Get Answers to Your Questions in Our Nerve Damage and Surgery FAQ

Why does my foot look different after my knee replacement surgery? Should it hurt to have sex after a C-section? How can I relieve the pressure on a trapped nerve? Our FAQ page has the answers you need to kick chronic pain for good.

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  • Why does my colostomy site have burning pain?

    If you recently had colostomy surgery and have symptoms such as burning or stabbing pain around your colostomy site, you might wonder why this pain is happening and what can be done to make it stop. Consulting an experienced nerve specialist can help you understand the various causes of colostomy site pain and if nerve reconstruction surgery is an option to treat it. Colostomy site pain treated by Baltimore nerve specialist

    Causes of Colostomy Site Pain

    A colostomy is an opening made on the abdominal wall that connects the colon to an external collection bag. The purpose of a colostomy is to allow waste products to pass out of the body without having to go through the large intestine. This procedure is life-saving for many patients and, in some cases, can be reversed over time. 

    Some patients report severe debilitating pain around the site of their colostomy. This pain is often due to intercostal nerves caught in scar tissue or even stitched when the surgeon closes the site. This can lead to irritation and inflammation that produces a burning or stabbing sensation in the area of the colostomy site. Most people experience radiating pain from the abdominal wall to the side.

    Another possible cause of burning pain is post-operative inflammation due to stitches or sutures used during the procedure. As these begin to heal, they put pressure on nearby nerves, inflaming them and creating great discomfort.  

    Consulting an Experienced Peripheral Nerve Surgeon

    Without question, burning pain near the site of the stoma is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and disruptive to daily life. Fortunately, there are treatments for debilitating nerve pain. A peripheral nerve surgeon who specializes in pain treatment can determine the root cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan tailored specifically for you. 

    For example, a nerve block may be administered to rule out other potential conditions, such as a hernia. If the nerve block provides relief from the pain, then entrapment of the intercostal nerves may be to blame.

    Nerve reconstruction surgery is one type of procedure Dr. Williams performs to relieve pain at the colostomy site. It involves removing the sensory nerves stuck in scar tissue and relocating them to a surgical site far from the previous one so it doesn’t occur again or form a painful neuroma. One of Dr. Williams’ patients reported up to 95 percent relief of his pain—so much so, he was able to get off all narcotic and neuropathic medications, and now only uses an over-the-counter pain reliever occasionally.

    If Dr. Williams determines you’re a candidate for nerve reconstruction surgery to relieve colostomy site pain, he’ll outline the risks associated with the procedure and the results you can expect. He’ll also provide thorough answers to your questions so you can make an informed decision about your next steps.

    Don't Live With Burning Colostomy Site Pain 

    Life after colostomy surgery shouldn’t involve burning or stabbing pain. To learn about effective treatments that can make a difference for you, reach out to Dr. Williams for an evaluation—call our Baltimore office at 410-709-3868 or contact us online.


  • What is nerve transfer surgery?

    doctor examining patient with foot drop nerve injuryNerve transfer surgery is a procedure that can be done to repair severely damaged nerves that result in a loss of sensation or muscle function. This type of procedure takes healthy, working nerves that are close to the damaged nerve and transfers them to the injured area where damage has occurred. The working nerve is “plugged in” to the nerve that no longer functions, much like power being restored to an electrical socket. The nerves being transferred have a less important role than the nerve that was damaged and being replaced. 

    Conditions Treated by a Nerve Transfer

    Nerve transfers are an effective method of restoring muscle function and sensation that was lost as a result of a nerve injury. If the injury to the nerve causes pain, numbness, loss of mobility, or weakness in the muscle, nerve transfer may be an option to consider. Some conditions that can be treated by a nerve transfer include:

    • Brachial plexus injuries
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Facial paralysis
    • Foot drop due to peroneal nerve entrapment

    Recovering From Nerve Transfer Surgery

    Nerve transfer surgery is performed by a nerve specialist and is done under general anesthesia. Patients may require an overnight hospital stay to monitor breathing and other vitals. After the procedure, the area operated on will be wrapped in a thick dressing to protect the nerves and prevent any movement. Pain medication may be prescribed to help with pain and discomfort. Pain is not typically severe after the procedure and may only exist for a few days. The dressing can be removed after three weeks. Occupational therapy may be used along with electrical stimulation to help with nerve recovery.

    Recovery can vary from patient to patient, and the length of recovery will depend on factors such as how far the nerve is from the targeted muscle it controls. Other factors that can affect recovery are the patient’s age, overall health, cause of the nerve damage, and how severe the injury to the nerve was. Full recovery can take from a few months to several years.

    Contact Us for Nerve Pain Treatment

    If you are experiencing nerve pain, contact Dr. Williams for a consultation. He can determine the cause of your pain and recommend a treatment plan to fit your specific needs. To schedule an appointment in the Baltimore office, contact us at (410) 709-3868 or fill out our contact form online.