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Peripheral Nerve Surgery

Peripheral Nerve Surgery Overview

Peripheral nerve surgery is used to improve function and minimize pain and disability in people with peripheral nerve disorders, such as acute nerve injuries, entrapment neuropathies, and nerve sheath tumors. It involves rerouting healthy nerves to take over the function of the nerves affected by your injury, disease, or condition.

The peripheral nerves link the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body. Peripheral nerve disorders can disrupt messages from the brain to the rest of the body and can affect one nerve or many nerves.

Surgical treatment and rehabilitation for peripheral nerve injuries involves a team which may include:

  • Neurosurgeons
  • Plastic surgeons
  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Neurologists
  • Physiatrists
  • Physical therapists

What is peripheral nerve surgery used for?

Peripheral nerve surgery can be used to treat more than 100 different peripheral nerve injuries, diseases, or conditions. Some of these include:

  • Traumatic nerve injury
  • Spinal accessory nerve injury
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Ulnar nerve neuropathy
  • Bernhard-Roth syndrome
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Foot drop injury
  • Schwannoma
  • Neurofibroma

Am I a good candidate for peripheral nerve surgery?

Your medical team will first assess your condition and determine if there is an underlying medical condition that must first be treated or if your nervous system will heal on its own.

If you and your medical professionals decide to move forward with surgery, your physicians may first use electromyography (EMG) testing in the operating room to assess whether scarred nerves are recovering.

Following your surgery, you may need rehabilitation and physical therapy to ensure optimal recovery.

Information and Resources


Medically Reviewed by Rory Murphy, MD on June 13, 2019