responsible for sending impulses to your muscles and organs. These pathways are made up of bundles of axons which are grouped into fascicles. The most common type of nerve injury occurs to the peripheral nerves, meaning the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. In addition to these, automobile accidents can cause whiplash, which is where the head and neck is jerked forward. This momentum can stretch or pinch the nerves in the neck and spine.
Classification of Nerve Injuries
When assessing peripheral nerve damage, most physicians use Seddon’s classification of nerve injury. This divides nerve damage into three types: neurapraxia, axonotmesis, and neurotmesis.
Neurapraxia has the best prognosis because it is the mildest form of nerve injury. With neurapraxia, the nerves are damaged but not severed. This type of injury often results from compression of the nerves and can cause a temporary loss of motor function. Because there is no damage to the nerve itself, only to its signaling ability, this type of injury usually recovers completely. Even with no damage to the axons, it can still take up to 12 weeks to recover from neurapraxia with proper treatment and rehabilitation.
Axonotmesis happens in cases of displaced bone fractures or crush injuries. This type indicates that there has been damage to the axon of the nerve while the tissue surrounding the nerve remains intact. Recovery from axonotmesis can be partial or complete. It may take several months to a year to recover, and these injuries can result in paralysis and loss of sensory and motor functions.
Neurotmesis is when both the axon and the surrounding connective tissues are damaged and is the most serious category. This type of nerve injury is frequently seen with knife lacerations, gunshot wounds, or injuries where there is reduced blood flow to a certain part of the body. Neurotmesis usually requires surgery, and recovery is not possible if the axon has been severed.
Accidents That Can Cause Nerve Damage
Car accidents and slip and falls are the most common causes of nerve damage. 46% of peripheral nerve damage is caused by motor vehicle accidents, followed by pedestrian accidents, motorcycle crashes, and gunshot wounds.
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and while they sometimes happen for no apparent reason, negligence is also a frequent cause. Whether your fall happened in a store, on a sidewalk, at your place of work, or at a friend’s house, it can result in head injuries, lacerations, and other types of nerve damage.
Dog bites can also result in nerve damage. Dog bite injuries in Tucson are becoming more prevalent, and while deep punctures from teeth are the most common injuries associated with a dog attack, you could also be knocked over resulting in broken bones, head trauma, and more.
We Fight for Injured Tucsonans
While only a medical expert can accurately diagnose damage to nerves, it is important you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to see if you are entitled to a settlement. Nerve damage can be catastrophic, cause permanent disability, and require costly medical procedures. You may suffer a lifetime of discomfort, pain, numbness, and paralysis, and you deserve to be compensated for your losses.