During a recent open muscle biopsy to determine which type of
Mitochondrial Myopathy I have, my surgeon accidently cut one of the
nerves that controls sensation down the front of my thigh. So now I have
loss of feeling from the surgery site on the front of my left thigh down
to just below my kneecap area. I realize that in relation to the rest of my
illness, the aspect of having no feeling in this part of my leg is
relatively not critical, but I am curious as to whether a nerve that
has been severed like that will or can ever re-connect??
I did not think to ask my surgeon at the time as he was busy
explaining to me how since he had cut the nerve and did not know
the exact whereabouts of the nerve ends, he was not going to sew
my fascia layer closed. And thereby not only would I have to be
extremely careful not to stress or bend my left leg for at least
the following 30 days but if I was to ever loss any weight for the
rest of my life, I would have a large bulge of herniated muscle
sticking out of the front of my leg. At that moment as I lay on
the OR gurney realizing from my surgeons serious tone of voice
that I was not in for an "easy time" the next 30 days and being
only 41 and being told of having to have reconstructive surgery
on my leg if I wanted to lose weight, I was too busy absorbing it
all to think to ask any questions. My surgeon is 100 plus miles
away at a large teaching hospital and although I have called twice
and left this simple question with his secretary I have not heard back in
the past 2 months since the biopsy. So short and sweet...
Do cut nerves such as mine ever re-grow together so feeling comes back??
And other than the muscle bulge if I lose weight, now that the 30
days since the operation are up do I need to worry about my so called
fascia not being sewn together?
Thank you so very much for any help you may share with me. I have
done extensive searches for these answers on the Internet but with no
success up till now, and I am hoping your expertise will point
me in the right direction.
May the love of Christ surround you always... Stacey
Peripheral nerves can regenerate, but very slowly. They have been seen to
grow at approximately 1mm. per day. This is in contrast to brain and spinal cord neurons which do not regenerate. The reasons why are not known
and are the subject of much research. The scientist that figures out how
to regenerate brain and spinal cord nerves will have made a huge leap scientifically and will also be very wealthy.
The problem you will encounter is that they were unable to reapproximate the nerve endings. If the nerve endings were found (unlikely)and reapproximated you may have gotten some sensation back, certainly not all of it. It is unlikely that the nerve endings will find each other and connect on their own. You will likely have to live with the sensory deficits.
Whether you will develop a hernia from the defect in the fascia remains to
be seen. It should suffice to say the longer you take it easy on those muscles, the more that area can scar down and, with luck, prevent a hernia
from occurring. This is not meant to be permission to be a couch potato,
rather you should avoid excessively strenuous exertion to the muscles in the region.
Talk to your surgeon should you require more specific answers in your situation.
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