Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Extremity Care
Managing diabetic peripheral neuropathy means managing, to some extent, other aspects besides the pain. Primary care providers need to encourage their diabetes paitents to work hard to attain their goals for their blood glucose levels and A1c levels; good control is the best way to prevent (or stop the progression of) diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
However, for patients who already have extensive nerve damage caused by the effects of diabetes, doctors will need to counsel them on how to take care of their feet. Many patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy cannot feel if they've injured their foot. If they do not know they have a wound, it goes untreated, and it can lead to an infection (and eventually, perhaps even amputation). Therefore, taking good care of the feet is important, and as a PCP, you shoudl be encouraging your patient to do daily foot inspections.
This video roundtable provides a brief outline on the importance of foot care and how your patients should, if possible, also be seeing a podiatrist.
This Practical Pain Highlights video is moderated by Joseph Shurman, MD directs the discussion, Chairman of Pain Management at Scripps Memorial Hospital (La Jolla, CA). The panel of pain experts is made up of:
- Sunil J. Panchal MD: President, National Institute of Pain in Lutz, FL
- Forest Tennant, MD, DPH: Intractable pain specialist at the Veract Clinic in West Covina, CA