Update on Upper Limb Neuroma Management : Journal of Craniofacial Surgery

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Update on Upper Limb Neuroma Management

Sayegh, Anas MD; Jaloux, Charlotte MD; Witters, Marie MD; Mayoly, Alice MD; Kachouh, Najib MD

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The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 34(3):p 1140-1143, May 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000009164


Painful terminal neuromas in the upper limb due to nerve injury are common. Neuroma symptoms include a sharp and burning sensation, cold intolerance, dysesthesia, pain, numbness, and paresthesia. These symptoms could have a negative impact on the functional ability of the patient and quality of life. In addition, Prostheses use might be abandoned by amputees due to neuroma-induced pain. Many clinicians face challenges while managing neuromas. Contemporary “active” methods like regenerative peripheral nerve interface (RPNI), targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), and processed nerve allograft repair (PNA) are replacing the conventional “passive” approaches such as excision, transposition, and implantation techniques. RPNI involves inducing axonal sprouting by transplanting the free end of a peripheral nerve into a free muscle graft. TMR includes reassigning the role of the peripheral nerve by the transfer of the distal end of a pure sensory or a mixed peripheral nerve to a motor nerve of a nearby muscle segment. To give the peripheral nerve a pathway to re-innervate its target tissue, PNA entails implanting a sterile extracellular matrix prepared from decellularized and regenerated human nerve tissue with preserved epineurium and fascicles. Of these, RPNI and TMR appear to hold a promising treatment for nerve-ending neuromas and prevent their relapse. In contrast, PNA may reduce neuroma pain and allow meaningful nerve repair. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the newer approaches of TMR, RPNI, and PNA and discuss their implications, surgical techniques, and reported consequences.

Copyright © 2023 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD

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