Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A high prevalence of dual nerve disorders is frequently reported. How a secondary nerve disorder may develop following a primary nerve disorder remains largely unknown. Although still frequently cited, most explanatory theories were formulated many years ago. Considering recent advances in neuroscience, it is uncertain whether these theories still reflect current expert opinion. A Delphi study was conducted to update views on potential mechanisms underlying dual nerve disorders. In three rounds, seventeen international experts in the field of peripheral nerve disorders were asked to list possible mechanisms and rate their plausibility. Mechanisms with a median plausibility rating of ≥7 out of 10 were considered highly plausible. The experts identified fourteen mechanisms associated with a first nerve disorder that may predispose to the development of another nerve disorder. Of these fourteen mechanisms, nine have not previously been linked to double crush. Four mechanisms were considered highly plausible (impaired axonal transport, ion channel up or downregulation, inflammation in the dorsal root ganglia and neuroma-in-continuity). Eight additional mechanisms were listed which are not triggered by a primary nerve disorder, but may render the nervous system more vulnerable to multiple nerve disorders, such as systemic diseases and neurotoxic medication. Even though many mechanisms were classified as plausible or highly plausible, overall plausibility ratings varied widely. Experts indicated that a wide range of mechanisms has to be considered to better understand dual nerve disorders. Previously listed theories cannot be discarded, but may be insufficient to explain the high prevalence of dual nerve disorders.

Original publication




Journal article


Man Ther

Publication Date





557 - 562


Cross-Sectional Studies, Crush Syndrome, Delphi Technique, Disease Progression, Expert Testimony, Female, Ganglia, Spinal, Humans, Male, Neurophysiology, Pain Measurement, Peripheral Nervous System Diseases, Severity of Illness Index