PHILADELPHIA—Nerve disorders range from the very common—like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome—to the very complicated, such as Brachial Plexus injuries (an injury to the nerves that control muscles in the shoulder, arm, or hand) or nerve sheath tumors (which originate from the lining of the nerves and extend from the spinal cord into the body). In most cases, patients with these conditions are treated by a wide range of specialists, including neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons and physical therapists. Unfortunately for these patients, experts don’t usually have a system to communicate with each other about their plans and treatments, often leaving patients to research for themselves, a process that can be very daunting to someone without extensive knowledge about nerve disorders and the healthcare system.
Today, Penn Medicine launches the Penn Nerve Center, which unites experts across disciplines to offer expert diagnosis and cutting-edge treatment for a wide range of nerve conditions including traumatic nerve injuries, nerve entrapment, nerve compression, and nerve tumors. The Penn Nerve Center is led by Zarina Ali, MD, MS, FAANS, an assistant professor of Neurosurgery, and L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS, FAOA, chair of the department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and a professor of Plastic Surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Combining experts in neurosurgery, orthopaedics, plastic surgery, physical medicine and rehab, neurology, and radiology, the Center is the first of its kind in the region.
The team of specialists at the Penn Nerve Center is specially trained and skilled in addressing the rarest and most complicated nerve cases. “Penn Medicine hospitals rank nationally in neurosurgery and orthopaedics,” says Ali. “Our center is incredibly advanced in terms of diagnosis, surgical expertise, and training, which helps drive patient success.”
As most nerve disorders require care from a wide range of experts—from testing, to treatment, to surgery, and rehabilitation—patients can feel overwhelmed when trying to find and coordinate care. The Penn Nerve Center aims to streamline this process.
“When talking about nerves and muscles, time is of utmost importance. If we don’t diagnose and treat nerve disorders quickly, patients’ use of the affected muscle can become limited” says Levin. “By centralizing diagnosis and treatment in one center, we can efficiently evaluate, test and treat patients, and can collaborate across specialties to offer the best plans for care.”
In addition to providing care from specialists, the Penn Nerve Center will offer patient access to groundbreaking research and clinical trials across departments. “We are a clinical research powerhouse,” says Ali. “Paired with our unique expertise in nerve disorder treatment, we are proud to continue to develop and offer the most advanced care to our patients.”
The Center will be located on the 7th floor of Penn Medicine University City, 3737 Market St., Philadelphia, PA, and surgical cases will be performed at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. For more information, email PennNerveCenter@pennmedicine.upenn.edu or call 267-588-5850.
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.9 billion enterprise.
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $496 million awarded in the 2020 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.
Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 44,000 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2020, Penn Medicine provided more than $563 million to benefit our community.