A nerve that is injured or transected tries to regrow and to regenerate itself. If this process goes awry then a traumatic neuroma may develop.


Synonym: amputation neuroma


Clinical features:

(1) The patient has a history of trauma, usually involving transection of a nerve.

(2) The patient may experience pain or tenderness in the region of the transected nerve. This may be triggered by percussion or pressure on the nerve (Tinnel's sign).

(3) A palpable mass may develop.

(4) The patient may develop a paresthesia, dysesthesia or trigger point.


Situations where traumatic neuromas may be encountered include:

(1) amputations

(2) radical surgeries for cancer

(3) major trauma


Exploration at the site may show a small mass that consists of a disorganized tangle of neural elements with a collagen stroma. This is in continuity with the proximal end of the damaged nerve.


A traumatic neruoma is relatively stable and tends to grow very slowly if at all. On CT scan it shows a radiolucent center, dense peripheral rim and an intact layer of overlying fat.


Differential diagnosis:

(1) palisaded encapsulated neurofibroma

(2) neurofibroma


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