Neurologic conditions affecting the lower extremities in HIV infection

WS Gilmer Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77004, USA.

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The vast majority of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) have symptoms or signs involving the feet and lower extremities. Patients presenting to podiatrists with foot complaints may, in fact, have neurologic complications of HIV originating in any level of the neuraxis, and multiple levels may be involved. These include multiple classes of peripheral neuropathy and myopathy, inflammatory radiculopathy, myelopathy, and central nervous system lesions caused by direct HIV infection or opportunistic infections. Common complaints such as pain, numbness, burning, tingling, weakness, cramps, unsteady gait, and others should be systematically evaluated with both podiatric and neurologic etiologies in mind for early diagnosis and intervention.