At a young age Dr. Kylin Kovac was inspired by his grandfather who lost both of his legs due to Diabetes. His desire was to gain a greater education in an effort to help others avoid that same outcome. Diabetes can cause nerve damage that affects the arms, hands, legs and feet. This is known as Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. This does not emerge overnight. Instead, it usually develops slowly and worsens over time. Some patients have this condition long before they are diagnosed with Diabetes.

Three different groups of nerves can be affected by Diabetic Neuropathy:
  • Sensory nerves- enable people to feel pain, temperature and other sensations
  • Motor nerves- control the muscles and give them their strength and tone
  • Autonomic nerves- allow the body to perform certain involuntary functions, such as sweating

Depending on the type(s) of nerves involved, one or more symptoms may be present in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy.

For Sensory Neuropathy:
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet
  • Pain or discomfort in the feet or legs, including prickly, sharp pain or burning feet
For Motor Neuropathy:
  • Muscle weakness and loss of muscle tone in the feet and lower legs
  • Loss of balance
  • Changes in foot shape that can lead to areas of increased pressure
For Autonomic Neuropathy:
  • Dry feet
  • Cracked skin

Treatment of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy centers on control of the patient’s blood sugar level. Various options such as medications and physical or laser therapy can be used to treat the symptoms.
The patient plays a vital role in minimizing the risk of developing Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy and in preventing its possible consequences. Some important preventive measures include:

  • Keep blood sugar levels under control.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes to avoid getting sores.
  • Inspect your feet every day. If you notice any cuts, redness, blisters or swelling, see your foot and ankle surgeon right away to prevent problems from getting worse.
  • Visit your foot and ankle surgeon on a regular basis for an examination to help prevent the foot complications of Diabetes.
  • Have periodic visits with your primary care physician or endocrinologist. The foot and ankle surgeon works together with these and other providers to prevent and treat complications from Diabetes.

Dr. Kylin Kovac is a specialist in the treatment of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. Contact Dr. Kovac if are experiencing any foot or ankle problems!