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Treatment for peripheral nerve injury

If you’ve experienced damage to your peripheral nerve, we can help.

I have a question about treatment for peripheral nerve injury

What is a peripheral nerve?

The peripheral nervous system connects the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body through a network of 43 pairs of motor and sensory nerves.

What are the types of peripheral nerve injuries?

Peripheral neuropathy

If you’re experiencing weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet you could have peripheral neuropathy. This is often as a result of damage to the nerves located outside the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves). One of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes. In the UK it's estimated almost one in 10 people aged 55 or over are affected by peripheral neuropathy.

Ulnar neuropathy

If you’re suffering from damage to your ulnar nerve, you will most likely be experiencing pain and tingling which is similar to hitting your “funny bone”. This nerve travels down the arm to the wrist, hand and ring and little fingers.

What are the symptoms of peripheral nerve damage?

The main symptoms of peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) include:

  • Burning, stabbing or shooting pain in the affected areas
  • Numbness and tingling in the feet or hands
  • Loss of balance and co-ordination
  • Muscle weakness, especially in the feet

It can also affect other areas in the body such as digestion, urination and circulation.

Who is likely to get peripheral nerve damage?

Damage to peripheral nerves can be caused in several ways:

  • Injury from an accident or a fall
  • A sports injury as nerves are stretched, compressed, crushed or cut
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Medical conditions, such as diabetes, Guillain-Barre syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome

Nerve lesions can also occur due to the narrowing of the arteries, hormonal imbalances and tumours.

How is a peripheral nerve damage diagnosed?

It can be difficult to diagnose peripheral neuropathy. Your Consultant will go through your patient history and do a physical examination to identify the cause of your symptoms.

Additional diagnostic tests may be carried out for further assessment, such as an MRI scan or an Electromyography (EMG). An EMG is a diagnostic procedure used to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them (motor neurons). Your EMG results can reveal nerve dysfunction, muscle dysfunction or problems with nerve-to-muscle signal transmission.

Nerves recover slowly and a full recovery without an intervention may take many months or several years. If your injury is caused by a medical condition, you should book an appointment with your GP or Consultant.

How are peripheral nerve injuries treated?

If you have a mild nerve injury or lesion, non-surgical treatment options include medication or physiotherapy. If you have more severe injury, such as severely compressed nerves or cut nerves, you may need peripheral nerve surgery.

What happens during treatment for peripheral nerve injury?

Peripheral nerve surgery to relieve symptoms of nerve injury or compression involves the decompression (release) of the trapped or damaged nerve or removal of the nerve. The extent of surgery and suitability for surgery will depend on your own situation and your consultant will be able to advise you on the best course of action

What should I expect after treatment for peripheral nerve injury?

Following any surgery, it is very important that follow your consultant’s instructions to promote healing. It is also important that you attend follow-up appointments so that your long-term recovery can be assessed, and you can raise any questions or concerns you may have.

Sports injury care at Benenden Hospital

Sports injury care

Whether you're an amateur or a professional athlete, sports injuries can be a frustrating and painful part of participating in physical activity.

That's why we offer a wide range of self-pay treatment options - so you can get back to taking part in the sports you love.

Our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons

Mr Dhinsa

Baljinder Singh Dhinsa

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Singh Dhinsa's specialties include hallux valgus surgery and management of foot and ankle conditions

Mr James

Christopher James

Orthopaedic and trauma consultant

Mr James' specialties include hand and wrist surgery, both open and arthroscopic procedures.

Mr Southgate

Crispin Southgate

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Southgate's specialities include foot and ankle conditions - covering sports injuries and more.

Mr Yanni

Dimitri Yanni

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Yanni's specialties include elbow, hand and wrist surgery.

Mr Dunning

Michael Dunning

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Dunning's specialities include hallux valgus surgery, sports injuries of the foot and ankle and arthrodesis surgery.

Mr Thakral

Hemant Thakral

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Thakral's specialties include shoulder arthroscopic surgery, complex joint replacements for arthritis and trauma.

Contact us about surgery for How do I arrange treatment for peripheral nerve injury

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.