Nerve Damage from Laceration

Nerve damage from a laceration is relatively common and most often attributed to trauma, such as a deep cut. Though not as common, they can also occur accidentally during surgery. The seriousness of the resulting nerve damage depends on the severity of the injury. The most significant symptom of laceration nerve damage is the potential loss of sensation, movement, or function in the affected distribution of the nerve. Other symptoms may include:
  • Numbness, tingling, or prickling sensation
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis
  • Difficulty moving or controlling muscles
  • Pain or hypersensitivity in the injured area


Immediate medical attention is crucial if you suspect nerve damage from a laceration to prevent potential long-term consequences and promote proper healing.

The primary goal of treating nerve damage from laceration is to promote healing and restore function. Treatment aims to repair the damaged nerve and minimize long-term effects, such as loss of sensation or movement. 


Non-Surgical Treatments

Physical Therapy

Exercises and rehabilitation techniques to improve nerve function, strength, and mobility.

Medications (Pain Management)

Pain-relieving medications like NSAIDs, or in some cases, nerve-specific medications to manage discomfort.

Bracing or Splinting

Devices to stabilize and protect the injured area, supporting nerve healing and preventing further damage.

Electrical Stimulation

Techniques like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to reduce pain and promote nerve healing.


Surgical Treatments

Nerve Repair Surgery

Surgical procedure to reconnect or repair the damaged nerve ends, often involving microsurgery techniques.

Nerve Grafting

Using a healthy nerve from another part of the body to bridge the gap in the damaged nerve.

Nerve Decompression Surgery

Surgical release of pressure or removal of surrounding tissues that might be compressing the injured nerve.

Nerve Transfer Surgery

Transferring a functionally redundant nerve to replace or supplement the function of the damaged nerve.


Surgical procedure to remove scar tissue or other obstructions that might be impeding nerve function or regeneration.

Why Patients Trust the Center for Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery

Our advanced out-patient surgery center is led by renowned orthopedic and plastic surgeons who specialize exclusively in upper extremity procedures. As the pioneers in advanced nerve reconstruction surgery, we are among few in the world with the expertise to perform these complex procedures. In choosing our center for care, patients gain access to state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments in a more private environment that ensures the highest standards for safety, quality, and continuity of care.

Real people. Real results.

Meet Melissa,

Who was able to restore the function of her arm after 3 of her nerves were severed from her spine. 

After a devastating car crash that severed nerves in her arm, leaving it completely paralyzed, Melissa Gomez underwent an innovative living donor nerve transplant surgery using grafts from her leg and father. The complex procedure, performed by Dr. Andrew Elkwood, allowed Melissa to regain near-full function and make a fist with her previously paralyzed arm.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you think you might have nerve damage from an injury, it's essential to seek medical help immediately. Look out for signs like numbness, tingling, difficulty moving the injured extremity, or total loss of sensation. If you can't feel things like you used to, or if you have an open wound and can see your nerves – it's important to get help right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does nerve damage take to heal?

Nerve healing varies widely based on the severity and location of the injury. It can take weeks to months or longer for nerve regeneration and recovery.

Can nerve damage heal on its own without surgery?

Nerve lacerations generally do not heal on their own without some form of intervention.

What can I do at home to help nerve healing?

Resting the injured area, avoiding putting pressure on it, and practicing gentle exercises as advised by a healthcare professional can aid in nerve healing. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also support the healing process.

Is it possible to regain full function after a severe nerve injury?

Recovery from severe nerve injuries varies. While some individuals may regain near-normal function, others might have residual deficits despite treatment.

Are there risks associated with nerve surgery?

Like any surgery, nerve surgeries carry some risks, including infection, bleeding, or potential complications specific to the procedure. Discuss potential risks with your surgeon beforehand.

Can nerve injuries cause long-term pain?

Yes, nerve injuries can lead to chronic pain known as neuropathic pain. Proper treatment and management, including medications and therapies, may help alleviate this pain.

How soon should I start treatment after a nerve injury?

Starting treatment as soon as possible after a nerve injury is ideal. Early intervention can often yield better outcomes for nerve healing and function recovery.

Can nerve damage cause changes in sensation in other parts of the body?

Yes, nerve damage in one area might cause sensations like tingling or pain that radiate to other parts of the body supplied by the affected nerve.

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