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General Orthopaedics

A comparative study of two methods of surgical treatment for painful neuroma

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Painful neuromas may follow traumatic nerve injury. We carried out a double-blind controlled trial in which patients with a painful neuroma of the lower limb (n = 20) were randomly assigned to treatment by resection of the neuroma and translocation of the proximal nerve stump into either muscle tissue or an adjacent subcutaneous vein. Translocation into a vein led to reduced intensity of pain as assessed by visual analogue scale (5.8 (sd 2.7) vs 3.8 (sd 2.4); p < 0.01), and improved sensory, affective and evaluative dimensions of pain as assessed by the McGill pain score (33 (sd 18) vs 14 (sd 12); p < 0.01). This was associated with an increased level of activity (p < 0.01) and improved function (p < 0.01).

Transposition of the nerve stump into an adjacent vein should be preferred to relocation into muscle.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr P. Erba; e-mail: erbapaolo@hotmail.com

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