Spinecare Topics

  • By: ISA Content Team
  • Font Size: AA

Evaluation of Spinal Disorders
Classification of Nerve Injury

There are many nerve fibers within the spinal nerve root. They vary in size and diameter. Some represent sensory nerves whereas others are motor or autonomic nerves.  The nerve fibers susceptibility to compression varies depending on size, internal architecture of the nerve, and the myelin status.  There are three primary classifications of peripheral nerve injury. 


Neuropraxia refers to conduction block, in which the nerve fiber conductivity is preserved and there is no structural degenerative change of the nerve fiber.  The conduction over the compressed segment of nerve generally recovers after a few weeks or months.  This type of lesion usually occurs secondary to reversible local compromise of the fatty lining around the nerve or myelin damage. 


Axonotmesis refers to a loss of conductivity in the nerve fiber axons, but with surrounding endoneurial tube remaining intact.  This type of lesion usually occurs secondary to compression and traction injury severe enough to interrupt the actual physical conductivity of the nerve cells. 


Neurotmesis refers to the loss of conductivity across axons as well as other elements of the nerve trunk including the endoneurial tube and special linings around nerve root.  This term is usually used to a nerve that has been completely severed and disorganized by the scar tissue.  Spontaneous recovery does not typically occur.


Educational Partners

To learn more about your spine. spinehealth, and available spinecare go to the International Spine Assocition (ISA) at www.spineinformation.org. The primary mission of the ISA is to improve spinehealth and spinecare through education. The ISA is committed to disseminating need-to-know information throught the World Wide Web in numerous languages covering many topics related to the spine, including information about spine disorders, spine heath, advances in technology and available spinecare

All health information posted on the site is based on the latest research and national treatment standards, and have been written or reviewed and appoved by the American Acedemy of Spine Physicians and/or International Spine Association physicians or health professionals unless otherwise specified.

The information provided on this site is designed to support. not replace,
the relationship that exists between patient/site visitor and his/her physician.