Your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms, review your medical history, and ask about any recent injuries or operations you've had. Your doctor will also check your organs and nervous system for abnormalities. If your doctor thinks you have a nerve injury after a neurological exam, he or she may suggest more tests.
- Electromyography (EMG). An electromyogram (EMG) is a method of recording electrical activity in muscles when they are at rest and in motion using a small needle electrode. Muscle weakness may be an indication of nerve damage.
- Analysis of nerve condition. Electrodes in two places on the body can show how well nerves send and receive electrical signals.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to provide clear pictures of the places where nerve damage has occurred.
- Comparable to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), these high-frequency sound waves can provide high-resolution images of the nerve-damaged region.
If a nerve is nicked instead of severed, the wound has a better chance of healing. Complete nerve severance injuries can be tough to treat, and sometimes people don't get better. Your doctor's choice of therapy will depend on several things, such as the type and severity of your injury and how quickly your nerve heals.
- It's possible that you won't need surgery if your nerve continues to recover usually. Resting the injured area may be necessary for it to recover. Maximum healing of damaged nerves can take many months to years.
- Your recovery will need to be monitored regularly.
- Your doctor will treat the underlying medical problem if it is determined that it is the root cause of your injury.
- If you've hurt your nerves, aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) may help you feel less pain, but this depends on what happened and how bad it is. Nerve discomfort can sometimes be alleviated with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, or sleep aids. Injections of corticosteroids are sometimes necessary to alleviate discomfort.
- If your doctor thinks physical therapy will help you avoid permanent stiffness and get your life back to normal, they may suggest it.
Your surgeon can tell if scarred nerves are recovering from an injury by using electromyography (EMG) testing while you're under anesthesia in the operating room. An EMG test performed on the nerve is more trustworthy than one performed over the skin.
Sometimes a nerve is compressed because it is located in a confined area (like a tunnel) or because of scarring. The surgeon may cut a bigger hole or remove some scar tissue to make room for the nerve.
The nerves in our bodies are delicate and might be severed or damaged beyond repair at any time. Nerve repair involves the removal of the injured region and the reconnection of healthy ends performed by your surgeon (nerve graft). With these treatments, nerves can regenerate and return to normal function.
After a severe nerve injury, important muscles can work again by moving tendons from one muscle to another.
A variety of treatments can restore muscle function.
- Supportive devices, such as braces or splints. These aids maintain the ideal position for the injured finger, hand, or foot, which can then be used to restore muscular function.
- The use of an electrical stimulator. Stimulators stimulate the muscle, usually supplied by a damaged nerve, while the nerve heals. Not everyone will benefit from this treatment. If your doctor thinks that electrical stimulation could help, they will review the risks and benefits with you.
- Rehabilitative exercise. To prevent the muscles and joints from atrophying, therapists prescribe specific movements and exercises. With the help of physical therapy, you can avoid getting stiff and restore function and feeling.
- Muscle strength, range of motion, and cramping are all aided by regular exercise.
Several diagnostic procedures exist for determining the nature and extent of peripheral nerve damage. Remember to inquire about whether or not preparation is required for these tests when scheduling your appointment. There are two examples of avoiding specific lotions on the day of the test or stopping the use of certain medications a few days beforehand.
Take a friend or relative with you if you can. Sometimes it's hard to take in everything you're told at a doctor's appointment. Someone who tags along might recall details that you overlooked.