Peripheral neuropathy (PDF)
Clinicians in many areas of medicine are consulted by patients who have symptoms and signs of peripheral neuropathy. Those health care providers include neurologists, family physicians, internists, endocrinologists, rheumatologists, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, medical students, neurology residents, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Patients with neuropathy may have a single nerve lesion such as carpal tunnel syndrome or an ulnar palsy, or a diabetic or alcoholic length-dependent polyneuropathy. In most instances, those presentations are not difficult to recognize. Conversely, the patient may present with a rarer form of polyneuropathy, an unusual proximal or cranial mononeuropathy, or a mononeuritis multiplex. Length-dependent polyneuropathies have a long differential diagnosis, often prompting the clinician to review the topic quickly from a source that is easy to peruse and understand. The goal of this textbook is to overview the large array of peripheral neuropathies in a format where the suspected condition can be easily found and reviewed and a plan of evaluation and treatment can be constructed quickly. To this end, the chapters are replete with tables and figures, and many chapters conclude with a list of clinical pearls and key points to make consultation of the textbook quick and rewarding.
The textbook begins with a chapter discussing the clinical presentations of different types of neuropathy, followed by chapters on mononeuropathies in the upper and lower extremities, mono neuritis multiplex, and many chapters addressing diffuse and symmetric polyneuropathies. Interspersed are chapters on brachial and lumbosacral plexopathies and spinal root disorders, conditions that are typically asymmetric, but can have manifestations that can mimic diffuse or focal neuropathies, and, when present in a patient with a polyneuropathy, can complicate the diagnosis and evaluation.
I would like to thank all of the authors who have contributed to the textbook with their expertise and time. I also express appreciation to my many mentors in neurology and neuromuscular disorders and, finally, the many patients whose patience and confidence in me as a clinician lead to an interest in peripheral neuropathy and its many manifestations.
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Definitions, Radiculopathy, Mononeuropathy, Brachial Plexopathy, Sensory Supply to the Arm