Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment and Management
Treatment goals for diabetic foot disease
Since diabetic foot disease has no known cure, treatments at UPMC Orthopaedic Care aim to:
- Slow the progression
- Preserve and restore function to the foot
- Manage and prevent related complications
- Relieve pain
Our doctors use a range of treatments in cases of diabetic foot disease or diabetic neuropathy, including:
- Nonsurgical treatments
Medications for diabetic foot disease may include pain relievers, like anti-seizure medications, and antidepressants.
While these medications are often used for treating other conditions, they have been proven to help with nerve pain.
Nonsurgical treatments for diabetic foot disease
The two most common nonsurgical treatments are casting and custom shoes.
Casting can help protect the foot and ankle bones while reducing swelling.
During casting treatment for diabetic neuropathy:
- You will likely use crutches, walkers, or even wheelchairs.
- Your doctor will change your casts often to monitor the foot's shape.
Custom shoes can help:
- Fit the shape of a diabetic foot.
- Decrease the risk of further health problems like foot ulcers.
Surgery for diabetic neuropathy
Orthopaedic experts at UPMC often advise surgical treatment methods for patients that:
- Are at a greater risk of getting foot ulcers.
- Have not had success using nonsurgical treatment options for their diabetic foot disease.
Some of the more common surgical strategies for diabetic foot disease include:
- Muscle lengthening
- Bone shaving
- Fusion of bones
- Repositioning of bones
- Amputation, in cases of severe infection
Benefits and risks of diabetic foot disease treatment
Treatments for diabetic foot disease, when implemented quickly, can be effective in preserving and even restoring function. For that reason, it's vital for all people with diabetes to regularly monitor their feet and control sugar intake.
Following any sort of surgery for diabetic foot disease, you will have to avoid all weight bearing activities for about three months.
Failure to follow doctors' orders of this rest period can lead to further problems and related complications.
Learn more about diabetic neuropathy treatments
The links below will open a new browser window.
From our Health Library: