Nerves carry messages between the brain and the rest of your body. Sometimes they are carrying signals to make a certain body part move, while at other times they relay information about light touch, pain, or pressure to the brain so it can take corrective action. When nerves are damaged or compressed due to repetitive use, overextension, or trauma, these functions are endangered.
Types of Peripheral Nerve Injuries
In addition to lacerations, peripheral nerve injuries may be injured by compression or stretching. These injuries can lead to pain, sensation change, and/or weakness or paralysis of muscles.
There are five degrees of nerve injury:
- First degree (Neurapraxia): the mildest form of nerve injury, in which the nerve remains intact, but it’s signaling ability is damaged
- Second degree (Axonotmesis): the axon is disrupted, but the surrounding supporting connective tissue remains intact
- Third degree (Neurotmesis): the endoneurium, the lining around each fascicle within the nerve, is damage; surgery may be required to restore function
- Fourth degree: only epineurium, the lining around the nerve, is intact; surgery is required to restore function
- Fifth degree: complete transection of the nerve and the surrounding tissue; recovery requires surgery.
Dr. Kargel’s Approach to Peripheral Nerve Reconstruction
Dr. Jennifer Kargel is board-certified in plastic surgery and hand surgery, which distinguishes her training and credentials from many other doctors. She has advanced knowledge of nerve repair and reconstruction surgery, and utilizes the most advanced treatment techniques available today, including microsurgical techniques. A consultation and physical examination can help determine the degree of peripheral nerve injury and the best method of treatment.