A pinched nerve at the wrist or the elbow can be a source of major nuisance and discomfort in the day and at the night also. Nerve decompression surgery can be quite helpful to alleviate pressure on a nerve and can produce a much better result than non-operative treatment. Some nerves are prone to compression from the surrounding skeletal structures and nerve decompression surgery can remove whatever is pressing the nerve or it can open up the narrow space to give nerve more room.
There are two subtypes of nerve decompression procedure and these are peripheral and spinal. The spinal decompression surgery is for the treatment of the condition caused by pressure on the root of the nerve, in the spine like the spinal stenosis or herniated disk. Peripheral nerve decompressions can be in any other areas other than the spine like the wrist, elbow, etc.
The exact procedure for nerve decompression surgery will depend on the affected nerve type. There can be nerves that pass through a narrow structure like the median nerve in carpal tunnel syndrome or the ulnar nerve in the cubital tunnel syndrome. In such cases, the surgeon will cut away or remove a part of the structure like ligament to make provisions for more room to the nerve.
In a herniated disc, the surgeon may cut the part or whole portion of the disc that is pressing the nerve. In the case of spinal stenosis, the surgeon will remove a bony structure so that it does not touch the nerve.
Preparation for the surgery:
Before undergoing nerve decompression surgery, the surgeon may advise you not to smoke to avoid chances of complication, and also smoking can slow down bone healing and may lead to failure of the surgery. You should also stop taking certain medications like aspirin before surgery and follow all medications advised by the doctor. Make it clear from your doctor how long you will need to take leave from your employment and should find someone to accompany you during the procedure and to drive you back home after the surgery.
You can have a lot of pain after undergoing surgery for nerve decompressions and the surgeon may advise you certain painkillers and anti-inflammation medicine. Also, you may need to undergo physical therapy to regain the complete function of the areas under the control of the nerve. Some surgery also may require immobilization of the area.
The recovery time after surgery may vary depending on the nerve and the type of the procedure. Normally the nerves recover slowly and it may be a matter of months before a patient can come back to a normal routine.
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The cost of the nerve decompression surgery in India is much cheaper than abroad, however, the cost of the surgery may vary depending on the complexity.
It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can release and relieve the pressure caused by a neuroma or a pinched or entrapped nerve.
Around 80-90% of patients reported successful for getting relief after the nerve decompression surgery. The nerve decompression surgery does correct the degeneration of the vertebrae due to the wear and the tear of aging,
It requires a stay in the hospital for around 1-3 days after the surgery and it takes around 4-6 weeks for the recovery after the surgery.
If there is no cut of the nerves and if there is a simple bruise, the healing of the nerves should not take more than 6 to 12 weeks. However, if there is a cut in the nerve, it will grow slowly by around 1mm per day and it will take a long time to heal.
Infection, bleeding and blood clots can be there after the spinal decompression surgery.
There can be allergic reactions, blood clots, and infection after a spinal nerve decompression surgery, however, there is hardly any chance of paralysis as the surgery does not involve the spinal cord.
A laminectomy removes the areas of tissue or bone that are putting a lot of pressure on the spinal cord. The surgeon generally makes an incision over the affected portion of the spine down to the lamina for accessing the compressed nerve.
It is possible to have a minimally invasive surgery for pinched nerve and it can take around 1 to 3 weeks to come back to normal condition. The success rate for surgery can be high and approximately 90% of patients report experiencing relief from the surgery.
Some types of nerve injuries can get better without any help but some injuries need surgery to cure. Broken nerve fibers may cause severe pain and it may take a very long tie to grow back naturally. With the help of surgery, the process of correcting the defect can become quicker.
MRI is sensitive to the changes in bone structure and cartilage resulting from a disease, injury, or aging. It is possible to detect herniated disc, spinal tumors, pinched nerves, spinal cord compression, and also fractures.