Why isn't the wound beneath my foot painful?

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In many cases, a wound or ulcer beneath the foot is due to diminished sensation known as peripheral neuropathy. While common in people with diabetes, neuropathy can also be present in those without diabetes. Because the neuropathy causes the foot to be numb, the resulting wound is not painful.

Peripheral neuropathy causes the loss of protective sensation. This dulls the pain receptors of the foot, making it unable to feel something that is stepped on, like a splinter or tack, or something that is developing on the foot, such as a callus. Just because a wound is present without pain, it doesn't mean it is not serious. In fact, the opposite is true...it is a medical emergency. A non-healing ulcer has the potential to become infected, putting the limb at risk. If you see that an ulcer is developing, be sure to contact your Houston foot specialist immediately.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.