Overview

Peripheral nerve damage can happen slowly over time and cause symptoms such as weakness, pain, twitching, tingling, or burning in your upper and lower extremities (arms, hands, legs, and feet). In some cases, you may not be able to sense pain because the nerves are damaged—this is common with diabetic neuropathy, and it can lead to serious diabetic foot problems. In other cases, you may have a heightened sense of pain or chronic pain due to damage or compression of nerves.

Peripheral nerves are the part of the nervous system that transmits signals between your brain and spinal cord and the rest of your body. Peripheral nerve damage may be caused by diabetes, neurological diseases, cancer treatment (chemotherapy), medication side effects, infection, and injury, or trauma. We use advanced procedures and state-of-the-art treatments to slow or stop the progression of nerve damage and manage your pain.

Conditions We Treat

At MedStar Health, our specialists treat the following peripheral nerve damage conditions:

  • Brachial plexus injury (damage to the network of nerves sending signals from your spine to the shoulder, arms, and hands that may cause weakness, numbness, pain, and loss of movement)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (pressure on the median nerve causing pain and weakness in the hand, wrist, or fingers)
  • Chronic pain following surgery or trauma
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome (pressure on the ulnar nerve causing pain and numbness in the hand and fingers)
  • Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage caused by diabetes)
  • Meralgia paresthetica (pinching of the nerve that travels from the spine to the thigh)
  • Occipital neuralgia headaches (when the nerves running from the top of the spinal cord through the scalp are injured or inflamed)
  • Peripheral nerve tumors (tumors that grow along the path of a nerve)
  • Peroneal nerve neuropathy (damage to a branch of the sciatic nerve affecting sensation in the lower leg, foot and toes.)
  • Phantom limb pain (after losing a limb or amputation, feeling pain in the missing part of your limb)
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome (pressure on the tibial nerve causing pain, burning, and tingling along the inside of the heel, arch, and sole of the foot)

Your peripheral nerve specialist will conduct a thorough examination, including a neurological exam to assess nerve function and determine the origin of the damage. Depending on the cause, a treatment plan may include one or more of the following:

  • Medications, to control the symptoms of peripheral nerve damage
  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Surgery, to release the compression around the nerves

Choosing MedStar Health

At MedStar Health, our surgeons are nationally recognized experts in core surgical areas. Our team of neuro-, plastic, and podiatric surgeons work together to achieve the best possible result for you. You also benefit by having access to advanced levels of care and subspecialists from every field of medicine, should you ever need them.

We make it easy for you to visit us with facilities located throughout the Washington metro area. And our new offices in McLean make it even easier to access our services.

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