Nerve growth factor (NGF) stimulates sensory nerves involved in pain transmission. The authors found elevated NGF levels in 13 painful neuromas in comparison with 6 uninjured control nerves. In 4 cases, a painful neuroma was re-located into muscle: pain was relieved in each case and the NGF level measured at repeat surgery was similar to that of controls.
The results of this study support elevated NGF as a contributing factor to neuromatous pain. Relocating the end of an injured nerve into muscle or bone places the nerve in an NGF-poor environment and may help to explain the utility of this procedure.
Nerve, Neuroma, Growth, Factor
Journal of Hand Surgery