You must’ve heard at some point in time that a person is suffering from nerve pain. What does it mean? It implies that the person has sustained some sort of injury that has affected the nerves in the body. Different types of medical issues may be responsible for nerve injuries. This can range from a simple blunt force trauma stemming from a motor accident to a severe gunshot wound to compression due to a tumor. It is important that you have a good idea about the various ways nerves can get injured. This will allow you to get a fair idea regarding the prospects for recovery from the particular condition. Read on below to know more.
Neurapraxia is the first kind of nerve injury that will be discussed here. In this type of injury, the nerve maintains all the internal connections that it had with other parts of the body. There is no change in the anatomy of the inner nerve root. The injury merely represents a physiological block of conduction through the nerves in your body.
The most common example of a neurapraxic injury is using a tourniquet in place to prevent bleeding from some part of the body. This could be at the time of surgery or in a trauma incident to avoid too much loss of blood. If you have a tourniquet wrapped for too long in one place, it might cause permanent damage to the peripheral nerves located at the extremities. This is the main reason why surgeons prefer to sometimes let down the extremity tourniquet every couple of hours so that the flow of blood comes back to the area and adequately replenishes the peripheral nerves.
Another major example of neurapraxic injury is when an alcoholic person passes out and experiences what is commonly termed as “Saturday Night Palsy”. Usually, humans move about a lot while they are deep in slumber. This does not allow our nerve roots to get compressed into a single position for a long period of time. However, under the influence of intoxicants, a person may not be able to move around sufficiently, and might sustain a compression injury. The trick to avoiding a neurapraxic injury is that no part of your body should be in one place for an extended period of time. The chances of recovery from this type of injury is high, may be even permanent. Why is that? The answer lies in the fact that the anatomical structures tend to remain intact after the process.
Axonotmesis is the next category of nerve injury. Such an injury is caused when an interruption occurs in the anatomy of the body, disrupting the axons, the internal peripheral nerve structures. Thankfully, the external framework consisting of connective tissue still remains mainly intact.
Such kind of nerve injury is serious, and may need sufficient amount of regrowth of the axon. It is important that the damaged axon regrows along its path towards the target muscle that it has been tasked with controlling. In the case of an average human adult, the growth takes place at the rate of a single inch per month. One of the most common examples of axonotmesis injury happens to be those types of car accidents where the crush injury is extremely severe compared to a neuropraxia. Though the damage might be extensive, the possibility of recovery is high since the framework which tells the axons where they need to go is completely in one piece.
The third and final variety, neurotmesis, is the most severe and it occurs when there is a clear disruption or transaction of the axon as well as the connective tissues. This type of injury may be caused either by a knife stab wound or a gunshot. Surgical treatments should be sought out as early as possible since there is no easy way that a person could recover spontaneously.