Thank you for your response.
The concrete way to think of a peripheral neuropathy is to realize that the nerves are electro/chemical in function. Certain conditions, such as diabetes, affect the insulation of the system (demyelination) resulting in signal malfunction...which is pain , numbness, and in some cases weakness. The problems depend on which nerves are affected. Nerves which supply sensory information to the body, such as pain , temp position,etc, are thinner, and more vulnerable to injury, compared to nerves that supply motor movement. Therefore, an affected nerve can be anywhere, including leg and groin
We do not have any good ways to "undo" nerve injury. Sometimes treating an underlying problem like kidney or liver failure, a vitamin deficiency or diabetes, will make things better, or at least keep them from getting worse.
It is important, as you have had done, to look for treatable things like lumbar disc compression or spinal stenosis, to try to help the nerves recover.
Sometimes, as part of the evaluation, the physician will do an EMG, or a nerve biopsy, to look for causes and to document extent of effect, although these are not essential to the diagnosis.
In the end, treatment is symptomatic as I described before, if nothing "fixable" can be found. Sometimes, an immune therapy of IVIG is used, but this has associated risks, and I would reserve it for individuals who are becoming incapacitated
I hope t his information helps you
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Edited by Dr. F on 8/8/2010 at 6:03 PM EST