From time to time over the last 40 years (I'm 80) I occasionally had a slight numbness in my left foot and ankle for short periods of time when walking. Actually it often coincided with times when I had indigestion or acid reflux and I used to make a joking connection to them. Doctors when I mentioned it did not have a reason for it. I mentioned it to a neurologist three years ago after having headaches after a bang on the head. He did an examination of my feet and lower legs and noted some lack of feeling but did not think it needed any follow up. I was found to be diabetic (T2 and controlled by diet) about twelve years ago. Tests since note lack of sensation mainly in my left foot and the numbness was still occasional. After December it worsened and started as soon as walking outside but was no inconvenience at that time just annoying. I always put my shoes on just before going out and it started then. The numbness later started to a lesser degree in the right foot..
Suddenly in early June the left foot numbness became a lack of feeling in that foot and walking became difficult. I was having difficulty in coping with changing surfaces and uneven pavements as my brain/foot did not react quickly enough. I sometimes had to stop and start again. Tiled or shiny surfaces became like ice to walk on and I was stumbling a lot and had one bad fall. Steep slopes became impossible to go down but I can cope going up. I now cannot go out on my own and need to hold on to my wives hand or arm for support.
I saw an orthopedic consultant who was of no help and was looking at a three year old back X-Ray but did X-rays of feet and ankles.
I then saw a neurologist who did about a dozen blood tests including genetic testing for CMT that were negative. I had nerve conduction tests that showed that said findings were consistent with length dependent sensory motor axonal neuropathy. He said It is equally possible that this condition is an acquired neuropathy assuming that the shape of his feet was present for a long time and has no neuropathic basis. However this sort of symptom could also be due to sensory radiculopathy. I do have narrow high arched feet and over the past fifteen years the tendons have shortened and my toes have become claw like. I do have a bad leaning forward sitting habit from years of working with computers and a bad habit of not keeping my feet flat on the floor but tucking them under my chair with only the ball of the feet and toes touching the floor. The doctor doing the nerve conduction tests felt as I do that it all stems from my lower back and wanted me to have a spinal MRI scan. I do not actually have back pain but the lower back area has a worsening feeling of tightness or compression when sitting and standing.
As I was about to have a pacemaker fitted there was not time to get it done and I now have an eight week wait before it can be done as the pacemaker has to settle in and be checked first.
A later letter from the neurologists suggests that it is idiopathic neuropathy which seems a bit of a cop out. My GP yesterday prescribed Lyrica (Pregabalin). As I just have numbness and no pain or tingling I don’t see the point of it and the side effects are rather scary and my BP meds already give me enough side effects. It seems that Idiopathic neuropathy symptoms of light headedness, dizziness and lack of balance are the same as symptoms from atrial fibrillation and side effects from medication that I take another catch 22 situation. I did stop taking Bisoprolol in late June thinking it might be the cause as a poster on another Forum had. My light headedness, loss of balance when standing did but not the numbness.
Do any others here have numbness without pain or tingling and have had a successful diagnosis and treatment for it?
Seeing an osteopath or acupuncture have been suggested and my GP is not against trying them.