|Peripheral Nerves of the Foot|
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- Trauma from nerve compression or inflammation
- Certain medications, such as chemotherapy treatments for cancer
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Hereditary syndromes
- Exposure to toxins and heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, or pesticides
- Exposure to cold or radiation
- Prolonged treatment in the intensive care unit
- Numbness or reduced sensation
- Pain, often a burning or sharp, cutting sensation
- Sensitivity to touch
- Muscle twitches
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty with walking
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Loss of reflexes and muscle control
- Muscle atrophy—loss of muscle bulk
- Foot deformities
- Injuries to the feet that go unnoticed and become infected
- Muscle strength
- Ability to feel vibration, temperature, and light touch
- Sensation in the feet using a fine flexible wire—Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments test
- Blood tests, such as glucose, vitamin B12 level, and thyroid function tests
- Serum/urine electrophoresis
- Genetic testing
- Lumbar puncture
- Nerve fiber density skin biopsy
- Nerve or muscle biopsy
Treatment for the Underlying Illness or Exposure
- Balance issues
- Muscle weakness
- IV immunoglobulins
- Plasma exchange of the blood—plasmapheresis
- Manage chronic medical conditions with the help of your doctor. If you have diabetes, make sure you have regular foot exams.
- Eat a healthful diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Limit your alcohol intake to a moderate level. This means two or less drinks per day for men and one or less per day for women.
- Avoid toxic chemicals.
American Chronic Pain Association http://www.theacpa.org
The Neuropathy Association http://www.neuropathy.org
Canadian Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Baron R, Binder A, Wasner G. Neuropathic pain: diagnosis, pathophysiological mechanisms, and treatment. Lancet Neurol. 2010;9(8):807-819.
Diabetic neuropathies: The nerve damage of diabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/Diabetes/diabetic-neuropathies-nerve-damage-diabetes/Pages/diabetic-neuropathies-nerve-damage.aspx. Updated November 26, 2013. Accessed May 30, 2014.
Karlsson P, Møller AT, Jensen TS, Nyengaard JR. Epidermal nerve fiber length density estimation using global spatial sampling in healthy subjects and neuropathy patients. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2013;72(3):186-193.
Peripheral neuropathy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 15, 2014. Accessed May 30, 2014.
10/5/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Feng Y, Schlösser FJ, Sumpio BE. The Semmes Weinstein monofilament examination as a screening tool for diabetic peripheral neuropathy. J Vasc Surg. 2009;50(3):675-682.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 08/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/30/2014 -