Nerve Conditions

The most common problem relating to nerves that are dealt with by surgeons are the so-called entrapment neuropathies. This is where nerves may get caught or pinched as they pass through structures around the body.

  • Ulnar Neuropathy– Usually a problem of the ulnar nerve which provides much of the strength to the hand. This may be caught as it passes through a tunnel at the elbow. May cause pain, weakness, and numbness-often at night.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Median Neuropathy) – the most common of the entrapment neuropathies where the median nerve is caught as it passes through a tunnel at the wrist. Causes similar problems to ulnar-just in different parts of the hand.
  • Meralgia Paraesthetica– Entrapment of the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh. This causes an unpleasant numbness at the front of the thigh. Nerve trapped as it comes out of the pelvis.
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome– Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, where a nerve becomes entrapped just as it enters the foot.
  • Lateral Popliteal Syndrome– Entrapment of the nerve as it passes through a tunnel around the top of the fibula (adjacent to the knee). May cause dropping of the foot.
  • Occipital Neuralgia– Entrapment of the greater occipital nerve at the back of the head causing pain on one side at the back of the head. May be treated by injection, implanting a stimulator, or cutting the nerve.
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia – Not really an entrapment neuropathy. Pain in the face thought to be caused by a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve inside the skull. Pain can be very disabling, with triggers including cold, chewing, wind.