The multidisciplinary team at UC San Diego Health is dedicated to providing accurate, top-notch care for nerve pain, nerve compression injuries, nerve trauma, and other disorders of the peripheral nerves.
Our specialists are able to quickly diagnose and treat nerve-related functional impairments and nerve tumors using leading-edge surgical techniques.
Learn more about the symptoms and causes of peripheral nerve disorders and the
peripheral nervous system.
Nerve Sheath Tumors
The nerve sheath is the tissue that covers and protects the nerves. Nerve sheath tumors grow directly from the nerve itself. They usually develop randomly, but occasionally can be caused by a health condition or syndrome, such as neurofibromatosis (type 1 and type 2).
Nerve tumors are one of the following:
- Benign peripheral nerve sheath tumor (e.g., neurofibromas, schwannomas)
- Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (sarcoma)
Neurofibromas and schwannomas are non-cancerous and are the most common type of nerve tumor.
When to Remove a Nerve Tumor
Peripheral nerve tumors generally grow slowly and may be noticed as a lump somewhere in the body. They can interfere with normal activities, causing discomfort, tingling or even numbness, weakness and severe pain.
When these tumors become problematic, it is worthwhile to consider having them removed. Removal of these tumors can usually be performed without destroying the nerve. Usually the tumor can be resected out of the nerve itself without harming the nerve's function.
Cancerous Nerve Tumors
Peripheral nerve sheath tumors are rarely malignant (cancerous).
Cancerous peripheral nerve tumors are more problematic, painful and grow rapidly. If there is any question about whether or not a tumor is cancerous, it is important to get a needle biopsy or special study done to be sure.
If the tumor is believed to be cancerous, surgery is performed to remove all of the tumor, including a large portion of the nerve from which the tumor came. Nerve function, which may be lost with the removal of the tumor, can later be improved with the use of nerve transfers.
Find out how we diagnose and treat brain tumors at Moores Cancer Center.
We treat nerve pain such as meralgia paresthetica, occipital neuralgia, inguinal neuralgia, and neuromas.
Surgical treatment to decompress the nerve may be considered for entrapment neuropathies such as carpal tunnel, thoracic outlet syndrome and peroneal neuropathy.
Trauma and sometimes even other surgical procedures can result in paralysis and disability in particular nerves. Our peripheral nerve experts can treat these nerve injuries (including
brachial plexus and
facial nerve injuries) and restore function.
Online Second Opinions
If you've received a diagnosis that requires neurosurgery and would like one of our neurosurgeons to review your X-rays and other imaging studies, UC San Diego Health offers online imaging reviews. It's an easy and affordable way to help you make an informed decision before neurosurgery. For more information, see
Online Second Opinions.