In my last blog I discussed common nerve injuries of the upper extremities. The diagnosis of nerve injuries includes evaluation of your complaints, diagnostic tests like x-rays (which rule out fractures as the root cause of the injury), MRIs and special nerve tests (Nerve Conduction Study and Electromyogram). Because nerves regenerate very slowly, recovery can take weeks or even months. This blog will discuss treatment alternatives for nerve injuries of the upper extremities.
Many brachial plexus injuries can recover with time, rest and specialized therapy. When the injury fails to improve, there are several surgical options. The nerves can be repaired by using a technique that transfers undamaged nerves from other areas of the body to replace the damaged nerve.
Elbow injuries can be treated by limiting the activity that caused the injury, but not total rest. Other successful treatments include modifying grips or techniques, anti-inflammatory medications, braces, physical therapy and even steroid injections. If all of these treatment options fail, surgery is a last resort.
Hand injuries may often be relieved without surgery. There are many non-work related conditions that can cause similar symptoms and they should be ruled out before any invasive treatment is undertaken. Hand injuries can improve significantly by taking the pressure off the nerve. This can be accomplished by changing patterns of hand use or keeping the wrist splinted in a straight position. A steroid injection may also help reduce the swelling around the nerve. When symptoms do not improve, surgery may be necessary. The goal is to enlarge the area and decrease the pressure on the nerve.
After treatment, if these injuries have a permanent impact on your life, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Please call our experienced legal team at Stark & Stark, PC to schedule your free consultation today.