- Burning, tingling, and numbness in both the hands and feet
- Pain, typically burning in nature
- Dry skin
- Muscle weakness
- Toe deformities including hammertoes, mallet toes, and claw toes
- In advances cases, joint dislocation, also known as Charcot foot
Diagnosis is made by a comprehensive foot and ankle exam by Dr. Stewart. In certain circumstances, electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies as well as a neurology referral are utilized.
I suffer from peripheral neuropathy that causes my feet to be numb. I tripped while getting up from my table and I fractured my right 5th metatarsal bone. My primary care provider referred me to Dr. Stewart. Dr. Stewart fixed my broken bone with plates and screws. After a few months my bone eventually healed and I haven’t had any problems since.”
– Martha Johnston
Treatment for peripheral neuropathy is generally based on the underlying cause of the neuropathy. Optimal control of the underlying medical condition, managed by the primary care provider or medical specialist, is key to successful treatment. For example, diabetics that maintain tight glycemic control can prevent or delay progression of peripheral neuropathy.
The key to preventing complications associated with peripheral neuropathy is patient awareness and routine visits with a podiatrist. Dr. Stewart routinely evaluates and treats patients with peripheral neuropathy.
Conservative treatment for peripheral neuropathy includes:
- Routine foot care including reduction of nails and trimming of corns and/or calluses
- Oral medications including tricyclic anti-depressants, Lyrica, and Cymbalta
- Topical medications such as Capsaicin cream
- Medical management of the underlying cause of the neuropathy
- Steroid injections
- Custom foot orthotics
- Extra-deep and extra-wide shoes
- In certain circumstances, surgery may be required to correct structural deformities