What Can Cause A Nerve Injury & How Long Does it Take to Recover From It?

What Can Cause A Nerve Injury?

The nerves in our body are extremely sensitive and fragile. The function of the nerves is to carry signals to and from parts of the body to the brain such that all bodily functions are performed normally. If at any place a nerve is damaged or injured then sending and receiving nerve signals from that area will be hampered resulting in some symptoms like lack of sensation.

The nerves are covered by a layer of sheath called a myelin, which protects the nerves from any damage or injury, but even then the nerves can get damaged or injured sometimes as a result of a cut, excessive pressure, or excessive stretch of the nerve.

What Can Cause A Nerve Injury?

In case if a nerve is injured due to pressure and stretching, then only the nerve is damaged and the myelin sheath remains uninjured; while if a nerve is cut, then both the nerve and the covering get damaged. In cases where the nerve is injured or damaged, but the insulating sheath remains intact then the end of the fiber that is farthest from the brain starts to die first. The end that is closest to the brain remain intact and after some time it begins to heal on its own and new fibers grow underneath the insulating sheath.

The pertinent question that most patients with a nerve injury ask is how long will it take for them to recover from it. This article gives an overview as to how long it may take for an individual to recover from nerve injury or damage.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Nerve Injury?

The time that it will take to recover from nerve injury depends on the degree or extent of the damage done to the nerve and whether both the nerve and the insulating sheath are damaged, or only the nerve is damaged.

The extent of injury or damage to the nerve has been divided into various categories. The first category is called as neuropraxia, which is quite a common injury in which the nerve recovers within a few days after the injury. The recovery from this nerve injury or damage is complete and there are no long lasting sequelae.

The second category of nerve injury is termed as axonotmesis, which has a slower rate of recovery than neuropraxia and usually takes around a month to month-and-a-half for recovery; however, the recovery is again complete and there are no long lasting problem as a result of this condition. The nerves tend to grow back at the rate of an inch per month and the nerves should grow till they connect with a muscle in order to function normally.

The third category of nerve injury has a much slower recovery period due to the time the nerve takes to heal; however, in such cases the recovery will only be partial and not all symptoms will be resolved. There are certain factors which decide on the extent of recovery the nerve will make, which is the amount of scarring that occurs at the injury site and if there is more scarring the poorer will be the recovery.

The fourth category nerve injury or damage entails formation of excessive scar tissue at the site of the injury, which tends to virtually block any chances of recovery and hence recovery is quite poor in this type of nerve injury or damage and the patient may ultimately require surgery.

In a fifth degree injury or damage to the nerve, there is complete separation of the nerve and hence surgery is the only way by which the nerve can be recovered.

Conclusion:

Recovery from an injured or damaged nerve may take long time, but again it depends on the degree or severity of the nerve injury. While some nerve injuries are small, where not much damage is done to the nerve, such injuries take a few weeks to heal. For severe nerve damage, it will take quite a long time to heal and function normally. Some injuries to the nerve may even require surgery to allow them to recover and function normally after nerve damage.

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