While peripheral nerve injuries can result in loss of motor and sensory function, following these injuries, the development of painful neuroma, neuropathic pain, and/or chronic pain syndromes is not predictable. A neuroma, histologically, is a disorderly mass of uncontrolled axonal growth entwined with connective tissue that develops after nerve transection – a consequence of amputations. They are often identified late and, unfortunately, are difficult to treat. A major cause of residual limb pain in the amputee is due to the development of symptomatic neuromas. Preventative and therapeutic interventions are needed.
Our group has made major strides for the treatment of painful neuromas. While pain medications and therapies offer some benefit, long-term surgical strategies seek to remove the neuroma formation at the injured nerve and prevent the neuroma from reoccurring. Our group has developed and continues to evaluate the effectiveness of preventing neuromas with the use of nerve scaffolds and anti-adhesive barriers as well as surgical techniques to modulate the pain response and reprogram the central nervous system to “cure” the source of pain.