When sensory nerves are cut, whether from a biopsy, an injury or from a previous surgery, neuromas can form. A neuroma is a scar that includes nerve fibers of a sensory nerve. When these nerve fibers get entangled in scar they can become exquisitely painful. Movement, rubbing of clothing, or even just lightly touching the skin can cause severe pain and this condition can become disabling. Common locations for neuromas include the groin after hernia surgery, the chest after thoracic surgery, and the back of the hand after and injury to the arm. Headaches after a brain operation can often be a consequence of a neuroma forming in that scar.
Treatment for neuromas may vary. Initially medications and scar massage/desensitization therapy can be useful. This should be used for a full year after the inciting event. If there is no improvement with optimizing the medications and therapy, surgical neuroma resection may be considered. In this operation the skin is opened and the nerve which is the source of the neuroma is cut away from the scar and buried deep in the tissue in a position where it is much less likely to cause pain.
In rare cases none of these procedures are effective. The final option in these cases is nerve or spinal cord stimulation.
Please contact us at 619-543-5540, Dr. Justin Brown.