Burning feet syndrome G62.9

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 07.08.2021

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burning feet syndrome; Burning Feet Syndrome; Gopalan syndrome; Grierson-Gopalan syndromes; hot old feet

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Grierson, 1826; Gopalan, 1946; Simpson, 1946

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Polyätiological clinical picture with a burning and/or stinging sensation in both feet, independent of the peripheral nerves' area of spread, especially at night, unpleasant, mostly painful, burning and/or stinging sensations. Often sensation of heat and hyperpathy, which impairs the gait pattern. Reinforcement during the night through heat, pressure and touching the blanket. Often motor restlessness of the legs ( restless legs), often vegetative side effects with erythema and hyperhidrosis of the feet. Improvement in a cold environment and when the legs hang down.

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The causes include disorders of the peripheral nerves, the posterior cord, the dorsal root ganglia, and the substantia gelatinosa of the thalamus. Triggering factors include myelosis, tumors, spinal angiomatosis, alcoholism, diabetes mellitus, vitamin B deficiency, polyarteritis nodosa, initial syndrome or partial manifestation of a sensitive polyneuropathy, malnutrition, gastrointestinal diseases with malabsorption, hypovitaminosis, amyloidosis, drugs (INH, thalidomide, thallium, etc.), infections (HIV, AIDS, etc.).a.), infections ( HIV infection), diabetic and nephrogenic polyneuropathies.

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Especially soles of the feet and palms of the hands.

Differential diagnosis
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Centrally induced sensitivity disorders; psychogenic disorders; local mechanical nerve lesions (e.g. tarsal tunnel syndrome); erythromelalgia.

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Treatment of the underlying disease. In cases of malnutrition and malabsorption the importance of a lack of thiamine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, nicotinic acid and B12 is discussed. Relief is provided by cool compresses, bathing the feet in cold water, walking around, rubbing, sometimes by letting the feet hang down.

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  1. Chin RL et al (2003) Celiac neuropathy. Neurology 60: 1581-1585
  2. Gopalan C (1946) The burning feet syndrome. Indian med Gaz 81: 22-26
  3. Grierson J (1826) On the burning feet of natives. Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta 2: 275-280
  4. Simpson J (1946) Burning feet in British prisoners-of-war in the Far East. Lancet 1: 959-961
  5. Smith SJ, Ali Z, Fowler CJ (1991) Cutaneous thermal thresholds in patients with painful burning feet. J Neurological Neurosurgical Psychiatry 54: 877-881
  6. Stogbauer F et al (1999) Autosomal dominant burning feet syndrome. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 67: 78-81


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Last updated on: 07.08.2021