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Peripheral nerve problems represent any type of injury to the nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. These conditions can involve changes in function, pain, and sensation due to previous surgeries, injuries, and, sometimes, systemic diseases.
UT Southwestern Medical Center plastic and reconstructive surgeons are among a handful of specialists in the U.S. who are fellowship trained in evaluating and treating conditions that affect peripheral nerves.
With broad and deep clinical experience, backed with research and investigation being conducted at UT Southwestern, we are defining a wider range of effective nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for patients. Our faculty members publish their work in high-impact scientific journals and present their work worldwide.
Effective Nonsurgical and Surgical Treatments
The peripheral nerves span from head to toe, connecting the brain and spinal cord with the rest of the body. Hundreds of disorders and injuries can affect the peripheral nerve system.
In treating peripheral nerve disorders, we perform surgery only if absolutely necessary. When surgery is needed, our experienced specialists are experts in the latest, most effective techniques.
We offer a team approach to care. A patient’s care team includes a peripheral nerve specialist as well as doctors and medical professionals in plastic surgery, neurosurgery, neurology, internal medicine, pain management, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and rehabilitation, as needed.
Our peripheral nerve experts are fellowship-trained specialists who:
- Have extensive experience in a broad range of clinical conditions
- Participate in groundbreaking clinical trials
- Evaluate products and technology before they are widely available to the public
- Adhere to a strict code of ethics
- Teach future surgeons
- Lead continuing education for practicing physicians
Peripheral Nerve Conditions We Treat
Some of the peripheral nerve disorders the UT Southwestern team treats include:
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Facial paralysis
- Migraine headaches
- Nerve compression injuries of the leg and arm
- Nerve reconstruction
- Nerve-related pain (numbness, tingling, shooting pain)
- Peroneal neuropathy
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Treatments for Peripheral Nerve Conditions
Our treatments include:
- Therapies for facial paralysis
- Advanced minimally invasive nerve compression surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome and migraines
- Minimally invasive nerve release surgery in the leg and foot for patients with diabetes and other conditions
- Innovative microsurgical techniques to improve painful conditions involving the wrist, elbow, shoulder, chest, knee, and ankle, as well as to address pain after pelvic and inguinal hernia procedures
- Groundbreaking nerve reconstruction, such as nerve transfers and grafts to achieve better functional recovery over a shorter period of time
- Surgery to move or disconnect sensory nerves that cause pain
- Surgery to reconstruct nerves that have been severed as a result of trauma, tumor removal, or birth-related brachial palsy
What to Expect
The first step is to meet the physician and have an in-depth assessment of the problem. Based on the evaluation, the surgeon will decide whether additional specialists need to be involved and whether additional testing is needed.
If surgery is planned as part of the treatment strategy, the surgeon will have a comprehensive conversation with each patient about what to expect for recovery and whether physical therapy will be needed after surgery.
Because the clinical problems encountered in peripheral nerve damage can range from relatively simple to very complex, our surgeons work to develop a good rapport with each patient, which is important for obtaining optimal results.
“Over the past decade, we have become one of the leading centers in the U.S. in treating very difficult problems in patients with facial paralysis. Our team has been able to contribute to the advancement of the field.”