Nerve injuries from surgical errors

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

New York residents may be interested in information about some of the nerve injuries that can result from surgical errors. Trauma inflicted on the nerves can interfere or prevent signals from being transmitted between the brain and the rest of the body. People suffering these injuries may lose feeling in the affected area, or their muscular functions may become limited. Nerves can be easily damaged if they are cut, stretched or under too much duress.

Nerves are bundles of smaller nerve fibers, or axons, encased in sheaths that help deliver messages from the brain to make the body function. This fragile system is also responsible for providing critical signals between the body and the brain, such as temperature, pressure and pain. Pressure or stretching can break the axons inside the nerves interfere with transmitting certain signals, even though the sheath remains intact. Both the axons and the surrounding tissue are severed whenever the nerve is cut.

When the insulation remain intact but the nerve is cut, the end of the fiber furthest from the brain will die off. However, the end that is closest to the brain does not die, and may actually heal again with enough time. New axon fibers may grow within the insulation until they reach a sensory receptor or muscle. Patients can suffer pain or permanent loss of sensation from surgeons attempting to repair this confined and delicate area.

Patients suffering neuroma or some other injury caused by medical error may benefit from consulting legal counsel. Lawyers may be prepared to investigate the incident and help determine whether or not the doctor, medical staff or health care facility can be held responsible for the ensuing damages. People who suffer injuries from surgical errors may be able to receive compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

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