The nerves of the ankles and feet can become compromised, producing a burning sensation or numbness. These symptoms can be the result of an injury, wrap, or cast. Often nerve damage occurs during or after surgery, if the nerve is cut during the process. The medical term for these types of nerve damage is a neuroma. The tibial, saphenous, and plantar nerves affect the inside of the ankle and arch. The superficial peroneal and deep peroneal nerves affect the top of the foot. The sural nerve runs along the outside of the ankle and heel. Most people with a neuroma in these areas experience an overall burning sensation or numbing. In addition, when a nerve is damaged it can also affect other nerves that are nearby, resulting in redness and a shiny appearance. A podiatrist can perform a number of tests to determine the location of the nerve damage. Included are X-rays, MRIs, nerve conduction study, and diagnostic injection. If you have been experiencing the symptoms of a neuroma in the ankle or foot, please consult a podiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment options.
Neuropathy can be a potentially serious condition, especially if it is left undiagnosed. If you have any concerns that you may be experiencing nerve loss in your feet, consult with one of our podiatrists from In Motion Foot and Ankle. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment for neuropathy.
What Is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a condition that leads to damage to the nerves in the body. Peripheral neuropathy, or neuropathy that affects your peripheral nervous system, usually occurs in the feet. Neuropathy can be triggered by a number of different causes. Such causes include diabetes, infections, cancers, disorders, and toxic substances.
Symptoms of Neuropathy Include:
- Sensation loss
- Prickling and tingling sensations
- Throbbing, freezing, burning pains
- Muscle weakness
Those with diabetes are at serious risk due to being unable to feel an ulcer on their feet. Diabetics usually also suffer from poor blood circulation. This can lead to the wound not healing, infections occurring, and the limb may have to be amputated.
To treat neuropathy in the foot, podiatrists will first diagnose the cause of the neuropathy. Figuring out the underlying cause of the neuropathy will allow the podiatrist to prescribe the best treatment, whether it be caused by diabetes, toxic substance exposure, infection, etc. If the nerve has not died, then it’s possible that sensation may be able to return to the foot.
Pain medication may be issued for pain. Electrical nerve stimulation can be used to stimulate nerves. If the neuropathy is caused from pressure on the nerves, then surgery may be necessary.