You may have first experienced nerve pain in the months or years following surgery, trauma or amputation. Like most people, you probably never considered your chronic pain might be the result of nerve damage.
Damage can be inside the nerve, in the form of a neuroma, which is a tangle of broken or damaged nerve fibers mixed with scar tissue. This can cause nerve signals to deviate course back to the brain, resulting in pain.
Nerve damage can also be due to nerve compression. This occurs when the surrounding traumatized tissues press on the nerve, leading to potential muscle weakness or pain.
While not all neuromas and nerve compressions are painful, many cause significant pain and discomfort. The good news is nerve tissue can often be surgically repaired.
how nerve repair works
Damaged peripheral nerves have the potential to regenerate. However, nerves need a structure to help guide the regenerating fibers to grow properly. If a nerve is damaged, it may no longer have the proper structure to guide this growth. As a result, the regenerating nerve fibers may tangle into a painful neuroma.
To repair the damaged nerve, your surgeon will first remove the neuroma. This gets rid of the painful stimulus and stops the pain signals to the brain. Then, depending on your specific nerve damage, your surgeon will repair the nerve by either reconnecting the nerve to allow the restoration of normal signals to the brain, isolating the nerve end to stop it from growing, or rerouting the nerves.
To repair nerve compression, your surgeon will need to release the traumatized tissue that’s pressing on or strangling the nerve. This is often done by cutting or removing the area of restriction. Releasing the tissue relieves the pressure placed on the nerve and allows it to regain mobility.
are you a candidate?
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