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Nerve Injury: Will I Need Surgery

Your nerves carry information around your body, helping you move, experience sensations, and regulate autonomic functions like heartbeat and digestion. They’re essential to your body function, but are fragile and can be damaged easily with pressure, stretching, or cutting. 

An injured nerve disrupts the normal flow of signals between your brain and your body, resulting in pain, muscle failure, and other problems. 

Our talented orthopedic surgeons at Arizona Center for Hand to Shoulder Surgery in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, can help. We offer state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments for nerve injuries, restoring your nerve function, and relieving your pain and other symptoms.  

The good news? Depending on your injury and its severity, you might not need surgery to repair a damaged nerve.

Treatments for nerve injuries

We begin with a comprehensive exam, including electromyography and nerve conduction testing, to identify, locate, and evaluate your nerve injury. Then, we create a customized treatment plan to address your specific nerve injury. Our goals are to relieve your pain, restore your nerve function, and help you get back to your regular activities.


After your diagnosis, your doctor might recommend rest to allow your nerve to heal on its own. You might need to wear a brace or a sling while you recover. Nerve tissue recovers slowly, so it can take time to get back to normal. 


Your doctor might also recommend medication to ease your symptoms while you recover. For example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen and aspirin can help manage pain. Depending on your specific needs, your doctor might prescribe antidepressants, anti-seizure medicine, or sleep aids for insomnia to relieve your nerve pain while you heal.


Our gifted surgeons offer several different surgical approaches to treat nerve injuries. For example, they can surgically reduce pressure on a nerve. If compression has caused scarring, our surgeons can also remove scar tissue and lesions from a nerve. 

In severe cases, when a nerve is cut or broken, you might need surgery to remove the damaged parts of a nerve and attach the nerve’s ends. In most cases, this involves sewing the ends of the nerves together, although in some cases, they can perform a tissue graft with nerve tissue from elsewhere in your body. After your nerve surgery, your nerves grow back into your skin and muscles to resume function. 

It can take several months to recover entirely after nerve surgery. Nerve fibers grow an average of one inch in each month following surgery. 

If you think you have a nerve injury, call us or schedule an appointment online for expert nerve injury assessment and treatment.

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