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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How long does superficial radial nerve damage take to heal?

    After a cannula was inserted into my right wrist, I experienced severe pain and a nerve conduction test showed I have mild superficial radial nerve damage. It has been 6 months and I am still on pain medication and going to a hand therapist. How long will it take to recover so I can get back to work?
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    Dr Mahyar Amjadi

    Breast Surgeon, Hand Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon (Reconstructive & Cosmetic)

    Dear Ana

    I am so sorry to hear about your problem. Nerve damage is one the most tedious healing processes in the body. Nerve damage can be temporary (neuropraxia) or complete. Generally speaking, even if there was complete damge to only a part of the nerve, nerve regenration needs to happen. This means that the nerve fibres 'die back' to about one centimeter before the site of injury. Then not much happens for about a month. After about a month, nerve endings start to regenerate at a rate of about one milimeter a day. Nerve regeneration is usually followed by strange sensations such as pins and needles and 'electric shocks'. For the superficial radial nerve from wrist to back of the hand it should take around 12 months for recovery. If your injury was a temporary damage (neuropraxia) it should have recovered after a few weeks.

    I hope this helps, and hope you start feeling better soon.

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