To evaluate and manage nerve injuries, doctors need a thorough knowledge of neuroanatomy (the structure of nerves and the nervous system), neurophysiology (how nerves work) and electrodiagnostic procedures (procedures that use electricity to help diagnose nerve conditions and injuries).

There are three defined types of peripheral nerve injury, based on how serious the injury is. They are:

  • Neurapraxia is the least severe type of nerve injury. Doctors can usually reverse neurapraxic injuries. In most cases, you fully recover within days to weeks.
  • Axonotmesis is a more severe type of nerve injury. This type is usually caused by an injury that crushes nerves. It can take weeks to years for nerve fibers to regenerate (grow back).
  • Neurotmesis is the most severe type of nerve injury. With this type, nerves cannot regenerate (grow back).

If the OHSU Nerve Center team treats you in the first weeks after an injury, we can help determine the type of nerve injury and recommend the most effective treatment for you. Learn more about diagnostic procedures