Nerve Repair Solutions

Nerves in the body function as a type of electrical system, conveying important messages from the brain to the different limbs and extremities. Motor nerves provide the stimulus for movement, while sensory nerves communicate temperature, pressure, touch, pain, and sharpness. Nerves are quite delicate and routinely become injured or damaged through cuts, lacerations, exercise, or improper pressure, inhibiting your quality of life and range of motion. At worst, an area may become completely numb and unusable as a result of nerve damage. Our team performs strategic procedures to repair the nerves and alleviate troublesome symptoms.

Older man stretching his arms out

Why Choose The LaVie Institute of Plastic Surgery?

Each of our four skilled providers is board-certified not only in plastic surgery but in hand surgery as well, with additional elite Fellowship training. This translates to a superior collective knowledge base with an impressive breadth of expertise that informs every treatment, providing access to cutting-edge solutions customized to meet your needs. 

We have extensive experience in microsurgery and work closely with certified hand therapists to maximize outcomes. We offer minimal access treatments to reduce recovery times, and we are experts in wide awake hand surgery, which improves outcomes and obviates the need for general anesthesia. Restoring patients’ function and seeing the joy they experience in returning to their beloved activities without pain is what drives us day-to-day.  

What is Nerve Surgery?

Nerve injuries can be partial or complete. In the case of the latter, a surgical intervention may be necessary to restore function and feeling. We can perform treatment to address stretch nerve injuries, laceration nerve injuries, and compression nerve injuries. Our techniques may include microsurgery, decompression, reconstruction, nerve grafting, and nerve transfer, among others.

What Does Nerve Surgery Entail?

Diagnostic tools such as an NCS (nerve conduction study), X-rays, an MRI, and a CT can all be useful in evaluating the extent of nerve damage and its location. After diagnosis, our team may pursue nerve decompression, nerve repair, nerve grafting, or tendon and muscle transfer. In some cases, the protective myelin sheath around the nerves can be healed, helping to regenerate nerve endings.

When is Nerve Surgery Required?

Any time that nerve injury results in loss of function or unpleasant symptoms, our team can step in to provide relief. We will perform a thorough diagnostic review of your hands to determine the root causes of the malfunction and level of nerve damage, creating a personalized treatment plan to restore feeling and range of motion.

Treatment can address the following:

  • Loss of feeling in the hands
  • Loss of hand strength or function
  • Inability to extend the wrist
  • Loss of muscle tone in the wrists or hands
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Conditions That Can Be Addressed with Nerve Surgery

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel release surgery to address carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition that greatly inhibits quality of life. The ailment has been linked to congenital predisposition and can also be caused by injury, trauma, and repetitive tasks such as using a vibrating tool. The carpal tunnel is a passageway in the wrist through which the median nerves and tendons of the hand travel, allowing the fingers their range of motion. When the tissue within the carpal tunnel swells, it can put pressure on the median nerves, leading to numbness and tingling. If left untreated, hand function may be slowly compromised. 

There are two types of carpal tunnel release: open release and endoscopic release. With the open release approach, a two-inch incision is made in the wrist and the surgeon cuts the carpal ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel. With endoscopic release, the surgeon makes two half-inch incisions in the wrist and palm. A thin, tubular camera is inserted that offers improved precision as the doctor cuts the carpal ligament. The best approach for your specific case is chosen after a detailed consultation for your carpal tunnel surgery in Denver. 

Brachial Plexus

The brachial plexus is a family of nerves that telegraphs signals from the upper neck to the arms and hands. When injury or trauma occurs in the upper spinal cord, the brachial plexus may be affected, resulting in weakness, numbness, pain, or even paralysis in the hands. While some minor injuries may heal on their own, more severe injuries will require surgery in order to restore sensation and movement. The extent of nerve damage, the location of the injury, and the patient’s overall health are all considered as part of the treatment plan.

Treatment may include the following procedures:

  • Brachial Plexus Nerve Repair — Here, the surgeon may sew the ends of a cut or torn nerve back together using specialized instruments and a microscope.
  • Brachial Plexus Decompression and Neurolysis — Decompression surgery can relieve pressure on a nerve, relieving symptoms of non-function. Scar tissue and adhesions that formed around the nerve are excised.
  • Nerve Grafting Surgery — When a nerve is no longer viable, it can be removed and replaced with a transfered sensory nerve from another area of the body, such as the leg, opening the door to eventual nerve regeneration.
  • Nerve Transfer Surgery — Here, a nerve performing noncritical functions is attached to the injured nerve, opening up a healing pathway for new growth.
  • Tendon Transfer Surgery — An expendable tendon can be affixed to a paralyzed tendon, restoring movement after a brachial plexus injury. This is a good option when nerve grafting is not viable.
  • Functional Muscle Transplant — This is another solution for loss of movement when the window has closed for nerve repair, grafting, or transfer. A non-pertinent muscle, such as one from the inner thigh, can be transplanted into the shoulder, upper arm, or hand via microsurgery.

Denervation for Chronic Pain

Denervation is a solution for managing chronic pain in the wrists and hands. It was first described in the 1950’s and has since evolved to an intricate art form. The concept is simple and straightforward. The nerves send pain signals to the brain. With their removal, the patient no longer experiences discomfort. Normal sensation is preserved, since only the nerves connected to pain transmission are affected by the procedure. This is a sought-after option for younger clients who remain active, those who want to avoid the higher risks of invasive surgeries, and those who seek a faster recovery than is typical with joint replacement.

PIN Release

When the posterior interosseous nerve (PIN) becomes compressed, it can lead to weakness and loss of function in the fingers and ulnar wrist extension failure. Decompression of the posterior interosseous nerve requires releasing the surrounding structures.

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Which Procedures Complement Nerve Repair?

Our nerve treatments can be combined with hand therapy, PRP and steroid injections, fat grafting, laser therapy, and medical-grade skincare products from our online store.

Our World-Class Facility

Our compassionate, patient-centric approach ensures a stress-free, rewarding client experience from start to finish. In addition to treating patients at our 8-room clinic and 2 onsite accredited operating theaters, we provide access to a state-of-the-art hospital-based clinic, affiliated with the Swedish Medical Center. All of our hand surgeries are performed at this world-class location. 

Swedish Medical Center in Denver

Recovering from Nerve Surgery

Recovery times will vary according to the techniques utilized and the extent of nerve damage, but most patients are seen 1-2 week post-op by their surgeon and their certified hand therapist, with additional appointments scheduled at 4 weeks, 2 months, and as necessary thereafter.

Nerve fibers are slow-growing, so the healing process can take time, usually 6-12 months. After repair, nerve fibers can grow around one inch per month. For this reason, it is imperative that patients seek out treatment as soon as possible after a nerve injury. 

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What Can I Expect From the Consultation Process?

When it comes to nerve injuries in the hands, it is vital to seek out the services of a specialized, board-certified hand surgeon such as those at The LaVie Institute. This ensures the injury is properly diagnosed and treated in order to preserve sensation, function, and comfort. Our team of caring providers is knowledgeable and skilled in all of the diverse treatment options required to heal nerve damage and restore quality of life. 

To correctly diagnose the problem, we perform an in-depth physical evaluation and review of each client’s medical history. We then outline potential treatment options that are specific to both the patient and the diagnosis, including surgical and non-surgical options. In addition, we discuss the anticipated outcomes and recovery timeline. This detailed consultation process empowers the patient with vital information and knowledge.

Dr. Endress did an amazing job fixing my hand. He is very skilled and professional. Thanks to him and his team, I no longer have pain and can do my job properly. Thank you Dr. Endress!

Elizabeth DuPont

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