord over the years to basically give myself electrical shocking pain to get my mind off of the burning pain.

2009 to I was treated by a team of different specialists at the University of Utah Pain
2011 Management Center. Sometime in first part of 2011, they told me that I had the worst case of peripheral neuropathy that they had seen. They said that they could do nothing more to help me. However, they said once I resolved a legal issue involving a brother-­in-law, after the reduction in stress, they might be able to help me a little more. They then gave me a month's worth of prescriptions for 180 mg of Morphine I.R. per day, plus 180 mg of Morphine E.R. per day and basically sent me on my way.

2011 I found pain specialist in Park City, Utah whose LPN Assistant wrote prescriptions for the 360 mg of daily Morphine. She had 30+ years of experience specializing in pain medications. She increased the dosage of Morphine a little, plus added Klonopin (Clonazapam) to help relax my constantly tense muscles in lower legs and to relax me.
The Klonopin seemed to work a little better than Morphine did. However, the pain kept worsening.

2014 In January of 2014, the pain specialist lady started me on 800 mg of Subsys 6 times per day. Subsys has Fentanyl in it but is not Fentanyl. It is like Fentanyl on steroids. It is squirted under the tongue and provided immediate relief, but the pain relief only lasted about 3 ½ - 4 hours. To even out spikes in pain, she also had me on the 180 mg of Morphine I.R. per day, plus 180 of morphine E.R. per day as the University of Utah did. As my body built up a tolerance to the Subsys, she added 600 mcg of Fentanyl lollipop suckers absorbed through the inside of cheek lining 4 times per day.

2015 By this point in time I was being prescribed:
1) 4800 mcg of Subsys per day
2) 2400 mcg of Actiq fentanyl lozenges per day
3) 360 mg of Morphine I.R. and E.R. per day
4) 1 mg of Klonopin three times per day
5) 6 vials of Ketamine to take up to 2 mg in my buttocks via shot when the pain went totally ballistic
S) They also had an apothecary mix Ketamine with DMSO to apply topically – this reduced the pain 1 degree for a while but eventually did nothing.

The head pain specialist with a background in Anesthesiology and minor surgical procedure experience started burning my ganglion nerves on 6 different parts of my spine every 2½ - 4 months. After horrific rebound pain, I had noticeable pain relief for a month or two. However, this procedure became less and less effective, and I was basically just being fried to death. But because it had provided some relief, the pain specialist concluded that I must have a secondary nerve disorder with similar symptoms as peripheral neuropathy because radio frequency burning of the ganglion nerves would not have provided any relief if it was just neuropathy alone. Also, besides the medications listed above and because Lyrica and normal doses of Gabapentin had no effect on me, I was being prescribed Gralise (a type of long-acting Gabapentin meant for post-shingles neuropathy), plus large doses of generic Gabapentin. I was told to take the entire 6 pill daily amount of Gralise at night. In the morning, I noticed that my feet were "numbed" a little bit from the burning pain on the inside; however, it wore off quickly. So, I was instructed to take twice the amount of Gralise (12 tablets per day plus a bunch of generic Gabapentin). I had to stop this because my liver started shutting down. In addition, because the Clonazapam was becoming less effective, I was prescribed a large quantity of Tanzanidine per day. However, this made it impossible to walk and made my blood pressure VERY low.

2016 In May of 2016, I was able to go with my son back to the Big Island of Hawaii, where we used to live, for about 3 weeks, staying with a friend and looking for a shack on the poor side of the island every other day, as my oldest son wanted to move back there. On the days we weren’t looking for something he could afford, I would pack my Subsys bags to the beach and swim and relax. After 21 days, I noticed I was able to have less pain and was only taking the Klonopin, Actiq lollipops, and just 1 Subsys at night. (By the way, each Subsys spray dose is about $130. I was being prescribed 6 per day every 25 days. The pharmaceutical bill each year for Subsys alone was around $380,000 per year. When added to the expensive Actiq plus Morphine E.R., Gralise, and other drugs, the insurance drug expense alone was over $400,000 per year). When we returned from Hawaii, I told the pain specialist what I had survived on in Hawaii near the end of our stay. I suggested we knock off some of the pain meds and just increase the Klonopin a little to help me relax. The pain specialist lady said I needed to titrate off of Subsys very slowly over 9-12 months, but she reduced the Morphine a little and went from 1 mg to 2 mg of Klonopin, 3 times per day. By the fall of 2016, everything seemed to quit working as my body built up a tolerance. I was so depressed (a side effect of Fentanyl overdosing, I later learned) that I was basically on the couch with a blanket over my head the majority of the day my family later told me. My family said my personality was changing too. The next thing the anesthesiologist pain specialist wanted to try was a Prialt pump. Prialt is an isolated epitope derived from the paralyzing toxin of a 3-inch sea snail found in the waters off of the Philippines. The Prialt is dripped on spinal nerves in the lower back leading to the toes and is refilled via a shot into the pump in the stomach area every month. I was dissuaded from this by his assistant as not the optimal way to go. I had also read and heard of poor results from it for my particular condition.

2017 In late April of 2017, I finally blew. I went completely loony, was rushed from jail to the University of Utah emergency room and endured an emergency rapid overnight detox off of everything. I spent 12 days rehabbing. I was so dysfunctional I went back to the loony bin for another 7 days. (When I later read how exponentially more powerful Subsys is than Morphine and even regular Fentanyl, I understood why everyone in the loony bin said I was a walking miracle to be alive.

In June of 2017, a nice primary care provider took over my care. He prescribed:
1) 8 mg of Subutex 4 times per day- taken under the tongue
2) 2 mg of Klonopin 3 times per day
3) A small dose of Ativan 2 times per day since no anti-depressants worked on me. This at least helped me to focus and "jump started" me, but it must have a very short half¬ life.

He also got rid of all of the psychotic drugs the loony bin psychiatrist prescribed for me to help me sleep.

2017 At the end of November 2017, we had to move quickly from where we lived. Ulcer on right toe became infected. Spend November 27th to 29th at Moab Hospital on way to Snowflake, Arizona. November 30th - met with Dr. Don Shumway to amputate½ of right big toe. He recommended a nerve decompression surgery for both feet. The results are amazing, and I have a new great friend for eternity. What he did is a true miracle!!


 

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