Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How long does it take for a damaged nerve to heal?"
I am a 32 year old male and 2 years ago a dentist accidentally injected lidocaine into my nerve during a routine dental procedure. I have been in severe pain ever since. How long will it take it to heal?
Unfortunately it is very difficult to know if and when an injured nerve will heal. It is difficult because it depends on many different factors, including the type of injury to the nerve, whether there has been any improvement since the time of the injury, and whether the nerve has any normal function after the injury. If after two years, the nerve pain that you are having has not improved, then there is a low likelihood that it will return to normal.
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That is not to say that there is nothing that can be done about this pain. There are a variety of medications and surgical options that may be available depending again on the type of nerve injury and the types of symptoms you are experiencing. There are certain medications that can act on the nerve to stabilize it and decrease the painful sensations that you are having. Other surgical options may be available which include various nerve stimulators which have been shown to have some decrease in pain, as well as ablative surgeries that basically cauterize the nerve so that it is not able to relay painful signals. Surgical options often will leave a numb region where the pain originally was. It is recommended that you discuss this with your dentist as he or she will best be able to decide upon the appropriate treatment options available depending on your symptoms and medical history.
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