Nerve Injuries

Also known as: peripheral nerve injuries.

What are nerve injuries?

Nerves are the system of fibers that carry signals from the brain to the rest of the body. When an injury or damage occurs to one or many nerves, these are known as nerve injuries.

What causes nerve injuries?

A nerve can be damaged by too much pressure on the nerve (mechanical injury), or by crush/percussion injury induced by blood clots, bone fractures or scar tissue; or secondly, squeezed by swollen muscles. A third mechanism of injury is laceration caused by blunt or penetrating trauma. Nerves may partially or completely be cut by stab wounds. A fifth mechanism of damage to a nerve is a stretch injury (a nerve can stretch 10 percent to 20 percent before damage occurs), frequently from pulling on a limb or displacement by a fracture. A sixth mechanism is by high velocity trauma such as from a car accident or gunshot wound. Finally peripheral nerves may be injured by excessive cold - frostbite can lead to damage of all tissues including nerves (hours of non-freezing temperatures above -25*C and below 10*C can damage nerves when the surrounding tissues are unharmed).

What are the symptoms of nerve injuries?

Weakness/paralysis, numbness, pain, loss of sensation and loss of function are all possible symptoms of nerve injury.

What are nerve injury care options?

Some minor nerve injuries can heal themselves through rest of the affected area. More severe nerve injuries may require surgery. In many cases, rehabilitation is needed in order to facilitate full recovery.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 8/8/2018 11:24:19 AM

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