Pain from pinched or trapped nerves can be debilitating. Once they leave the spine, most nerves pass between, around, and in some cases directly through, muscles on their way to their final destination. But when some of those muscles become too tight, either because of spasm or injury, they can squeeze the nerves. This starts to cut off the nerve’s blood supply, causing a wide variety of possible symptoms including pain, altered sensations (such as numbness, tingling, burning, etc.), and weakness.
Conservative soft tissue treatments such as physical therapy and massage therapy may help. But when these fail, what’s the next step? For most, surgery is a last resort.
Nerve Hydrodissection is a simple, safe treatment where the doctor injects some fluid around the nerve (but not INTO the nerve!) to ease the pressure from the surrounding muscles and to separate the nerve from the surrounding tissue, fascia, or adjacent structures. This is all done under direct ultrasound guidance to help ensure accuracy and safety.
At the New England Stem Cell Institute, we use a combination of an I.V. fluid known as “D5W” (5% dextrose in water) with a very small amount of anesthetic. The weak sugar also helps heal inflammation in the nerve. In some stubborn cases, a solution of platelet-derived growth factors (from PRP) or other orthobiologic agents is used instead of IV fluid to promote better healing. In the vast majority of cases, the treatment is either painless or minimally uncomfortable when done properly.
Conditions that are commonly treated by hydrodissection include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Neck, shoulder & upper back pain (e.g., brachial plexus entrapment)
- Joint Pain
- Some cases of sciatica
At the New England Stem Cell Institute, we’re experts in hydrodissection techniques. We’ve been doing them longer than the vast majority of practices in the U.S. In fact, we were personally trained by the physician who invented the technique!