Knee pain and the infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve.
Pain over the front of the knee is common after surgery or trauma but often a definite diagnosis is difficult to make. Over the past year we have seen five cases in which the pain could be ascribed to damage to a branch of the infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve. Two were subsequent to trauma and three to surgical procedures. In all five cases surgical exploration gave symptomatic relief. Eight cadaveric knees were prosected to explore further the anatomy of this nerve in relation to the injuries. Injury to one of these branches should be considered in cases of persistent anterior, anteromedial or anterolateral knee pain or neurological symptoms following surgery or trauma. (+info)
Clinical features and outcomes in patients with non-acoustic cerebellopontine angle tumours.
OBJECTIVES: Non-acoustic tumours of the cerebellopontine angle differ from vestibular schwannomas in their prevalence, clinical features, operative management, and surgical outcome. These features were studied in patients presenting to the regional neuro-otological unit. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of clinical notes identified 42 patients with non-acoustic tumours of the cerebellopontine angle. Data were extracted regarding presenting clinical features, histopathological data after surgical resection, surgical morbidity and mortality, and clinical outcome (mean 32 months follow up). RESULTS: The study group comprised 25 meningiomas (60%), 12 epidermoid cysts/cholesteatomata (28%), and five other tumours. In patients with meningiomas, symptoms differed considerably from patients presenting with vestibular schwannomas. Cerebellar signs were present in 52% and hearing loss in only 68%. Twenty per cent of patients had hydrocephalus at the time of diagnosis. After surgical resection, normal facial nerve function was preserved in 75% of cases. In the epidermoid group, fifth, seventh, and eighth nerve deficits were present in 42%, 33%, and 66% respectively. There were no new postoperative facial palsies. There were two recurrences (17%) requiring reoperation. Overall, there were two perioperative deaths from pneumonia and meningitis. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with non-acoustic lesions of the cerebellopontine angle often present with different symptoms and signs from those found in patients with schwannomas. Hearing loss is less prevalent and cerebellar signs and facial paresis are more common as presenting features. Hydrocephalus is often present in patients presenting with cerebellopontine angle meningiomas. Non-acoustic tumours can usually be resected with facial nerve preservation. (+info)
Intra-operative localisation of skull base tumours. A case report using the ISG viewing wand in the management of trigeminal neuroma.
Deep-seated skull base tumours provide as much a challenge to the surgeons' skills of localisation as to his technical abilities during the resection. These lesions are frequently inaccessible and lie adjacent to vital structures requiring extensive cerebral retraction for adequate exposure and direct visualisation. The ISG viewing wand is a newly developed image guidance system to aid direction of the operative approach and localisation of intracerebral pathology. We discuss its use in the management of a trigeminal neuroma. (+info)
Selective innervation of retinorecipient brainstem nuclei by retinal ganglion cell axons regenerating through peripheral nerve grafts in adult rats.
The pattern of axonal regeneration, specificity of reinnervation, and terminal arborization in the brainstem by axotomized retinal ganglion cell axons was studied in rats with peripheral nerve grafts linking the retina with ipsilateral regions of the brainstem, including dorsal and lateral aspects of the diencephalon and lateral aspect of the superior colliculus. Four to 13 months later, regenerated retinal projections were traced using intraocular injection of cholera toxin B subunit. In approximately one-third of the animals, regenerated retinal axons extended into the brainstem for distances of up to 6 mm. Although axons followed different patterns of ingrowth depending on their site of entry to the brainstem, within the pretectum, they innervated preferentially the nucleus of the optic tract and the olivary pretectal nucleus in which they formed two types of terminal arbors. Within the superior colliculus, axons extended laterally and formed a different terminal arbor type within the stratum griseum superficiale. In the remaining two-thirds of the animals, retinal fibers formed a neuroma-like structure at the site of entry into the brainstem, or a few fibers extended for very short distances within the neighboring neuropil. These experiments suggest that regenerated retinal axons are capable of a highly selective reinnervation pattern within adult denervated retinorecipient nuclei in which they form well defined terminal arbors that may persist for long periods of time. In addition, these studies provide the anatomical correlate for our previous functional study on the re-establishment of the pupillary light reflex in this experimental paradigm. (+info)
Synaptic reorganization in the substantia gelatinosa after peripheral nerve neuroma formation: aberrant innervation of lamina II neurons by Abeta afferents.
Intracellular recording and extracellular field potential (FP) recordings were obtained from spinal cord dorsal horn neurons (laminae I-IV) in a rat transverse slice preparation with attached dorsal roots. To study changes in synaptic inputs after neuroma formation, the sciatic nerve was sectioned and ligated 3 weeks before in vitro electrophysiological analysis. Horseradish peroxidase labeling of dorsal root axons indicated that Abeta fibers sprouted into laminae I-II from deeper laminae after sciatic nerve section. FP recordings from dorsal horns of normal spinal cord slices revealed long-latency synaptic responses in lamina II and short-latency responses in lamina III. The latencies of synaptic FPs recorded in lamina II of the dorsal horn after sciatic nerve section were reduced. The majority of monosynaptic EPSPs recorded with intracellular microelectrodes from lamina II neurons in control slices were elicited by high-threshold nerve stimulation, whereas the majority of monosynaptic EPSPs recorded in lamina III were elicited by low-threshold nerve stimulation. After sciatic nerve section, 31 of 57 (54%) EPSPs recorded in lamina II were elicited by low-threshold stimulation. The majority of low-threshold EPSPs in lamina II neurons after axotomy displayed properties similar to low-threshold EPSPs in lamina III of control slices. These results indicate that reoccupation of lamina II synapses by sprouting Abeta fibers normally terminating in lamina III occurs after sciatic nerve neuroma formation. Furthermore, these observations indicate that the lamina II neurons receive inappropriate sensory information from low-threshold mechanoreceptor after sciatic nerve neuroma formation. (+info)
Cryosurgery for chronic injuries of the cutaneous nerve in the upper limb. Analysis of a new open technique.
We have treated six patients with chronic pain following nerve injury using a cryosurgical probe. All had a significant return of hand function and improvement of pain during a mean follow-up of 13.5 months. Open visualisation of the injured nervous tissue is essential for patients undergoing this technique. Four patients regained normal sensation in the dermatome of the previously injured nerve. (+info)
Responses of nerve fibres of the rat saphenous nerve neuroma to mechanical and chemical stimulation: an in vitro study.
The response of neuroma nerve endings to different stimuli was studied in a saphenous nerve neuroma preparation in vitro. Electrical activity was recorded from 141 single fibres dissected of saphenous nerve. One-third (27 %) displayed spontaneous activity. Based on their response to mechanical and chemical stimuli, neuroma nerve fibres were classified as mechanosensory fibres (47.5 %), mechanically insensitive chemosensory fibres (17.0 %), polymodal nociceptor fibres (28.4 %) and unresponsive fibres (7.1 %). Mechanosensory and polymodal neuroma endings responded to von Frey hair stimulation either with a few impulses (phasic units) or a sustained discharge (tonic units). Polymodal units were additionally activated by at least one of the following stimuli: acidic solutions; a combination of bradykinin, prostaglandin E2, serotonin, substance P and histamine (all at 1 microM) plus 7 mM KCl (inflammatory soup); 600 mM NaCl and capsaicin. Low pH solutions increased the firing discharge of polymodal endings proportionally to the proton concentration. The 'inflammatory soup' evoked a firing response characterized by the absence of tachyphylaxis, which appeared when its components were applied separately. Both stimuli sensitized polymodal fibres to mechanical stimulation. Hypertonic NaCl (600 mM) and capsaicin (3.3 mM) induced a prolonged discharge that outlasted the stimulus duration. Mechanically insensitive chemosensory neuroma fibres exhibited responses to chemical stimuli analogous to polymodal fibres. They became mechanically sensitive after chemical stimulation. These findings show that neuroma nerve endings in the rat saphenous nerve neuroma in vitro are functionally heterogeneous and exhibit properties reminiscent of those in intact mechanosensory, polymodal and 'silent' nociceptor sensory afferents, including their sensitization by algesic chemicals. (+info)
Traumatic neuroma after neck dissection: CT characteristics in four cases.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Traumatic neuroma, an attempt by an injured nerve to regenerate, may present as a palpable nodule or an area sensitive to touch (trigger point) after neck dissection. The purpose of this study was to identify CT characteristics of traumatic neuroma in four patients after neck dissection. METHODS: Between April 1995 and November 1998, the CT studies in three men and one woman (ages, 45-64 years) who had had a radical neck dissection and a nodule posterior to the carotid artery were reviewed retrospectively. CT was performed 1.5 to 6 years after neck dissection with clinical correlation and/or pathologic examination. Three patients had squamous cell carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract and one had a primary parotid adenocarcinoma. RESULTS: Three patients with a traumatic neuroma had a centrally radiolucent nodule with peripherally dense rim and intact layer of overlying fat, which was stable on CT studies for 1 to 2 years. One of these had a clinical trigger point. The fourth patient with a pathologically proved traumatic neuroma mixed with tumor had intact overlying fat, but the nodule lacked a radiolucent center and was not close to the carotid artery. CONCLUSION: The CT findings of a stable nodule that is posterior but close to the carotid artery with central radiolucency, a dense rim, and intact overlying fat, combined with the clinical features of a trigger point and a lack of interval growth, strongly suggest the diagnosis of traumatic neuroma. (+info)