Peripheral Nerve Surgery Program

Peripheral Nerve Surgery Program

The Massachusetts General Hospital Peripheral Nerve Surgery Program specializes in evaluating, diagnosing and treating patients with peripheral nerve disorders, including peripheral neuropathy, compression neuropathies such as carpal tunnel syndrome, peripheral nerve injuries, painful nerves (neuromas) and nerve tumors

Call for more information: 877-497-9438

Request an appointment Request a second opinion

Overview

The Peripheral Nerve Surgery Program in the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital comprises a team that provides innovative surgical and non-surgical treatments for the full spectrum of nerve problems, including peripheral nerve injuries, nerve compression, painful nerves (neuromas) and other peripheral nerve disorders. 

We collaborate with many other specialties at Mass General to provide comprehensive care to our patients. Our patients travel from the Boston area, New England region and across the United States to receive specialized care with peripheral nerve disorders.

Comprehensive Treatment Options

At Mass General, we have comprehensive treatment for many nerve problems, including:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: condition in which the median nerve is compressed as it passes through an opening from the wrist to the hand
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome: condition in which the nerve located on the inside of the elbow (ulnar nerve) is injured, inflamed, swollen or irritated
  • Radial tunnel syndrome: condition that is caused by compression of the radial nerve near the elbow. Can cause pain near the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle) and back of the forearm (dorsal forearm)
  • Nerve pain after trauma
  • Nerve pain after surgery
  • Neuromas: disorganized growth of nerve cells at the site of a nerve injury resulting in pain
  • Diabetic neuropathy resulting in numbness or nerve pain
  • Arm weakness or paralysis resulting from shoulder and neck (brachial plexus) injury
  • Numbness, tingling or burning sensations related to nerve compression
  • Exercise-induced nerve pain or numbness
  • Amputation pain (phantom limb pain)
  • Piriformis syndrome: sciatic nerve pain resulting from compression of the nerve (pirifomis) in the buttock region
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome: uncommon disorder caused by pressure on the nerves in the shoulder and neck (brachial plexus) or on the blood vessels just behind the collarbone
  • Groin pain after hernia repair

There are many patients for whom non-surgical techniques such as splinting, diagnostic and therapeutic injections and occupational/physical therapy may be effective. 
For patients who are candidates for operative treatment, this may involve:

  • Nerve release/decompression: to free the part of the nerve that is compressed (such as carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Nerve repair and/or nerve grafting: for injured nerves
  • Neurectomy: removal of a painful nerve ending in order to move this to a new position (and improve nerve pain)
  • Nerve transfers and targeted reinnervation: transferring nerve signaling to be more useful and less painful.

What to Expect

Our team treats a wide range of patients, including those who have experienced long-term, chronic symptoms and have been evaluated by other providers.

During your consultation, our surgeons will review your history including the beginning of your symptoms, prior treatments and goals for care.  During this visit, previous imaging will be reviewed, and in-office ultrasound may be performed to further evaluate the anatomy of your nerve problem. Our team will discuss your treatment options, including both surgical and non-surgical treatments. 

If surgery is indicated, it is commonly performed on an outpatient basis. Complex cases sometimes require a brief hospital stay. Recovery for peripheral nerve problems is often gradual and occurs over time, with slow, progressive improvement over months to years after surgery. Physical and/or occupational therapy are often required for improvement in range of motion and strength. 

Our providers perform innovative research with leading-edge technology, in an effort to move the field of peripheral nerve surgery forward and improve outcomes for our patients. 

Our Surgeons

  • Cetrulo, Curtis L., MD

    617-643-7294

    Accepting New Patients

    Clinical Interests
    • Cosmetic surgery
    • Hand surgery
    • Microsurgery
    • Vascular malformations
    • Breast Reconstruction
    • Craniofacial surgery
    • Pediatric Plastic Surgery
    • Peripheral nerve surgery
    • Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
    Board Certifications
    • Plastic Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery
    Locations
    • Boston: MGH Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Eberlin, Kyle R., MD

    617-643-4902

    Accepting New Patients

    Clinical Interests
    • Hand surgery
    • Peripheral nerve surgery
    • Microsurgery
    • Brachial plexus injuries
    • Burn reconstruction
    Board Certifications
    • Plastic Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery
    Locations
    • Boston: MGH Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Winograd, Jonathan Michael, MD

    617-726-1915

    Accepting New Patients

    Clinical Interests
    • Brachial plexus injuries
    • Cosmetic surgery
    • Hand surgery
    • Peripheral nerve surgery
    • Breast Reconstruction
    • Microsurgery
    • Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)
    Board Certifications
    • Plastic Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery
    • Surgery of the Hand, American Board of Plastic Surgery
    Locations
    • Boston: MGH Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Conditions & Diseases

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve is compressed as it passes through an opening from the wrist to the hand called the carpal tunnel.

  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

    Cubital tunnel syndrome feels similar to the pain that occurs from hitting the "funny" bone in your elbow. The "funny" bone in the elbow is actually the ulnar nerve, a nerve that crosses the elbow (the ulnar nerve begins in the side of the neck and ends in the fingers).

  • Diabetic Neuropathy (Nerve Problems)

    Diabetic neuropathy, a nerve disorder, is a complication of diabetes that can lead to problems throughout the body.

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

    Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is an uncommon disorder that results from compression or irritation of the nerves and/or blood vessels in the base of the neck underneath the collarbone.

Video

Contact

Contact Us

Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Wang Ambulatory Care Center 435

55 Fruit Street Boston, MA 02114, USA

We are also located at:

Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
102 Endicott Street
Danvers, MA 01923

The Mass General Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is located in the Wang Ambulatory Care Center at 15 Parkman St. Parking is available in the Parkman St. and nearby Fruit St. and Yawkey Center garages. Please note that some GPS systems do not recognize the 15 Parkman St. address. If you use a GPS system to drive to Mass General, enter Blossom St. as your destination, and then turn onto Parkman directly from Blossom.

Call for more information: 877-497-9438

Request an appointment Request a second opinion

Back to Top