Am I a Candidate for Peripheral Nerve Surgery?

Am I a Candidate for Peripheral Nerve Surgery?

Posted on 07/31/2020

Have you ever experienced numbness or tingling in your hands or feet? It could be accompanied by burning, shooting, or stabbing pains, or a loss of coordination or weakness? If the answer is yes, then you could be suffering from peripheral nerve damage.

The peripheral nervous system refers to the nerves serving the extremities of the body such as those found in the hands, feet, scalp, and skin. It shouldn’t be confused with the central nervous system, which predominantly refers to the brain and spinal cord and is responsible for nerves in the center of the body. It is possible for the peripheral nervous system to be damaged by illness or injury, leading to patients suffering a range of symptoms, including those mentioned above. Fortunately, the issue can be addressed using peripheral nerve surgery.

What is peripheral nerve surgery?

The goal of peripheral nerve surgery is to relieve chronic pain caused by acute nerve injuries or peripheral nerve disorders, of which there are estimated to be more than 100. Some of these include:

  • Traumatic nerve injuries, such as those caused in car collisions.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs due to the compression of the main nerve running from the forearm into the hand.

  • Brachial plexus injuries, when the nerves that send signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, and hand are compressed or damaged.

  • Ulnar neuropathy, which occurs when there is damage to the ulnar nerve, which travels down the arm to the wrist, hand, and ring/little fingers.

  • Neurofibroma, a type of nerve tumor that forms soft bumps on or under the skin.

Peripheral nerve surgery has also shown to be effective at helping to relieve chronic headaches and migraines and symptomatic diabetic neuropathy.

The surgery involves rerouting healthy nerves to take over the function of the nerves that have been adversely affected by your condition or injury. Exactly what will be involved in the surgery will depend on the type of damage sustained and what is needed to ease the patient’s symptoms and potentially to restore the function and sensation in the damaged area.

Am I a good candidate for peripheral nerve surgery?

Before you can be approved as a candidate for peripheral nerve surgery, you’ll first need to attend a consultation with your surgeon who will assess your suitability for the treatment. Your medical team will first assess your condition and determine whether it is something that may heal on its own, or whether the professional intervention will be necessary. Non-surgical treatments may be recommended first, but if these don’t provide adequate relief, surgery may be the most effective option. Patients who are found to be good candidates for the procedure usually meet a number of key requirements. These include:

  • They have experienced pain in a specific area for more than three months.

  • Their pain or other symptoms haven’t improved using non-surgical methods such as physical therapy or medications.

  • There is no obvious underlying cause for their pain.

  • Patients are in good general health and do not smoke. Smoking significantly increases the risks associated with any sort of surgery.


If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of peripheral nerve damage, or if you would like to find out more about surgery, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert team.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.