Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys Educate Clients About Nerve Injuries Suffered in Traumatic Events
Car wrecks, slip and falls, construction accidents and motorcycle accidents are just a few examples of the traumatic events that can cause severe nerve damage. Any traumatic event that compresses pulls, stretches, or rips the body's nerves may result in nerve damage. Nerve damage patients experience a reduction in mobility of the affected limb, or the injury could be so severe that the person loses all movement in the involved limb. When an accident causes nerve damage, it may be permanent; however, advancements in medicine can "rewire" the damaged nerves. Rewiring of the damaged nerves accompanied by a strenuous physical therapy regimen could help the injured person regain the strength and mobility they once enjoyed.
Nature equipped the human body with two different sets of nerves. One set of nerves, called motor nerves, sends messages from the brain to the various body parts. The other nerve structures, known as sensory nerves, return messages of "pain, pressure, and temperature" to the brain from the body's extremities. A fiber-like substance called "axons" make up the component of the nerve structure that travels through the body in bundles. A layer of tissue protects the bunch and sheets of tissue protect the individual nerves.
Extreme pressure applied to the nerve or excessive stretching of the nerves can cause a nerve injury. The structural damage to the nerve determines the severity of the injury. If the outer seal remains intact, then there is a better chance that the nerve will heal, allowing signals to pass to and from the brain to the body parts. In that instance, nerve endings may regenerate and restore nerve operation. On the other hand, if the trauma severs the nerve, including the outer insulation, then the nerve structure disconnected from the brain dies.
Nerve fibers continue to grow after injury. Nerves try to repair themselves after injury in the same way our skin heals after a cut or our bones reconnect after a fracture. Severed nerves which heal without surgical repairs will form a scar called a "neuroma." Neuromas are very painful, permanent reminders of the event which caused the nerve damage in the first instance.
Surgery to repair nerve damages focuses on restoring the insulating cover of the damaged nerve bundle. A repaired nerve sheath can facilitate the re-growth and reconnection of axons. Nerves grow at a pace of one inch per month, according to the most up-to-date scientific information on the subject. With that understanding, doctors expect that most nerve damage will heal after three or four weeks after the nerve insulation heals.
Exceptions exist to that general rule. Victims who suffer nerve damage that affects their fingers and toes may experience feeling "pins and needles" up to a year or more after doctors repair the damage. Age and severity of the injury also play a significant role in the duration of the healing process.
As with any long-term injury, physical rehabilitation is vital to regaining strength and mobility. Moreover, it is necessary to teach a nerve injury victim with permanent nerve damage to learn new skills and adapt to their new physical condition.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
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