Peripheral neuropathy (PN) involves damage to peripheral nerves, the sensory nerves to our outer extremities that help us feel pain, touch, and position.
With severe peripheral neuropathy of the feet and legs, patients are unable to sense where their feet are positioned. Their brain simply doesn’t know how to keep the body balanced because it can’t tell where the feet are.
This damage results in numbness and often pain in the hands and feet, and reduced ability to feel vibrations and touch, causing loss of sensation, reflexes, and movement for walking and balance. Because of this loss of sensation, physical activity and quality of life can be significantly reduced.
Studies have found that peripheral neuropathy is also a major risk factor for falls. Fall-related injuries including hip fractures are up to 15 times more likely in patients with peripheral neuropathy compared to a healthy individual.
Learn more about peripheral neuropathy & balance
an older adult will be treated in a hospital emergency department for injuries related to a fall.³
an older adult will die from injuries from a fall.³