Peripheral Nerve Surgery

Our neurosurgeons offer a variety of advanced surgeries when other treatments fail to help peripheral nerves — all the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Compression, damage and tumors of these crucial nerves can cause:

  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Muscle weakness
  • Heightened sensitivity to touch

Peripheral Nerve Surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital

Our doctors know what to look for when it comes to diagnosing and treating problems with peripheral nerves. Our program offers:

  • Team approach: Our neurosurgeons work closely with experienced radiologists, neurologists and oncologists, ensuring you receive highly specialized and effective care.
  • Advanced tests and imaging: Our scans and tests allow us to accurately identify nerve trouble throughout the body, as well as test nerves and muscles for proper function. These tools include:
    • Electrodiagnostic testing
    • Ultrasound
    • Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan with myelogram (special contrast dye)
    • High-resolution, 3D magnetic resonance (MR) neurography
  • Treatment for a wide range of conditions: Among other peripheral nerve problems, we treat:
    • Carpal tunnel (wrist) syndrome
    • Ulnar (elbow) or peroneal (knee) nerve compression
    • Neurofibroma, schwannoma and sarcoma tumors

Decompression for Carpal Tunnel and Ulnar Nerve: What to Expect

Our neurosurgeons use a minimally invasive procedure called decompression when nerves are entrapped or pinched, like with the median nerve (carpal tunnel syndrome) or the ulnar nerve. During this procedure, we:

  • Make a small skin incision near the nerve
  • Uses special instruments to make space around the swollen nerve
  • Close the incision

Nerve Reconstruction: What to Expect

When nerves are cut, crushed or stretched too far and will not repair themselves or regenerate, they may require reconstruction. During these procedures, our surgeons:

  • Make a skin incision near the damaged nerve
  • Remove scar tissue
  • Stimulate nerves with electrical current to determine the type and extent of damage
  • Reconnect the nerves
  • When that is not possible, fill the gaps with special techniques: placing tiny tubes (conduits), taking less critical nerves from elsewhere on your body (nerve autograft) or taking nerves from a donor (nerve allograft)
  • Close the incision

Nerve Tumor Surgery: What to Expect

While most peripheral nerve tumors are benign, your neurosurgeon may recommend removing any that are causing problems. If that is the case, we use special surgical tools and monitoring to preserve nerve function.

Contact Us

For more information or for a physician referral, please call (813) 644-4322.