What is Targeted Muscle Reinnervation?

After an amputation surgery, nearly 75% of patients experience pain. This can be in the remaining part of their limb, or phantom pain where the amputation took place. Targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) surgery was developed in part by Gregory Dumanian, MD, at Northwestern Medicine, to address this issue.

TMR is an innovative procedure that can reduce post-amputation nerve pain by reconnecting amputated nerves to nearby nerves and muscle targets. It can also help you manage your prosthetics with natural muscle movement.

Our team can perform TMR at the same time as a planned amputation. We can also do TMR if you’ve had an amputation in the last 10 years.

We can help determine if TMR is right for you.

TMR Surgery: What to Expect

  • A TMR surgery lasts about two to four hours, and typically requires you to stay overnight in the hospital for one to five days.
  • Your physician will schedule follow-up appointments.
  • If you had TMR at the time of amputation, you can begin the fitting process for your new prosthetic at six to eight weeks.
  • If you had TMR for established nerve pain (after amputation), you may be back to work as early as three weeks after surgery, depending on the type of work you do.
  • Most people experience surgery-related pain but not original nerve pain immediately after the TMR procedure. The nerve can ‘wake up’ after a period of time. Nerve pain may increase while nerves grow and connect with new targets.
  • Your need for pain medication will decrease as the nerves heal. Over time, many people can reduce or eliminate the need for pain medications under their physician’s supervision.

When TMR Is Not an Option

You are not a candidate for TMR if:

  • You have a spinal cord injury.
  • You have a brachial plexus nerve root injury (injury to the roots of nerves that extend from the spinal cord and send signals to the shoulder, arm and hand).
  • Your pain is from a pinched nerve. For example, carpal tunnel is a pinched nerve, and the treatment is decompression, not TMR.
  • Your health does not meet the requirements for the surgery.

If you are living with chronic pain following an amputation or are planning an amputation, talk with your physician to determine if TMR is an option for you.

Locations & Contact Information