Minimally Invasive Surgeries for Peripheral Nerve Damage

Minimally Invasive Surgeries for Peripheral Nerve Damage

Posted on 03/15/2019

Peripheral nerve damage, also referred to as peripheral neuropathy, refers to a condition whereby the patient experiences damage to the nerves in the extremities of the body – namely the hands, feet and arms.

Many people are surprised to learn that there are several different types of nerve, each with their own specific functions. These include the following:

Sensory nerves: responsible for transmitting sensations such as touch and pain

Motor nerves: responsible for controlling muscles

Autonomic nerves: responsible for regulating body functions, such as bladder control and blood pressure

If there is damage to any of these nerves, the way that they work can be adversely affected, resulting in a range of symptoms.


What causes peripheral nerve damage?

Although it is not always known exactly what triggers peripheral nerve damage, there is one cause that is more common than any other and that is diabetes. Sufferers of both Type I and Type II diabetes can suffer from peripheral nerve damage and this occurs as a result of high blood sugar levels that damage nerve function.

Other potential causes of peripheral nerve damage include viral infections (such as shingles), drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, taking certain medications which list nerve damage as a side effect and physical injury to the nerves themselves, such as during a trauma to the finger or hand.


Symptoms of peripheral nerve damage

Exactly what symptoms you will experience will depend on the type of nerves that are injured and the extent of your injury to them. However, typical signs of peripheral nerve damage to the hands and upper extremities include:

  • Numbness and tingling in the fingers and hands

  • Varying types of pain in the fingers and hands, including throbbing, burning, shooting and stabbing pains

  • Weakness in the fingers and hands that may make it difficult to carry out usual tasks

  • Loss of coordination when performing small motor movements using the hands


Minimally invasive surgery for peripheral neuropathy

Fortunately, there are treatments to help alleviate the symptoms of peripheral nerve damage. In most instances, we would suggest microsurgery to repair the damaged nerves. Microsurgery is a minimally-invasive surgical speciality that uses both optical magnification and fine instruments in order to better visualize tissue structures and microsurgical instruments provide a better repair of tissue and nerve damage than conventional instruments. The tools used are of similar size and appearance to those used in watchmaking.

Exactly what will happen during your surgery will depend on where the nerve damage has occurred, and the size of the repair needed. Our expert surgeons will explain what you can expect from your procedure at your consultation, and this will be based on your individual case.

Benefits of minimally invasive surgery for peripheral nerve damage include:

  • Smaller wounds

  • Reduced risk of complications such as blood loss and infection

  • Smaller scar

  • Less post-operative pain

  • Quicker recovery and return to your usual activities

  • An overall better patient experience


If you would like more information about peripheral nerve injuries to the upper extremities, or if you suspect that you may be suffering from this condition and you would like the advice and support of our highly experienced and skilled hand surgeons, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our offices.


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