Also known as: Mononeuritis multiplex, Mononeuropathy multiplex, Multifocal neuropathy or Peripheral neuropathy - mononeuritis multiplex
- Blood vessel diseases such as polyarteritis nodosa
- Connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus (the most common cause in children)
- Amyloidosis, an abnormal buildup of proteins in tissues and organs
- Blood disorders (such as hypereosinophilia and cryoglobulinemia)
- Infections such as Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, or hepatitis
- Sarcoidosis, inflammation of the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin, or other tissues
- Sjögren syndrome, a disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed
- Wegener granulomatosis, an inflammation of the blood vessel
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Loss of sensation in one or more areas of the body
- Paralysis in one or more areas of the body
- Tingling, burning, pain, or other abnormal sensations in one or more areas of the body
- Weakness in one or more areas of the body
- Axillary nerve in either arm and shoulder
- Common peroneal nerve in the lower leg
- Distal median nerve to the hand
- Femoral nerve in the thigh
- Radial nerve in the arm
- Sciatic nerve in the back of the leg
- Ulnar nerve in the arm
- Electromyogram (EMG, a recording of electrical activity in the muscles)
- Nerve biopsy to examine a piece of the nerve under a microscope
- Nerve conduction tests to measure how fast nerve impulses move along the nerve
- Imaging tests, such as x-rays
- Treat the illness that is causing the problem, if possible
- Provide supportive care to maintain independence
- Control symptoms
- Occupational therapy
- Orthopedic help (for example, a wheelchair, braces, and splints)
- Physical therapy (for example, exercises and retraining to increase muscle strength)
- Vocational therapy
- Having adequate lighting (such as leaving lights on at night)
- Installing railings
- Removing obstacles (such as loose rugs that may slip on the floor)
- Testing water temperature before bathing
- Wearing protective shoes (no open toes or high heels)
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain drugs
- Antiseizure or antidepressant drugs to reduce stabbing pains
- Deformity, loss of tissue or muscle mass
- Disturbances of organ functions
- Medicine side effects
- Repeated or unnoticed injury to the affected area due to lack of sensation
- Relationship problems due to impotence
Multiple mononeuropathy is a nervous system disorder that involves damage to at least 2 separate nerve areas.
Multiple mononeuropathy is a form of damage to 1 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 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:
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 of 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:
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.
Complications may include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your provider if you notice signs of multiple mononeuropathy.
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.
Katirji B. Disorders of peripheral nerves. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SK, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 107.
Shy ME. Peripheral neuropathies. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 420.
- Review date:
- December 7, 2016
- Reviewed by:
- Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, SUNY Stony Brook, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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