Nerves are fragile and can be damaged by pressure, stretching, or cutting. Injury to a nerve can stop signals to and from the brain causing muscles not to work properly, and you may lose feeling in the injured area. When a nerve is cut, both the nerve and the insulation are broken. Pressure or stretching injuries can cause the fibers carrying the information to break and stop the nerve from working, without damaging the cover.
When nerve fibers are cut, the end of the fiber farthest from the brain dies, while the insulation stays healthy. The end that is closest to the brain does not die, and after some time may begin to heal. If the insulation was not cut, new fibers may grow down the empty cover of the tissue until reaching a muscle or sensory receptor. If both the nerve and insulation have been cut and the nerve is not fixed, the growing nerve fibers may grow into a ball at the end of the cut, forming a nerve scar or neuroma. A neuroma can be painful and cause an electrical feeling when touched.« Back to Glossary Index