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Hand Peripheral Nerve Surgery

The peripheral nerves are the nerve fibres that compose the area from head to fingertip, connecting the brain and spinal cord with the rest of the body parts. Nerves transmit electrical impulses and signals to and from the brain. Peripheral nervous system disorders interrupt the transmission of signals and weaken the sensory and motor nerve functions. Unlike the brain and spinal cord, peripheral nerves have an inherent capacity for healing and regeneration. A hand and arm peripheral nerve injury can recover, but depends on many factors, completely if the repair is done at the right time.

The common symptoms of a hand peripheral nerve injury include pain, numbness, muscle weakness, burning sensation and tingling sensation in the hands. Peripheral nerve disorders may result from injury, infections, , trauma, diabetes, tumours, kidney disorders, etc. These conditions may be treated with conservative methods or with hand surgeries.

Hand peripheral nerve surgery aims at restoring the motor and sensory nerve functions of your arm. The surgeries are indicated for peripheral nerve tumours, peripheral nerve entrapment syndrome and peripheral nerve injuries that have caused weakness or numbness and have not improved with conservative treatment.

The various hand peripheral nerve surgery techniques are-

Nerve Decompression Surgery:

Common examples are carpal tunnel syndrome (median nerve) and cubital tunnel syndrome (ulnar nerve at the level of the elbow).

Nerve decompression surgery is used to treat peripheral nerve entrapment conditions. The procedure involves removal of the structures that compress on the nerves, for example, a bony enlargement in case of arthritis or muscle enlargement as a result of overuse of muscles. This surgery gives immediate relief from the painful symptoms, but the complete recovery of numbness may require several weeks to months.

Nerve Transfers:

Nerve transfer is a microsurgical nerve procedure performed to regain function of a body part when complete loss of function or sensation has occurred. During surgery, a normal nerve is harvested from the muscle and inserted into the muscle where the nerve is damaged, to restore the function of the muscle.

Nerve Repair:

Nerve lacerations can occur when a nerve is cut by a sharp object such as metal, glass or in cases of stabbing. Surgical repair involves suturing the cut ends of the lacerated nerve.

Nerve Graft Repair:

Nerve graft repair involves implanting of a nerve at the gap created by excision of a nerve end during surgery. Nerve grafts can be selected from a sensory nerve of any another part of the body.

Surgical Excision of Nerve Tumours:

Surgical excision of nerve tumours involves removal of a tumour formed within the nerve. Most nerve tumours are benign, but those that have rapid progression, severe pain or swelling may be malignant.