Skip to Content

Diabetic Focal Neuropathy

Skip to the navigation

Topic Overview

Diabetic focal neuropathy, sometimes called mononeuropathy, affects a single nerve, most often in the wrist, thigh, or foot. It may also affect the nerves of the back and chest, as well as those that control the eye muscles.

Focal neuropathy is far less common than peripheral or autonomic neuropathy. It occurs mostly in older people with diabetes. Focal neuropathies usually come on suddenly and sometimes improve on their own within 6 to 8 weeks.

Focal neuropathy may cause:

  • Pain in a single, limited area of the body, such as a wrist or foot. When focal neuropathy causes nerve entrapment, soreness and pain may develop gradually over several weeks or months.
  • Pain in and around one of the eyes, trouble moving the eyes, and double vision. This occurs when one of the cranial nerves is affected.
  • Pain that occurs in a band-shaped area around the chest or abdomen.
  • Weakness and pain in the lower back, often extending to the thigh (femoral neuropathy), sometimes causing paralysis.

These symptoms may be caused by other serious conditions. See your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.

If you have diabetes and peripheral neuropathy, you are also more likely to get focal neuropathy from pressure points. To avoid creating pressure points:

  • Don't cross either one of your legs over the other knee.
  • Don't lean your elbows on hard surfaces.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKarin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology

Current as ofDecember 7, 2017

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.