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Lumbosacral plexus surgery

This procedure repairs lumbosacral nerves to restore function in the lower limb

About

This procedure repairs the lumbosacral plexus — a network of nerve fibres supplying the muscles of your lower limbs.

The lumbosacral plexus is located in your lower back and pelvis, and forks into branches in front of the hip joint and down the front and back of your thighs and legs.

Damage to the pelvis, such as a traffic accident, can damage the lumbosacral plexus. This can cause pain and weakness in the lower limb, which can feel like burning, cramping and tingling.

Moving the hip, knee, ankle, foot and toes can be impossible. The hip may also stop working if the gluteal nerves have been badly damaged.

Leading surgeons at our Peripheral Nerve Injury (PNI) unit at The Wellington Hospital are experts at carrying out lumbosacral plexus surgery, restoring movement in the leg and treating pain.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    The treatment consists of surgery in the attempt of reconnecting the most important nerves to regain function in the lower limb. At times, they are reconnected directly into the spinal canal. Sometimes nerve reconnection is performed with nerve grafts taken from other parts of the body. The nerve acts as a tube or cable, guiding the nerve fibres until they grow across the gap. You may also have a nerve transfer. This is where (less valuable) undamaged nerves near the injury are used to replace the damaged nerve in order to restore function. These procedures are carried out under general anaesthetic.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure and how to prepare. They'll also answer any questions you may have. You won't need to stay overnight and can go home after your surgery. You should arrange to have someone take you home as you won't be able to drive. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    Recovery depends on the severity of the injury. It can take a long time for the nerve fibres to grow along the nerve and into the adjoining muscle — approximately 1mm a day. Intensive physiotherapy plays a vital role when recovering from nerve repair surgery and helps to restore function. You may also need sensory stimulation and motor stimulation.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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