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Multiple mononeuropathy

Mononeuritis multiplex; Mononeuropathy multiplex; Multifocal neuropathy; Peripheral neuropathy - mononeuritis multiplex

Multiple mononeuropathy is a nervous system disorder that involves damage to at least two separate nerve areas. Neuropathy means a disorder of the nerves.

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Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system

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Causes

Multiple mononeuropathy is a form of damage to one or more peripheral nerves. These are the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. It is a group of symptoms (syndrome), not a disease.

However, certain diseases can cause the injury or nerve damage that leads to the symptoms of multiple mononeuropathy. Common conditions include:

Less common causes include:

Symptoms

Symptoms depend on the specific nerves involved, and may include:

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask about the symptoms, focusing on the nervous system.

To diagnose this syndrome, there usually needs to be problems with 2 or more unrelated nerve areas. Common nerves affected are the:

Tests may include:

Blood tests that may be done include:

Treatment

The goals of treatment are to:

To improve independence, treatments may include:

Safety is an important for people with sensation or movement problems. Lack of muscle control and decreased sensation may increase the risk for falls or injuries. Safety measures include:

Check shoes often for grit or rough spots that may injure the feet.

People with decreased sensation should check their feet (or other affected area) often for bruises, open skin areas, or other injuries that may go unnoticed. These injuries may become severely infected because the pain nerves of the area are not signaling the injury.

People with multiple mononeuropathy are prone to new nerve injuries at pressure points such as the knees and elbows. They should avoid putting pressure on these areas, for example, by not leaning on the elbows, crossing the knees, or holding similar positions for long periods.

Medicines that may help include:

Outlook (Prognosis)

A full recovery is possible if the cause is found and treated, and if the nerve damage is limited. Some people have no disability. Others have a partial or complete loss of movement, function, or sensation.

Possible Complications

Complications may include:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you notice signs of multiple mononeuropathy.

Prevention

Preventive measures depend on the specific disorder. For example, with diabetes, eating healthy foods and keeping a tight control of blood sugar may help prevent multiple mononeuropathy from developing.

Related Information

Peripheral neuropathy
Polyarteritis nodosa
Rheumatoid arthritis
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Sjögren syndrome
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
Leprosy
Sarcoidosis
Primary amyloidosis
Diabetes and nerve damage
Muscle atrophy

References

Katirji B. Disorders of peripheral nerves. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 107.

Smith G, Shy ME. Peripheral neuropathies. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 392.

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Review Date: 6/23/2020  

Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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