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What treatment do you suggest for a possible nerve damage after an accident ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
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Hello, I have a friend who got into a motorcycle accident and he doesnt have any broken bones or anything except his right arm seems to have nerve damage. from a little bit below his shoulder all the way down to his whole arm he is not able to move anything, or sense anything. he still feels pain inside his arm but can not feel his whole right arm. What is the possibility of this nerve damage to become permanent? and what can be done to try and prevent permanent damage and speed up the process of healing. Will this heal?!
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sapan J. Pandya 1 hour later
Hi,

Thanks for your query.

Yes, there is every possibility that there is some nerve damage but the damage seems to very near to the spinal cord. Damage seems to be more central than peripheral, because of involvement of both sensory and motor components of the upper limb nerves.

There is every possibility of this nerve damage becoming permanent if not diagnosed and treated perfectly in good time.

To try and prevent permanent damage, your friend needs very urgently is to go for CT / MRI scan of Spinal cord. He may also require Nerve Conduction Velocity Test.

To speed up the process of healing, we may have to wait for the proper diagnosis.
In these days of modern advancement in medical science, nothing is impossible. So do not worry.

I hope my answer has been adequate and informative. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: What treatment do you suggest for a possible nerve damage after an accident ? 1 hour later
is there anything that can be done at home to help improve the situation?? anything specific he should drink lots of/ eat lots of? should he lay in best or is it okay to move around? the doctor said the nerves under his armpits are "shot" . will massaging the arm help or make worse of the situation?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sapan J. Pandya 5 hours later
Hi,

Thanks for writing back.

According to what you say, he probably has UPPER BRACHIAL PLEXUS INJURY.

A brachial plexus injury is an injury to network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched or, in the most serious cases, torn. This happens as result of your shoulder being pressed down forcefully while your head is pushed up and away from that shoulder. There are two varieties - UPPER & LOWER.

Brachial plexus injuries are common in contact sports, but they frequently result from auto or motorcycle accidents or falls. Babies sometimes sustain brachial plexus injuries during birth especially forceps. Other conditions, such as inflammation or tumors, may affect the brachial plexus.

Minor injuries may get better on their own, but severe brachial plexus injuries require surgical repair. As per your message, I suppose the injury is minor one and there is no tearing of nerve.

Yes, you can do something at home to help him as the nerve is not torn.
Physiotherapy has a great role in such injuries.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables contain lots of vitamins, which can help him in faster healing. Avoiding of Alcohol and smoking will help.
He need not rest and he can move around.
As I told earlier physiotherapy has a great role to play. Massaging will keep his muscles supple.

Wish your friend a speedy recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: What treatment do you suggest for a possible nerve damage after an accident ? 20 hours later
Okay thank you. My last question is, you said "Minor injuries may get better on their own, but severe brachial plexus injuries require surgical repair. As per your message, I suppose the injury is minor one and there is no tearing of nerve."

what makes you think this is a minor and not a major? how can you differentiate a tear from a nerve stretch? and how can you differentiate this case to be a minor nerve injury when the whole arm is disfunctional rather then a major injury.

Thank you for your informative responses.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sapan J. Pandya 3 hours later
The fact that there is still some pain perception present in the arm is suggestive of the fact that the nerves have got numb temporarily because of injury.
Also your doctor would have gone for surgery if he had felt that the injury was major.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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