Traumatic nerve injuries

What is it?

Peripheral nerve injuries are often caused by cutting objects (e.g. glass, knife, bone splinters, scalpel) or other objects that compress or stretch the nerves.

In the first case, the injury occurs rather quickly, whereas in the case of compression (e.g., when using an inappropriate plaster cast), the effect is slower and more gradual.

Often the injury causes collateral damage, especially to the skeleton, which can aggravate nerve damage.

There are certain factors that aggravate the severity of nerve injury; for example, the close proximity of certain nerves to certain bony structures may result in direct compression of the nerve by a bony structure or its damage by bone debris.

On the other hand, some nerve structures (such as the brachial nerve plexus above and below the collarbone) are not very mobile due to anatomical features and are therefore more susceptible to injury from sudden stretching.

Which are the symptoms?

Patients may have both sensory disturbances and lack of strength, varying depending on the injured nerve.

How is it diagnosed?

Clinical and instrumental diagnosis using both radiological (ultrasound, conventional radiography, computed and magnetic resonance imaging) and electrophysiological (e.g., electromyography) methods are carried out.

Suggested exams

How is it treated?

In general, a distinction is made between open and closed injuries.

In the first case, there is a direct impact on the nerve due to tearing of the tissue above it. In these cases, especially purely cut injuries, immediate surgical intervention by suturing the two ends of the nerve is recommended.

On the other hand, closed injuries are usually caused by contusion or sprain, and there is no direct impact on the nerve. In these cases, it is advisable to postpone surgery for up to 60 days, during which time the patient should undergo a whole series of clinical and electrophysiological (e.g., electromyography) examinations to check whether spontaneous recovery of nerve function has occurred.

The period of hospitalization can be a few days, as in the case of a nerve injury only, or it can be longer if there are serious traumatic injuries in the area of other organs as well.

Where do we treat it?

Within the San Donato Group, you can find Traumatic nerve injuries specialists at these departments:

Are you interested in receiving the treatment?

Contact us and we will take care of you.