What is a Motor Nerve Injury?
To understand what is Motor Nerve it is important to know what is a nerve and what are its functions. Nerves can be termed as the internal wiring system of our body. Their function is to carry messages to and from the brain to other parts of the body.
There are two types of nerves which are the Motor Nerves and the Sensory Nerves. Motor nerves aid in function of the body like movement and ambulation, and sensory nerves carry messages to and from the brain signaling any pain, pressure, or a change of temperature.
Coming to the Motor Nerve, as stated these nerves take information from the central nervous system and carry it to the muscle and glands allowing them to function. Motor Nerves are enclosed bundle of efferent nerve fibers present in the peripheral nervous system. Nerves are extremely sensitive and can get injured or damaged with even a little bit of excess stretch, or trauma. An injury to the Motor Nerves can result in the signals not being delivered from the brain to the muscles and thus the muscles may stop functioning like for example an individual may lose ability to move the hands or legs if the corresponding Motor Nerves gets injured.
What Can Cause a Motor Nerve Injury?
As stated, excess pressure or stretching on the nerves may cause the nerves to break. A trauma or accident can also result in a Motor Nerve injury, as it may result in cutting of the nerves. Sometimes what happens during a trauma is that both the nerve and the outer layer of the nerve which acts as a protector of the nerve remain intact. In such instances, the nerve fiber which is farthest from the brain dies but the fiber closer to the brain does not and after some times starts to heal and new fibers start growing until they reach the muscle. But, if both the nerve as well as the outer covering are cut and the condition is not corrected then it may result in formation of what is termed as Neuroma with growing new nerve fibers underneath the nerve covering.
How is a Motor Nerve Injury Treated?
Surgery is the most preferred way to treat Motor Nerve Injury. The procedure begins with first correcting the outer layer of the nerve which is sewn at both ends of the injured nerve with the aim being to facilitate growth of new fibers and the nerve starts functioning again normally. This surgery may be delayed for wound healing if Motor Nerve Injury is caused due to a crush injury or a motor vehicle crash where the skin is severely affected.
A nerve graft may be required with a piece of healthy nerve being taken from another part of the body in cases where there is space between the ends of the nerve, although the part from where the healthy nerve was taken may become numb permanently but this is a chance that needs to be taken for recovery of the injured Motor Nerve. Once the outer layer of the nerve is repaired, healing process of the Motor Nerve starts and within a few weeks the nerves start to heal depending on the age and overall health condition of the patient.
What is the Recovery Period for a Motor Nerve Injury?
As stated, after the outer layer of the Motor Nerve is fixed healing starts and it takes about four weeks for the nerves to heal from the Motor Nerve Injury depending on the age and health of the patient.
If there is a Motor Nerve Injury to the nerve in the foot it may take close to a year before the patient may start to have feeling on the affected foot. During the recovery phase, the patient may experience pins and needles in the affected foot but this goes away with time and with healing of the nerve from a Motor Nerve Injury.
During the recovery phase, there are a lot of things a patient can do so that the muscle is active while the nerve heals. The patient can do physical therapy to keep the joints flexible as a stiff joint is difficult to function even after complete healing. The factors which affect healing from a Motor Nerve Injury include the nature of the injury, age of the patient, overall health condition of the patient and the location of the Motor Nerve Injury.