From routine checkups to treatments for surgery, Dr. Gregory J. Mowen, D.P.M. is equipped to handle all your podiatric needs. To help you understand your options, we've included descriptions of some of our leading services on this page.
New Optimism for Patients with Neuropathy
Peripheral Neuropathy literally means damage to the nerves that are outside of the brain and spine.The symptoms are most common in the lower extremity and are often numbness, tingling, burning , stabbing pain. The Nerve damage can be caused by many underlying problems with the most common being diabetes. Other conditions such as hypothyroidism, alcoholism , and lymes disease can be the culprit.30% of all cases are from "unknown" reasons. It is estimated that about 10% of all seniors will develope neuropathy. Neuropathy tends to be progressive and can lead to wounds, infections, loss of balance, and often amputations.
Treatment should always involve first trying to treat the underlying cause as best as possible such as maintaining good blood sugar control with diabetes. Often this is not enough and your doctor may try medications to help with the symptoms such as neurontin or lyrica. Newer approaches also involve trying to improve the blood flow to nerves (microvascular therapy and Monochromatic infraRed light) as well as improving the "micro nutritional" environment. This is done with certain nutrients such as alpha lipoic acid, Acetyl L caritene, and B complex (usually prescription strength.)
Nerve compression can also be a big factor in patients pain and discomfort. This is best recognized in the upper extremity with Carpal Tunnel Sydrome . In the lower extremities, Tarsal tunnel syndrome would be the equivalent and probably as common but very often over looked. Tarsal tunnel syndrome and other types of nerve compressions or "pinched nerves" often are very much the culprit for numbness, tingling and pain. If your doctor determines there are compressed nerves then surgical options may be an appropriate treatment option. Like carpal tunnel surgery (CTS), tarsal tunnel surgery can be done as an outpatient under local anesthetic. Because you will then have to walk on the operated foot, the recovery will be several weeks longer the CTS. Improvement in sensation and pain can often be achieved very quickly. Many patients will actually have both a Peripheral Neuropathy and "superimposed" nerve compressions. Surgery is very helpful, but it will not cure the underlying disease so some of the symptoms may persist. The overall success rate of "decompression" surgery is about 80% in legs and feet. One of the most interesting studies done to date involved 50 diabetic patients with Neuropathy in both of their legs and feet. One leg and foot was operated on. The other was watched for almost 5 yrs. The "other" leg/ foot developed ulcers (wounds) in 15 pts (30%) and there were 3 amputations. The operated legs had no complications (Dellon et al .2004 Annuals of plastic surgery).
If you would like more information, please call Dr Gregory Mowen DPM ( Lower Extremity Neuropathy Clinic) 609-822-8300 or contact us.
What Sets Us Apart
- Lower extremity neuropathy clinic - offering remedial care for peripheral problems including: Anodyne - Monochromatic Infarred
- Light and microvascular therapy
- Cryosurgery for chronic heel pain and selected nerve problems