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Definition of «Nerve compression»

Nerve compression: "Pinching" a nerve by putting too much pressure on it. For example, the sciatic nerve may be painfully compressed by a ruptured disc in the lower spine causing sciatica.

In nerve compression there is pressure on a nerve root or a peripheral nerve leading to ischemia (not enough oxygen due to poor blood supply). The response includes edema (swelling) above and below the pressure point. If the pressure continues, fibrosis tends to develop.

Aside from sciatica, the syndromes due to nerve compression include the carpal tunnel syndrome due to pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel near the wrist, compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow, and a condition called meralgia paresthetica due to compression of the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh.

Nerve compression is also called pressure neuropathy.

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