Peripheral neuropathy is a fairly common condition that causes decreased sensation in the extremities; if you feel numbness or reduced sensitivity in your arms, legs, hands or feet, you may be experiencing neuropathy. Loss of sensation can lead to wounds that do not receive proper attention, and which eventually become infected, occasionally necessitating the amputation of the limb; neuropathy is a prime cause of amputation in the United States.
Compressed, or “pinched,” nerves cause peripheral neuropathy. A variety of factors can increase the risk that nerves will become compressed. People with diabetes stand a much greater chance of experiencing neuropathy, and the condition can also be caused by alcoholism, lead poisoning, and the chemicals used in chemotherapy, though diabetes is by far the most common cause. Neuropathy may even occur spontaneously and seemingly without cause.
Initially, it is important to address the causes of neuropathy, such as low blood sugar levels or presence of chemicals. To relieve existing neuropathy, the physicians at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction can perform a new surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the afflicted nerves. The surgery, usually performed on an outpatient basis, requires only a few small incisions, and requires very little recovery time. This procedure, developed at Johns Hopkins University, has a success rate of 80 to 90 percent. Our surgeons are among the fewer than twenty doctors in the world who have been trained in this surgery.
Visit our neuropathy page for more information about neuropathy, including symptoms and treatment.