Nerve injuries most frequently appear in the upper and lower extremities. These nerve injuries can be caused by either blunt trauma or sharp trauma. If the nerve remains intact, resting and careful observation may achieve recovery. More severe injuries require surgical reconstruction.
The physical exam is an assessment of the sensory and motor function in the affected nerves. A nerve conduction study called electromyography (EMG) can be performed to evaluate the electrical function of the nerves and muscles and to determine the location and the extent of the injury.
Surgical nerve repair requires removing injured tissue from the nerve endings so a nerve can be directly reconnected if there is enough length to allow for quality repair without further tension. An operating microscope offers the best alignment of the fiber bundle fascicles inside of the injured nerve. A conduit is an artificial tube that connects the nerve endings.
Nerve fiber repair process occurs slowly beginning to grow from the repair site toward the lost target tissues of skin and muscle to restore sensation and movement at a rate of 1 inch per month.