When nerves are injured it can affect muscle function and loss of feeling to the wounded area.

INJURY
Nerve Injuries

ALSO KNOWN AS
Nerve Damage/Dysfunction

ABOUT
When nerves are injured it can affect muscle function and loss of feeling to the wounded area. Your nerves carry messages from your brain to the rest of your body. You have motor nerves that signal muscles to make movements and sensory nerves that cue pain, temperature, and pressure. Nerves are covered by a ring of insulating tissue and are made up of axons (fibers) that are grouped together. These bundles individual nerve fibers are also enclosed by layers of tissue.

COMMON INJURY
The nerve and insulation can be cut or the fibers can be severed without actually damaging the protective covering. When the nerve and insulation are cut and the nerve is not fixed you might form a neuroma, which is a painful nerve scar.

DIAGNOSIS
Your doctor will examine you and discuss your symptoms.

NON SURGICAL TREATMENT
When the fibers are damaged and the insulation is kept intact, new fibers may grow back and regain normal function.

SURGICAL TREATMENT
When the insulation and the nerve is severed surgery is done to repair nerve function by sewing the ends back together to promote regrowth of the fibers. In some cases nerve sensation can take as much as a year to return. A good sign of recovery is the “pins and needles” feeling. Following surgery your doctor may require physical therapy.

Nerve Injuries
Nerve with bundles of individual nerve fibers and surrounding sheath.
Image courtesy of AAOS