What are nerves?

Also known as: nerve laceration; nerve compression; neurapraxia.

Nerves are the body’s electrical system, and they carry information to and from the brain. Some nerves carry messages from the brain to muscles to make the body move, while other nerves carry messages about pain, pressure, or temperature from the body to the brain.

What are the types of nerve injuries?

Nerves can be directly injured by a cut, also known as a laceration. Nerves can also be stretched or compressed. The signals carried by the nerves cannot cross the gaps caused by lacerations. Nerve signals are also affected by injured, stretched or compressed nerves.

What causes nerve injuries?

Nerves can be cut from sharp objects, such as knives, scissors, or broken glass. Nerves can also be injured by too much pressure or stretching of the nerves. Stretch of the nerves can occur from the birthing process, sports injuries, and car accidents. Pressure can develop around nerves in conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

What are the symptoms of nerve injuries?

Numbness, pain and weakness are symptoms of nerve injury. Numbness includes loss of sensation, and weakness includes the inability to move or bend the affected area of the body. Other problems sometimes seen with nerve injuries include: muscle atrophy, differences in blood flow to skin, and changes in the amount of sweat the skin creates.

What are nerve injury care options?

Some nerve injuries resolve without any special treatment. However, some nerve injuries require surgery. Nerves that have been cut (lacerated) usually require surgical repair, while nerves that are compressed may require release of surrounding structures.

Reviewed by: Aaron J. Berger

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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