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Avatar universal

Can Diabetic neuropathy be caused by trama?

Hi All, I have been living with burning pain and numbness for over a year in my left size. I have been a Diabetic under control for over 15 years most of the time with controlled diet now meds. The problem started after I had Angioplasty Surgery that resulted in 6 stents. After I came out of surgery I had a burning in my left leg above the knee. When I asked about it I was told that is was most likely a result of the surgery and would go away. It didn't but started to grow to where it now burns 24/7 like I have sunburn someone is slapping and my foot goes numb. Before the surgery I had no symptoms. They have run numerous tests and found nothing.  The diagnosis was it must be my Diabetes so I have Diabetic neuropathy. I have been given Neurotin 800mg 3X a day but this only relieves some of the numbness not the burning. Any thoughts? Thanks!!!
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not comment on the cause of your symptoms. I will provide some information that I hope will be useful.
The symptoms of burning and tingling are common symptoms of neuropathy. Usually this presents in a symmetric fashion, most commonly in a “glove and stocking” distribution, however it can affect individual nerves or a single limb, and the presentation depends on the cause. When a patient presents with symptoms suggestive of neuropathy, the first thing is to make sure if it is a neuropathy or not, and the second part is to investigate the cause. The therapy is oriented to treat the cause and alleviate the symptoms.
To determine if what you have is a neuropathy, a detailed history and physical exam helps. If needed, specific tests such as EMG and nerve conduction studies may be required, and these tests also help to guide the search of the cause of the problem.
Once it is determine that a neuropathy is the problem, the cause can be determine with also the history and the exam, the EMG-NCV, and blood work. Diabetic neuropathy is a very common cause, however there are multiple causes of neuropathy, such as inflammatory conditions, vascular conditions, infectious disorders, kidney disease, exposure to drugs or toxins, or other metabolic conditions. Finding the cause is important, in order to treat the problem, but many times the cause is not determined.
It is not clear to me what areas are affected by your symptoms, and what distribution the symptoms have. This is important in order to guide the evaluation.
Regarding trauma, it is not usual for diabetic neuropathy to be caused by trauma. Sometimes trauma can affect nerves directly and produce a local neuropathy, however I do not think this can happen with a cardiac catheterization. Other reason why patient’s may have symptoms after a surgery or a procedure, is from the lack of circulation to a limb, however the symptoms either resolve after the circulation is restablished, or leads to significant sequalae in which the patient have other manifestations. The symptoms you have may or may not be related to neuropathy, and could be caused by something else.
Unfortunately, without a detailed history, physical exam, and characterization of your symptoms, I cannot tell you what the cause of your symptoms is. I think you should see a neurologist, and consider an EMG and nerve conduction studies if required, in order to make a diagnosis, and determine the cause.
I hope this information is useful. Good luck.
Avatar universal

There is a condition named Reflex Sympathic Dystrophy, which was REnamed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome a couple of years ago.  It can start with a trauma, sometimes even a small one, and causes BURNING pain, tingling, etc.  I developed it after an injury to my wrist and the burning pain went up my whole arm.  The pain can also "change" over time.  They treat it with Neurotin or Lyrica (I'm on Lyrica, which has helped alot).  Sometimes it goes away....sometimes it doesn't.  Please ask your doctor if this could be your problem!

Avatar universal
Thank you for your input Doctor! I realize that it is hard to diagnose someone when you have never seen them. I have had a number of neurological test and they have found nothing out of the ordinary. One test a nerve shock treatment to chart the nerve responses in my leg showed nothing but the mild shocks where so painful they had to stop after 45 minutes only1/2 way thru.  I will find out what the tests they did where. Thanks again for responding! Have a Fantastic Day!  
Avatar universal
Thank you for the information! I am having a Vascular Ultrasound the first week or November to try to figure out why I have this pain. I will check out "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome". I have heard that Lyrica works better than Neurotin I am going to talk to my MD and she what she thinks. Have a Fantastic Day!
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