If you’re struggling with peripheral neuropathy, the key to managing the condition is to determine the extent of the nerve damage. At Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, Melissa L. Gulosh, DPM, and Joseph R. Disabato, DPM, avail themselves of state-of-the-art technology — epidermal nerve fiber density testing — by NovaDX® to better assess your neuropathy. If you’re in Charlottesville or Culpeper, Virginia, and you’d like to learn more about this innovative diagnostic technique, call or use the online scheduling tool.
What is epidermal nerve fiber density testing?
Epidermal nerve fiber density (ENFD) testing is a skin biopsy that the doctors at Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates rely on to diagnose small-fiber neuropathy. The doctors use a specialized testing kit supplied by NovaDX, which then performs the biopsy and sends back the results.
Why would I need epidermal nerve fiber density testing?
ENFD testing is critical for diagnosing peripheral neuropathy, which can develop in your feet for any number of reasons, including:
With diabetes, blood sugar levels in your bloodstream build up, which compromises your circulation. This difficulty in delivering oxygen-rich blood to your extremities can lead to nerve damage in your feet.
Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder that affects how you process pain, often magnifying it and creating widespread discomfort.
Injury or trauma
Neuropathy can develop on the heels of injury or trauma to your feet that directly affects your nerves.
In an effort to treat serious diseases like cancer or HIV, doctors need to use strong medications, which can have unintended side effects, such as neuropathy.
The doctors at Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates not only use ENFD to diagnose your neuropathy, they rely on this testing to see how your treatments are working.
How is epidermal nerve fiber density testing performed?
ENFD testing is incredibly simple and takes just one small sample of your skin, which your doctor carefully removes in the office. Rest assured, the doctors at Virginia Foot & Ankle provide you with a topical anesthetic beforehand for your comfort.
The procedure itself takes just 90 seconds, which means it’s over before you know it. Afterward, you’re free to go home, but be sure to keep the biopsy site clean and free from friction for a day or two.
Your doctor sends your skin sample to the NovaDX lab for testing and in 10-14 days, they will have the results, at which point you return to one of the two Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates locations to go over your results.
If you’d like to learn more about epidermal nerve fiber density testing, please call Virginia Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates or use the online scheduling tool to set up a consultation.