Some of our neurosurgeons specialize in disorders of the peripheral nerves, or those nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. Peripheral nerve surgery attempts to repair damaged nerves, remove compression from nerves (Carpal Tunnel and Ulnar Neuropathy), and remove tumors of nerves without damage to the parent nerves.
The peripheral nervous system is comprised of the nerves that communicate between the brain and muscles, skin, internal organs and blood vessels, and includes nerves in the face, arms, legs, torso, and some cranial nerves. When damaged, the nerves are unable to communicate properly, which can result in symptoms such as pain or numbness. Some peripheral nerves, such as those in the shoulder area (the brachial plexus) are easily injured in car and motorcycle accidents. Others can become painfully entrapped, as in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome. In the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis, the nerves become riddled with tumors.
At Emory, we are constantly striving to make advancements in repairing damage and treating disorders of the peripheral nerves. Nicholas Boulis, MD, PhD, not only leads our team of neurosurgeons in providing expert patient care for peripheral nerve damage but his Gene and Cell Therapy Translational Laboratory works to advance the practice by developing new therapies. Dr. Boulis works on novel treatments for several nerve disorders, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).