April 5, 2023
Written by Dr. Vic Manocha
Patients often seek out surgical options when conservative therapies have failed. Most of the time, surgery corrects the problem and relieve patients of their painful symptoms. However, there are times when patient continues to have pain after surgery.
Entrapment mononeuropathies can occur after surgery when a nerve is compressed or injured due to scar tissue formation, inflammation, or other factors related to the surgical procedure. Common examples include ulnar neuropathy after elbow surgery, radial neuropathy after humerus fracture fixation, and infrapatellar saphenous nerve injury after total knee replacement to name a few. These entrapment mononeuropathies can cause symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the affected limb. Treatment options may include physical therapy, medication, or, in some cases, surgery to release the nerve from the entrapment.
While there are various treatments available for entrapment neuropathies, one option that is gaining traction in recent years is the use of a peripheral nerve stimulator.
A peripheral nerve stimulator is a medical device that uses electrical impulses to stimulate nerves in the body. It consists of a set of electrodes that are placed near the affected nerves along with either a small battery powered generator that is implanted under the skin or an external power source. The electrical impulses generated by the device can help to block the pain signals sent by the nerves, providing relief from pain and other symptoms.
One of the advantages of using a peripheral nerve stimulator for entrapment neuropathies is that it is a minimally invasive treatment option. Unlike surgery or other invasive procedures, implanting a peripheral nerve stimulator is relatively quick and simple procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis.
Another advantage of peripheral nerve stimulation is that it can provide long lasting relief from pain and other symptoms. The device can be programmed to deliver electrical impulses at different frequencies and intensities, allowing doctors to customize the treatment to each patient’s individual needs. Some patients may find that the device provides immediate relief, while others may need several weeks or months of treatment before they experience significant improvement.
In addition to providing relief from pain and other symptoms, peripheral nerve stimulation has been also shown to improve the quality of life for patients with entrapment neuropathies. Patients who undergo this treatment often report improved sleep, increased mobility, and a reduction in need for their pain medications.
There are of course some risks associated with PNS, as with any minimally invasive treatment. Risks can include infection, bleeding, and damage to surrounding tissues. However, these risks are extremely low, and patients undergoing this treatment experience few, if any complications.
If you are living with an entrapment neuropathy and are struggling to find relief from your symptoms, a peripheral nerve stimulator may be worth considering. At Beacon, schedule an appointment with Dr. Manocha to learn more about this treatment option and whether it might be right for you. With the right care and treatment, you can take steps towards a more comfortable, pain free life.