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UPMC On Topic Transcript: UPMC Center for Nerve Disorder

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Dawn J. Wang, MD

Co-Director, UPMC Center for Nerve Disorder

The Center for Nerve Disorder is a group of experts who specialize in problems relating to nerve injuries. This could range from something as simple as carpal tunnel to something more complex like a traumatic injury to your arm that’s left you with weakness or numbness, or even paralysis. We also treat other things that you might not know are related, such as migraine headaches, problems where you have difficulty moving your muscles because they are actually too stiff, and other areas where you might have weakness or pain.

Evaluation Process

Alexander M. Spiess, MD

Co-Director, UPMC Center for Nerve Disorder

In general the patients have been referred to us by an outside physician. They’ve been evaluated previously and determined to have a nerve condition which requires specialized care. When the patients come to see us at the nerve center, we personally evaluate the patients and determine what the particular nerve issue is. We then recommend further work-up or come up with a plan which includes either operative or nonoperative management, if possible. 

Multidisciplinary Team

Dr. Wang

The benefit of our center is that every patient has access to a multidisciplinary medical team. This includes the peripheral nerve experts such as orthopaedic and plastic surgeons. We also have physical therapists who specialize in these problems, physical medicine rehabilitation specialists, and we also have access to pain management specialists — and of course this is a key issue for many of our patients.  And beyond this we have access to the entire UPMC health care system.

Dedicated Surgeons

Dr. Spiess

The Center for Nerve Disorder is different in that it’s a collection of subspecialists who are interested in nerve surgery, who are dedicated to the treatment of complicated nerve problems. It serves as a landing spot for patients who have had difficulty in having proper diagnosis or treatment of complicated nerve disorders. 

Dr. Wang

Our patients come to the Center for Nerve Disorder because they’re looking for a group of specialists to listen to them, find out what their problem is, and get to the root of it — so they can get back to their healthy and active life.

For more information, please call 412-232-5744.