Our New Radial Nerve Treatments Continue to Impress

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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Radial Nerve Treatments

As our success with treating nerve injuries using our third and fourth generation platelet lysate improves, we’ve been treating more and more patients with nerve injuries. Today we highlight Greg’s radial nerve treatment story.

Greg is a 58 year-old, who in May of last year sustained a fracture to the humerus bone in his arm. The screw from one of the plates used to fix the fracture looks like it was placed too close to the radial nerve and he began to lose the ability to extend his wrist and forearm. A second surgery didn’t help. He underwent physical therapy, which also didn’t help and was told by the surgeon that this was likely a permanent injury, but that over the next several years the nerve might come back. He began looking for a cutting edge radial nerve treatment.

What is the Radial Nerve?

The radial nerve is one of the most important nerves in your arm. It’s made up of spinal nerves from the neck and supplies the muscles that extend the arm (triceps) and wrist (forearm muscles). Depending on where it’s injured, the patient will lose function of the triceps or the ability to extend the wrist.

How Can Nerves Get Injured?

A nerve is made up of a few key components. One is the axons, which are like cables that transmit impulses in a nerve. Another is the covering of the nerve called the myelin sheath, which is like the insulating cover of a wire. A nerve also has a blood supply, which feeds the cells.

A nerve can be cut or compressed. When cut, growing back the connection of the axons can be tough. However, just as common is a nerve injury due to compression. This means that something presses on the nerve. This reduces the blood supply, leads to inflammation, and scarring of the nerve. This then leads to the course of the nerve being restricted. Think of a nerve axon as being like a garden hose. When the flow of nutrients from the cell body that must be transported down the nerve is reduced by pressure (like water in the hose when you step on it), the nerve gets sick. An unhealthy nerve may not work well. So numbness, tingling, and/or weakness may be the result. Other things can happen too, such as muscles that don’t move well against each other, due to nerve supplies being scarred.

How Can Scarred Nerves be Treated with Regenerative Injections?

To help this problem, we first carefully map out the course of the nerve using advanced ultrasound techniques. We then precisely inject our fourth generation platelet lysate around the nerve (see video to the right). This preparation is rich in growth factors such as VEGF, which is helpful for improving blood supply, something the scarred nerve usually lacks.

Next, the injection of fluid helps break up the scar tissue. Note in the video to the left how this is done precisely using a micro injection technique and a tiny 30 gauge needle to treat a scarred median nerve. You can see the dark fluid on the ultrasound image accumulate around the nerve.

Greg’s Radial Nerve Treatment Outcome

Greg received three treatments with Dr. Bashir at our Colorado facility using precise ultrasound guided, platelet lysate hydrodissection of the entire course of the radial nerve. More recently, he was also treated with a similar procedure to break up scar tissue between the muscles supplied by the nerve. He has had good recovery of the function of the nerve that allows the wrist to extend. This is big news, as it allows Greg to begin using that hand again in a more functional way!

The upshot? Nerve injuries are awful, leaving the patient feeling like they have no control. All of a sudden, the muscles that they took for granted just stop working. While this is great progress with only one type of nerve injury, we’ve now seen it help many patients who find themselves in this awful predicament.

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10 thoughts on “Our New Radial Nerve Treatments Continue to Impress

  1. eileen miller

    It is my understanding that you don’t have any treatments you feel would be effective if a patient is on any RA drugs (without which hands in particular are not functionally and very painful.) Are you working on some solution to this dilemma?”

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Eileen,
      We’ve treated many patients with RA. We are just up front in saying that response is generally not as good. Unfortunately, Prednisone, NSAIDS (Including Mobic, Celebrex, Motrin, Aleeve, Advil, etc) and Biologics really affect stem cells negatively. http://www.regenexx.com/blog/treating-rheumatoid-arthritis-with-stem-cells/ What type of medication are you on? In the meantime, the video on this page might be informative, several will scroll through, the one I am referring to is “My Christmas Wish: I Want to Walk” http://www.regenexx.com/the-regenexx-procedures/knee-surgery-alternative/

  2. judy birchfield

    Can your Nerve Treatment repare the Trigeminal Facial Nerve?My daughter’s pain is constant in her face.

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Judy,
      Sent email

  3. hearthstone hack

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a website
    that’s both educative and interesting, and allow me
    to tell you, you have hit the nail to the head.

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Hearthstone,
      Thanks! We try…

  4. Douglas

    Have you had any luck in treating irritation of the sciatic nerve? Mine was irritated from a gluteal antibiotic injection. No loss of function but loads of pain throughout the sciatic region since.

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Douglas,
      Yes, we treat the Sciatic Nerve regularly: http://www.regenexx.com/nerve-regeneration/. Next time, it might be a good idea to offer your arm!

  5. M

    6 months ago I developed a neurogenic bladder from what I believe is a damaged nerve in my spine. I am scheduled for an EMG soon- would this be something you may be able to treat? I’m only 20 and I dread the idea of being depenendent on botox for the rest of my life.

    1. Chris Centeno Post author

      Yes, it’s likely we can help, but would need to take a closer look at the results of all of the tests you’ve had done.

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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