The time a damaged nerve takes to heal depends on numerous factors, including the type of nerve and whether surgery is performed to repair the nerve, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Once a repair is made, the damage begins to heal within three to four weeks of the initial injury.
The healing time for nerve damage depends largely on the patient's age, according to Wikipedia. While younger patients tend to recover all sensation with proper treatment, older patients may only recover protective sensation that allows them to feel pain and distinguish between hot and cold stimuli. These differences are largely due to the body's ability to regenerate nerve tissue.
Nerves typically grow 1 inch each month, depending on the patient's age and other conditions, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The recovery time varies depending on the area of the body where the nerve was damaged. For example, an arm injury where the nerve is damaged above the fingertips can take a year to fully heal and restore sensation. Nerves in the peripheral nervous system heal much faster, while nerves in the central nervous system require a far more complex recovery and sometimes never heal, according to Wikipedia.