Biology and pathophysiology of symptomatic neuromas

Charles D. Hwang, Yannick Albert J. Hoftiezer, Floris V. Raasveld, Barbara Gomez-Eslava, E. P.A. Van Der Heijden, Selwyn Jayakar, Bryan James Black, Benjamin R. Johnston, Brian J. Wainger, William Renthal, Clifford J. Woolf, Kyle R. Eberlin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuromas are a substantial cause of morbidity and reduction in quality of life. This is not only caused by a disruption in motor and sensory function from the underlying nerve injury but also by the debilitating effects of neuropathic pain resulting from symptomatic neuromas. A wide range of surgical and therapeutic modalities have been introduced to mitigate this pain. Nevertheless, no single treatment option has been successful in completely resolving the associated constellation of symptoms. While certain novel surgical techniques have shown promising results in reducing neuroma-derived and phantom limb pain, their effectiveness and the exact mechanism behind their pain-relieving capacities have not yet been defined. Furthermore, surgery has inherent risks, may not be suitable for many patients, and may yet still fail to relieve pain. Therefore, there remains a great clinical need for additional therapeutic modalities to further improve treatment for patients with devastating injuries that lead to symptomatic neuromas. However, the molecular mechanisms and genetic contributions behind the regulatory programs that drive neuroma formation - as well as the resulting neuropathic pain - remain incompletely understood. Here, we review the histopathological features of symptomatic neuromas, our current understanding of the mechanisms that favor neuroma formation, and the putative contributory signals and regulatory programs that facilitate somatic pain, including neurotrophic factors, neuroinflammatory peptides, cytokines, along with transient receptor potential, and ionotropic channels that suggest possible approaches and innovations to identify novel clinical therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-564
Number of pages15
JournalPain
Volume165
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

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