Doctor insights on:
Nerve Damage Reversible
Depends: On time, severity, etc. Specifically depends if the neurons have died (not recoverable at this time since an extension of the central nervous system) or are just in "distress" and could recover when the inflammation or inciting factor is resolved. Typically, not reversible to normal. ...Read more
A complete nerve transection will leave an area totally numb. The distribution of the numbers depends upon where the nerve was cut. A partial nerve injury may leave the area tingly or incompletely numb. Finally even if the nerve is not cut the swelling and bruising to the tea can affect the nerve as well. Usually we consider sharp penetrating injuries as likely having nerve lacerations when sensation is lost. A hand surgeon can examine the hand and pinpoint the site or extent of nerve injury and recommend ...Read more
Nerve damage to groin and hip area after illiac crest bone harvest. What's it called and is it reversable? Six months post op. Cervical fusion of c6-c7 with autograft from hip and hardware. Sensations range from numb, sharp quick pins and needles and sand
There are a few nerves around the pelvis that could be injured during graft harvest. The most common one is the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve which supplies the skin on the outside of the thigh. From your description, it is more likely the ilioinguinal or pedundal nerve that is affected. Since I don't know where the bone was harvested (anterior or posterior crest), I don't know how the nerve might have been injured.
Most of these nerve injuries are what are called neurapraxias. The nerves recover with time, but can be painful for several months to a year. A charring injury from the cautery used during surgery also recovers with time.
If the nerve is partially (axonotmesis) or completely (neurotmesis) severed, the recovery is less predictable. The nerve fibers have to regrow and find their way to the nerve endings. If they "get lost" they can cause a painful ball of nerve fibers called a neuroma. Nerves take a month to start growing and grow at 1mm/day or about an inch a month. Based on the location of the injury and the distance to the nerve endings, it can take a long time to regenerate.
Injured nerves can be very irritable and send any stimulus as a painful signal. To quiet the nerve, we use desensitization techniques. By constantly giving the nerve a low level stimulus, it "learns" what is normal and stops the painful signal. Then you increase the stimulation until that feels normal.
While Neurontin can be helpful, I have had better pain control (though not necessarily side effects) with lyrica (pregabalin). Insurers are often reluctant to cover it because it's more expensive. Amitriptyline or nortriptyline can enhance the effects, but also add to the sedation.
It is possible you may need surgery to explore the nerve and remove a possible neuroma, though that would likely leave an area of numbness. Only your surgeon knows what the likelihood of that is. Nerve conduction studies usually are not very helpful in this area and can be painful to get, particularly if the nerve is quite irritable.
To date we do not have any means of making nerves function. We can decompress them, repair them, remove neuromas, and even transfer them, but they have to work on their own. Maybe in the future we will have nerve growth factors or stem cells to help boost nerve function. For now, however, nerve pain remains a frustratingly difficult problem. ...Read more
Yes: If the damage does not cause the nerve to be completely cut, then healing can occur. If a nerve has been cut, it will need to be reconnected in order to grow. Nerve grows about 1 mm/day, so depending on where the injury is, it may take over a year for recovery. It is difficult after a nerve is cut to get 100% recovery, but some return of sensation can be expected after repair. ...Read more
Sometimes: A broad question, because there are many ways a nerve can be damaged: compression (carpal tunnel), crush, cut, etc. A "bruised" nerve can heal itself; it grows back at about 1 inch/month. If the nerve is divided, it may occasionally heal, but more often needs surgical repair--and this doesn't always result in return of function. ...Read more
Variable: Generically, if only the coverings of a nerve are involved (myelin), and healing begins, it will take about 4 weeks. If the central portion of the nerve fibre is involved (axon), recovery is the speed of finger nail growth (.1 mm daily). Depends on location, causation, and whether successful treatment is available. ...Read more
Yes and no: A severed or ruptured nerve theoretically can be repaired surgically, but that does not guarantee complete healing and normal function. Nerves do have the ability to regenerate. New connection can be made to bridge the area of injury. This takes time and most healing will occur within the first year after injury. Ultimately, your body will do the best it can to heal the injury. ...Read more
If too much: Any medication or drug can cause damage if taken too much and too often. Pain medications are designed to affect nerves to reduce the bad signals. They must be used appropriately or they can cause too much effect and result in damage. Abuse of pain medications has become a major problem. Many patients end up with chronic pain due to excessive use of pain medications. ...Read more
A complete nerve transection will leave an area totally numb. The distribution of the numbers depends upon where the nerve was cut.
A partial nerve injury may leave the area tingly or incompletely numb.
Finally even if the nerve is not cut the swelling and bruising to the tea can affect the nerve as well.
Usually we consider sharp penetrating injuries as likely having nerve lacerations when sensation is lost.
A hand surgeon can examine the hand and pinpoint the site or extent of nerve injury and recommend surgical repair if needed. ...Read more
Not so simple: Need to provide diagnosis of cause so that the actual pathology can be addressed. If you possess a true sensory small fibre neuropathy, this does need confirmation via a skin punch biopsy. You could have an immune disorder, amyloidosis, diabetes, b-12 deficiencies. Repair maybe possible, and medical foods may be useful. A few neurologists deal with these problems and can guide you. ...Read more
The best study to evaluate nerve injury is emg/ncs - nerve conduction study. These are preformed by a neurologist. It involves placing small needles and passing a small amount of current through them.
Good luck. ...Read more
Using the site: You can get the most from this site when you provide adequate background info to support your question. You have not indicated important things like the history, age, nerves or symptoms involved. In the absence of this info, we cannot begin to respond to the question. Physicians donate their time to answer questions. Any fees keep the site open. You are welcome to start over. ...Read more
Nerve damage: Can be detected via electrical studies such as electromyogram and nerve conduction studies. Under certain conditions, nerve biopsy can aid in the etiology. ...Read more
No easy answer: Depends on what the cause of your nerve damage, your other health issues if any, and your functional status (disabled or just chronic discomfort). Be sure you get an evaluation by a board certified neurologist and possibly a chronic pain specialist if pain is a major part of your condition. If there is an underlying condition causing it, that should be addressed as well (such as diabetes). ...Read more
There are many answe: Nerve damage can occur in many different ways. Some of the most common are trauma (injuries), arthritis or disk deterioration causing pressure on a nerve, compression neuropathy such as carpal tunnel syndrome in which a nerve going through a narrow canal is pinched or compressed, exposure to toxins (such as alcohol, chemicals and medication) and many diseases such as diabetes and thyroid. ...Read more
I always feel something crawling on me. Could this be a medical matter? For example, nerve damage?
Possibly nerves: See you doctor and have a neurological examination. ...Read more
I think I have nerve damage but when I went to get checked out they said it was just hyper sensitive. What's the difference between the two?
Nerve damage implies permanent damage so medications that help nerve pain are recommeded. Post herpetic neuralgia (due to shingles) is a classic example of nerve pain which responds to Lyrica (pregabalin) or gabapentin. Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g. Elavil & others) have be used for years to treat 'nerve pain'
nerve blocks (injections) also are helpful.Surgery may help if the 'damage' is not yet permanent. ...Read more
Neuropraxia is defined as a temporary loss of function of the nerve. Some nerves are purely sensory while others carry both sensory and motor fibers. Traumatic contusion injuries to nerves or nerve compressions can cause Neuropraxia. Sensory nerves like sural nerve in the leg or mixed sensory and motor nerves like the median and ulnar nerves in the forearm & hand ...Read more
The brain and spinal cord communicates with what is occurring in the internal organs and limbs by nerve fibers where are like electrical wires with insulation (myelin) and the "copper" (axon). Within brain and spinal cord these nerves connect to other nerves via synapses on both axons and dendrites. A nerve can carry information regarding sensations, and ...Read more