Neuropathy FAQs

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is chronic condition that results from damage to or compression of the nerves outside the spinal cord and brain. Also referred to as peripheral neuropathy, the disorder can manifest in different forms – as mononeuropathy when only one nerve is affected, or as polyneuropathy when many nerves are involved, often symmetrically, on both sides of the body.

How Common is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is very common and affects nearly 20 million Americans.

What are the symptoms of Neuropathy?

Symptoms of neuropathy can include numbness, pain, tingling, burning, and weakness, most typically in the hands and feet. Many patients describe the sensation as “pins and needles”.

What causes Neuropathy?

The peripheral nervous system sends messages from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Peripheral nerves also relay information back to the spinal cord and brain from the skin, joints, and other organs. Peripheral neuropathy occurs when these nerves are damaged or destroyed, resulting in the symptoms listed above.

What types are treatment are there for Neuropathy?

There are several conservative treatment methods that exist for neuropathy, such as pain medication, physical therapy, laser therapy, and topical medications. Although they may be helpful, these methods simply “mask” the pain or alleviate the symptoms and do not provide a long-term solution. Neuropathy surgery, such as that performed at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, addresses the underlying cause of the neuropathy symptoms.

What does Neuropathy surgery entail?

The typical outpatient procedure used to treat neuropathy is called nerve decompression. It relieves the points of compression along the nerve that can be a major component of the development of symptoms. The procedure is minimally invasive, requiring only small incisions over the affected area, thus promoting a quicker recovery. This surgical technique has been shown in many studies to be effective in reducing the symptoms and signs of neuropathy in a majority of well-selected patients.

 

Learn more about our Neuropathy program here.

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