What is a Peripheral Nerve Tumor?

Your nervous system is made up of your brain, spinal cord, and neurons. Your brain and spinal cord make up your central nervous system, while your peripheral nervous system is composed of the nerves that branch outward from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body, known as peripheral nerves.

Peripheral nerve tumors are abnormal masses that form in or near peripheral nerves. Over 95% of peripheral nerve tumors are benign and aren’t life-threatening. However, this doesn’t mean they are harmless. If left untreated, benign nerve tumors may lead to:

  • Balance issues
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness in the affected area
  • Loss of function 

Is Surgery Necessary?

Your surgeon will consider several factors in determining whether surgery is needed. While nerve tumors are typically slow growing, they must be addressed on an urgent basis. Even a small increase in size can be devastating for the surrounding nerves. If you have any questions or would like more information, don’t hesitate to contact The Atlas Institute Peripheral Nerve Care in Denver. We will be happy to answer your questions or schedule a consultation with a specially trained surgeon. 

What are the Symptoms?

If you suspect that you may have a nerve tumor, we urge you to schedule an examination so that you may receive a diagnosis. The process of diagnosis is relatively simple. Your neurologist will perform a thorough examination, followed by an ultrasound or MRI. We don’t generally recommend biopsies, as these may damage your normal, healthy nerves. The treatment for nerve tumors varies depending on the type, location, and size of your tumor. 

The most common symptom of a nerve tumor is pain, either when at rest or when pressure is applied to the area. Other symptoms include:

  • A lump or swelling under the skin
  • A visible mass
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Weakness or pain in the affected area

How Long is the Surgery?

The length of your nerve tumor excision in Denver will depend upon the size, location, and type of tumor. Many tumors can be removed using only local anesthetics, while more complicated cases may require general anesthesia. You may be able to go home on the same day as your surgery. Again, this will depend on the circumstances of your nerve tumor excision procedure. 

What is the Treatment?

Surgery is usually the only way to get rid of a nerve tumor, but the surgical approach varies depending on the type of tumor. Your surgeon will create a customized surgical plan designed to achieve the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances. Some of the most common types of nerve tumor include:


Most common in patients between the ages of 50 and 60, schwannomas are slow-growing and are almost always benign. Schwannomas are usually excised, as they can typically be removed without injuring the nerve itself. 


Benign tumor that develops along nerve cells, neurofibromas often increase in size over time. While neurofibromas don’t always require removal, they won’t go away on their own, and the only way to remove them is through surgery. Removal of a neurofibroma often requires excision of the involved segment of the nerve. After the tumor has been removed, your surgeon will reconstruct the nerve. 

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How Long Will I Need to Take Off from Work?

Recovery time after nerve tumor excision varies widely. If your tumor is seated deep into your spinal cord, recovery time will be much longer than if your tumor is located right underneath your skin. Recovery time will also depend on how much damage your nerves have suffered. Your surgeon will inform you of the details of your personalized surgical plan and what to expect. 

A State-of-the-Art Nerve Center in Denver

At the Atlas Institute Peripheral Nerve Care, our specialists have advanced training in nerve-specific maladies. Equipped with the latest in diagnostic and therapeutic technology, we deliver surgical and non-surgical solutions for nerve pain and dysfunction. We know it can be frustrating to be passed around from doctor to doctor without an accurate diagnosis or an effective treatment plan. We are here to help you achieve a pain-free life through exact and precise surgery and treatment. 

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