PERIPHERAL NERVE INJURY

Peripheral nerves send messages from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body, helping you do things, for example, detecting that your limbs are cold and moving your muscles with the goal that you can walk. Nerves are made of fibre which consist of axons that are protected by encompassing tissues, peripheral nerves are delicate and easily harmed. A nerve injury can influence your brain’s capacity to speak with your muscles and organs. Harm to the peripheral nerves is called peripheral neuropathy.

SYMPTOMS:

Motor nerves

These nerves regulate all the muscles under your conscious control, such as walking, talking and holding objects. Damage to these nerves is generally associated with muscle weakness, painful cramps and uncontrollable muscle twitching.

Sensory nerves

Because these nerves pass on information about touch, temperature and pain, you experience a variety of symptoms. These include numbness or tingling in your hands or feet. You might have trouble sensing pain or changes in temperature, walking, keeping your balance with your eyes closed or fastening buttons.

Autonomic nerves

This group of nerves regulates activities that are not controlled consciously, such as breathing, heart and thyroid function, and digesting food. Symptoms include excessive sweating, changes in blood pressure, the inability to tolerate heat and gastrointestinal symptoms.

CAUSES:

Peripheral nerves can be damaged in several ways:

Injury from an accident, a fall or sports can stretch, compress, crush or cut nerves.

Medical conditions, such as diabetes, Guillain-Barre syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Autoimmune diseases including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.

Other causes include narrowing of the arteries, hormonal imbalances and tumours.

How it is diagnosed?

  1. Electromyography (EMG)
  2. Nerve conduction study
  3. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

TREATMENT:

The treatment of peripheral nerve damage is based upon their causes. Autonomic nerve damage caused by generalised disease is the treatment of the root cause. Medical conditions involves treatment of root causes. 

The event that a nerve is harmed however not cut, your injury is bound to heal. Wounds in which the nerve has been totally cut off are hard to treat and complete recovery may not be possible. Your treating  surgeon will be able to decide your treatment dependent on the degree and reason for your injury and what are the possible outcomes of the treatment depending upon the severity of the injury. 

In the event that your injury doesn’t appear to be healing appropriately, your specialist can use EMG testing in the operating room to use whether scarred nerves are healing.Doing an EMG test straightforwardly on the nerve is more exact and dependable than doing the test over the skin. 

The nerves passing through the restricted space (like a passage) can be affected more by scarring. In these cases, your specialist may enlarge the restricted space or free the nerve from the scar. In some cases a segment of a nerve is cut totally or beyond repair. Your specialist can remove the harmed area and reconnect solid nerve closes (nerve fix) or embed a bit of nerve from another piece of your body (nerve unite). 

These methods can assist your nerves with re growing. In the event that you have an especially serious nerve injury, your primary care physician may propose medical procedure to reestablish function to critical muscles by moving ligaments from one muscle to another.

RISK:

  1. Anesthesia toxicity
  2. Compression
  3. Direct nerve trauma

RESTORING FUNCTIONS:

A number of treatments can help restore function to the affected muscles-

  1. Braces or splints
  2. Electrical stimulator
  3. Physical therapy
  4. Physiotherapy and modulated training programs 

RECOVERY:

The complete recovery time of the injury varies from 1 week to 6 month. Recovery time generally depends on the injury and the medical condition of the person.

As your nerve recovers, the area the nerve supplies may feel quite unpleasant and tingly. This may be accompanied by an electric shock sensation at the level of the growing nerve fivers, the location of this sensation should move as the nerve heals and grows.

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