Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is a common problem for diabetics. In addition, the condition may be caused by an accident or insufficient healing following surgery. Nerve damage symptoms in your leg appear as tingling, pain or numbness. You may lose all feeling around the area of the damage. The onset of the symptoms can be sudden or gradual and may be accompanied by dizziness, nausea and indigestion.
Damage to the motor nerves in the leg may cause involuntary twitching. Severe motor nerve damage can result in paralysis.
Damage to the sensory leg nerves will produce a burning sensation and cause the area to be sensitive to the touch.
In addition to diabetes, nerve damage can be a byproduct of other serious illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or lupus. Treatments such as chemotherapy drugs can cause nerve damage, too.
Blood tests can be run to determine the cause of the nerve damage. An EMG that measures the electrical activity in the nerves can assess the extent of the problem.
Treating the cause of the damage, such as going on a diabetes diet or stopping chemotherapy drugs, is the first step to repairing leg nerve damage.
Physiotherapy, exercise to increase the muscle mass surrounding the damage, leg braces and wheelchairs are sometimes needed to allow the patient to be mobile again.