Background: Despite many treatment options available, no consensus on the optimal surgical management of symptomatic peripheral nerve neuroma has been reached. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the effectiveness of different surgical techniques for treating painful neuromas and to help guide surgeons in electing optimal treatment. Methods: Four databases (Embase, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central) were searched. Studies that reported either numerical (visual analogue scale/numeric rating scale) or nonnumeric postoperative pain scores after surgical treatment of peripheral neuroma were identified. Results: Thirty-two articles met the eligibility criteria and were analyzed for qualitative review. Thirty studies were included in qualitative analysis, for a total of 1150 neuromas. Surgical treatment of peripheral neuroma achieved good postoperative results in 70 percent of treated neuromas (95 percent CI, 64 to 77 percent). Proportions between techniques ranged between 60 and 92 percent. In a post hoc analysis, targeted muscle reinnervation (82 percent; 95 percent CI, 73 to 92 percent) performed significantly better than neurectomy (p = 0.024). Conclusions: The choice of surgical management in treating symptomatic peripheral neuroma is challenging, yet surgical intervention achieves significant pain relief in the majority of cases. Targeted muscle reinnervation is promising for the management of painful neuromas.
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