Neurology Expert Forum
Sensory Neuropathy
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding neurology issues such as: Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, Autism, Brain Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, MS, Neuralgia, Neuropathy, Parkinson's Disease, RSD, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Sensory Neuropathy

My left foot and ankle have been bothering me for about a year. I found that for the first 8 months it would disappear if I walked every day, but now the exercise is no longer helping.
My entire foot aches and I get a weird sensation in my ankle like there is a pressure cuff around my ankle.

I went to a general practitioner and he had me stand on my toes and my heels and push my toes against his hand.  He also asked me to shut my eyes and he asked when I felt an object that he pressed against my foot.  Based on this exam he could find nothing neurologically wrong.  

Can a person have a sensory neuropathy without having loss of sensation in their feet? What test must be done to make a clear cut determination of the existance of sensory neuropathy? Thank you for your advice.

Michele
Related Discussions
Avatar_n_tn
Dear Michele:

Sorry to hear about your lower extremity problem.  By the wording of your posting, I am assuming that it is only one of your feet and ankles that is having the sensation.  Unilateral sensation problems can be due to anything from a spinal cord problem, peripheral nerve, nerve ending or muscle problem.  It might even be induced by a small lesion in the brain.  The exam you describe would suggest (hard to tell for sure since I didn't do it) that it is not in your brain.  However, the other areas are possibilities.  If you are worried enough, I would see a neurologist and get a second opinion with him/her.  

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
14 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thankyou for your response.  You are right, the pain is in one foot not both.  The doctors are only willing to give me a referral to an orthopedist because they feel that the pain couldn't be neurological, however given the odd sensations I have experienced I think that the nerves must be involved in some way.

My question is, when someone has unilateral nerve damage to their foot such as what I described, could merely exercising make it temporarily go away?  Have you seen that in your experience?  Also, would a neurologist have a more accurate means of detecting a sensory neuropathy beyond a simple physical exam such as the one I had when I went to my primary doctor?  

I suspect that if I do have a neuropathy, that it is probably only a minor case because the pain is annoying but certainly not at excruciating levels where I cannot cope with it.  Thank you so much for your help.

Michele
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dear Michele:

There are certain diseases that can present with unilateral foot sensation problems, such as PAN (polyarteritis nardosa).  However, other problems such as diabetes, vitamin B12 deficiency can begin as unilateral sensory changes.  Sensory changes can be in a spectrum from terrible to just mild.  Different patients present differently and different processes present distinctly.

CCF Neuro MD
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dear Dr,

Can Sensory Neuropathy come on suddenly and spread quickly over a month or two?  Or is it slower in progression?  Can it effect most of the body or does it tend to be limited to just  certain areas?

Im trying to understand my wife's condition.  I emailed here back  a short time ago, she's seen a neuro and he said No MS, will be doing a somatosensory test and vep test this friday.  She is the one who had a baby not to long ago and  when he was 4mos she started with these problems.  You suggested that peripheral neuropathy was not realistic since it spread so fast so quickly effecting so many parts of the body. fascualtions face tingle arm tingle leg tingle and now on the bottom of her foot. cold sensations popping up all over.  At the  rate she is progressing, im afraid she will be in a nursing home in a month or so.  Is this atypical of a neuropathy?  I've read many posts but alot of people have had problems for a year or  so, I cant seem to find anyone who has experienced  such a short timeframe of episodic syndroms (syndromes).
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I can relate to your wife.  It is frustrating not to be able to get a definite diagnosis.  I started to have symptoms mid January of this year.  First, my right leg and foot went "numb" all the way up to my hip (reason I put "numb" in quotes is because my ortho doctor and neuro doctor both said my reflexes were intact, so I couldn't be numb, although I feel that way)  Then, about a week later my left leg had the same symptoms. It feels more pronounced when standing in a hot shower.  I can't sleep at night because I am afraid of rolling over and breaking one of my legs.  Sometimes, for no apparent reason, I will feel muscle "spasms" and muscle "cramping" in my thighs and calves.  To make things more confusing, in March my face and neck went "numb", particularly my neck, and sometimes I will feel a tight sensation in my throat, and feel like I'm going to gag.  Next comes both arms with numb feelings.  Sometimes my fingers are affected, and sometimes they are not.

So far my neuro ruled out MS, diabetes, Charcot Marie Tooth, peripheral neuropathy, brain lesions.  CT can of thoracic and lumbar spine confirmed bulging disc at L5-S1.  EMG, NCV, and lab work came back normal.  Tuesday I am getting an MRI of the cervical spine.  Who knows?  I must be going nuts!

I Really, Really do hope your wife finds answers, as I can truly sympathize with her!!! Good luck!  (sorry to bore you with my long list of symptoms)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
God bless ya,  Yes this is very strange.  Her leg has been  somewhat better but the entitre face went completely numb for 3 days, then was better today, then just under the eye went totally numb.  She's scared, im scared.  Is it possible to get a neuropathy that will paralize or cause the whole body to go numb only over the course of 3 months? By the way, hers started  mid Jan to with the leg, then mid march the FACE!  Gosh you two are twins.  I've never heard of anything like this, its not like something you can just go ask your next door neighbor about.  This is highly unsual.  Im glad your tests are coming back normal, but yea its frustrating.  Can you help me by telling me how your Dr was able to determine no peripheral neuropathy or char-tooth syndrome?  She's had an MRI with contrast, a short neuro exam, ANA blood workup, all normal so far.  Tomorrow is the sensory testing.  Have you had this yet?

Here's the thing I dont understand.  I can see problems in the spine, but how can that  account for the  total facial numbness?  There are several cranial nerves inside the head, that would mean every single one of them is irritated or soemthing.  Her face today felt burning along with her back and chest.  Dr Doctor if you have any information regarging this or have seen this occurance please please help us with some info.  I am trying to be her own dr sicne we cant get any help from anyone, but im coming across anything from Chronic inflamitory neuropathy (she does not fit this one) to some post viral syndrome.  She's progressing, not loosing muscle strength, yet  gaining  tingling areas.  She can walk talk normal, nobody would know, but she's scared.  The face thing came awhile back, we went to the ER, it subsided but is back again but for longer periods.

Michelle, if you would like to email my wife you can at

***@****

Im sure she would be thrilled to speak with someone in her boat!

Again Dr, do you have any ideas whats going on?  we are going to schedule an app at the clinic.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
sorry somehow entered wrong name. GAT
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dear Gat:

I am sorry to hear about your wife.  Sensory neuropathies usually not happen overnight.  There are some genetic entities with a mostly sensory deficit, but most are usually caused by systemic diseases.  Pregnancy can cause a neuropathy but it is more gradual in nature unless caused by the delivery process.  Fasciculations together with parasthesias in a otherwise healthy young person is a bit unusual.  The vast majority of times it is anxiety propagated from some unknown cause, benign fasciculations.  We think that a viral etiology occurs in about 30% of the cases, but the other 70% we do not know.  As previously stated, it is usually self limiting and causes no physiological damage, although the mental strain is very real.

Sincerely,

CCF Neruo MD
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I agree with the Doctor. and I share yur pains, For almost a year now, I have been suffering from numb feet, hands and face following a 2 hour traumatic ordeal with a snake in my yard. The numbness was replaced by shooting stabbing pains in my face, hands, back, thighs, head and basically everywhere, almost everytime I move get a neeedle stab, I saw five neurologists and had 8 MRI of everything. (Brain, entire spine, pelvis, neck)
My life was hell. I refused to believe that this was all due to anxiety. Eventually, I began limping on my right leg. Ortho and neuro could not explain major weakness in my right extremity. Only 32 yrs old, 2 children. Also had the choking sensation in throat on and off, extreme fatigue and muscualr spasms, incredibly painful joint pains and crwaling sensations under my skin. For a while, I was wondering if there was a difference between this and hell. Believe it or not, the treatment was not by a pill or a surgery. A friend recommended reading: 'The mindbody prescription" by John Sarno. You must fully believe, no matter how strange it sounds that this is all works of the unconscious. The repressed rage and repressed anxiety often (in patients where no evidence of neurological damage) expresses iteself through neuro-musculo-skeletal pain. And here is the trick, everytime you get these pains, and they are real pains, trust me I know, you must tell your mind, speak to it, "I know your game my friend, these symptoms are not serious, and there is nothing wrong with me physically" You can beat this thing in a matter of weeks by deprogrammming yourself and resuming normal daily life and physical activity. The book will show you how it is so simple and it is simply a matter of confronting your unconscious that is lying to you and giving you physical pain (in the form of nerve/joint) pain to deceive you and turn you away from the real issue happening inside your soul -) I am almost positive that this will work for you. GET THE BOOK IT HAS CURED THOUSANDS I am not a 100% cured but I am 50% to 75% better in a matter of three weeks I have been living with this hell since last August...So of thinking physical think mental that is the trick - everytime you think physical think mental instead you will find that your symptoms increase WHEN you are anxious, when you are worried about your condition which in turn produces more physical pain/numbness/etc. which in turn make you more anxious then you become enraged at your doctors and/or more anxious about your disabiltiy then you begin to search on the internt under neurological disorders and you begin to see pictures of yourself in a wheel chair and so on. Freud, had cured this woman who was paralyzed for six years - turns out to be rage for the death of her two children. The mind, is capable of doing the worst things to you, why not, if you think about it it had developed the nuclear bomb, terminates people on a regular basis because of their color and religion, and on and on and on.. Think rage and not physical illness, think what was the last set of emotions you experienced before you get the pain. And believe me when I tell you that the brain thinks amazingly. If it knows you have a bulged disk, it will produce pain around that area and in your legs to make you think it is from the bulge it is, that is how powerful it is. Scientifically, a bulge disc does not produce physical pain. 3 out of 10 in the streets will have a bulge disc anbd not evcen know about it. Beware of your emotions, face yourself. Are you happy at what you do? Are you happy where you are? or who you are with. The doc, with all respect looks at your physical symptoms for 10 minutes max and will tell you what you don't have thank god (MS or or or) But the big picture is you. You are experiencing real horrible physical pains...I believe you, the numbness and the tingling and the fatigue and the choking and the dizziness and the vertigo and the back and the feet and eventually depression because no one knows what you have. Think about it: ALL NEUROLOGISTS WILL AGREE THAT THE ONLY THING THAT CONTROL THE NERVES OF THE FACE: FACIAL NUMBNESS/EYE NUMBNESS IS THE BRAIIIIIIIN ! " It has been told over and over to me. It is the same Brain that gives orders to your joints, muscles, nerves all over your body. The health of that brain was slightly shaken by an emotional, anxious, overwhelming by a stressful event or set of events. Only you know better. As soon, as we understand and fully accept this diagnosis our physical pains begin to subside and eventually disappear in a matter of weeks, because you are saying to your brain: "I know why you are causing the pain, and you cannot do this to me anymore becasue I am now aware of why you are causing it" You will notice that immediatley you will have less pains until you are pain free in a matter of weeks. Your mind realizes that you have discovered the cause of the problem. You have uncovered its hideous plan. It can no longer do it to you. It siezes the pain, progressively. But you must find out also what has caused that pain to begin with, if it is your job, your husband, your lifestyle you must work to be HAPPIER immediately. Good luck to all. and please email me back and let me know how you are doing.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
That is one of the most positive things I have read on here thus far, with the exception of the positive info from the Doc.  I believe this is true what you say, and I know the mind can play many tricks.  We got the VEP AND somatosensory back today, we thought 100% certainty it would have abnormalities.  We are shocked that it was completely normal.  Thus making MS so much more distant in this problem.  Her Dr told her when she first went in, well MS is highly probable and I would not be surprised if your MRI comes back positive.  She went down hill from there, I know Drs need to warn you of things, but he just made her worse, should have not even mentioned MS and said, well lets just to a precautionary MRI, but sometiems they dont realize they scare the "hell" out of you unnececarilly.  And they dont understand the physical and mental stress they put on you, then the wait, thats the other thing.. letting your mind wander and think  even more how and when to plan your death or as you said, imagine yourself in a wheel chair!

Her New Neuro said off the bat, I dont think MS.  Errr I just get so frustrated with this whole ordeal.  Then at her visit the neuro hands her a slip for the evoked potentials and just says bye, runs out the door for lunch.  She asked the receptionist ok, what do I do and where do I go for this?  The woman did not even know, so my wife stresses getting it scheduled and pulling strings to get herself in quicker then 3 weeks.  Then the office calls with another receptionist to schedule her tests after she already went through all the testing and did it herself.  the receptionist yelled at her and my wife hung up on her.. can you believe the nerve?  Needless to say I hope the stress ends here!  God bless you all and hang in there  Positive thoughts for all +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I hope that things will go well.

CCF Neuro MD
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I hope you can help me.  I'm a 39 yr. old female with something strange that is becoming a real problem in my life.  

I have had the following tests, all with normal results:
Head & cervical MRI, complete Evoked Potentials, Lumbar Puncture, B-12 level test and thyroid test.

My symptoms:
* started in July 1996
* came on very suddenly at night in bed
* started with an intense odd, burning sensation in both legs, feet and forearms initially. It now varies in intensity and location over a period of days. In the past year the burning sensation is also occuring in my back and face
* my legs feel tight and wooden once I get up after having been immobile for extended periods
* my legs feel slightly twitchy when I lay down in bed for the night
* the burning sensation is most pronounced in the middle of the night, but is noticable somewhat during the day if I'm inactive
* initially (and still occasionally) seems accompanined with sensations of fever and chills
* severe bouts are often followed with dirreaha
* Initially in the middle of the night my arms would feel very weak.  This has mostly diminished
* symptoms are improved by moderate exercise, are exacerbated by heavy exercise and seem to be worse right before my period.

I know you typically suggest getting a second opinion, but I have seen my family doctor who performed a thorough exam and blood work-up and been examined by 3 neurologists.  None of whom could offer any suggestions other than to live with it.  I believe from reading that some, but not all, of my symptoms fit RLS.

I'm tough, but this is very annoying and is imacting my life.  What would you do at this point if you were me?

Thank you again for your time!
Betsy

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Dear Betsy:

I am sorry but I don't think I will be able to help.  The symptoms you describe do not fit any pattern of a disease that I am familiar with.  They are not distinctive of restless leg, as you would not get diarrhea from this, have such sensory changes or a large distribution of body parts involved.

I am sorry.

CCF Neuro MD
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, Please help!! was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank
1684282_tn?1350782543
Blank
The Death by Heroin
Feb 03 by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank