I'd like to invite the forum's medical experts to weigh in on an analysis of the injuries of Mo Dong Hero # 3, Yu Doi Nam (HEAVEN SWORD & DRAGON SABRE).
Yu Doi Nam was crippled by Diamond Men mercenary warriors working under the auspices of the Yuan Dynasty. He definitely sustained severe bone damage, and I would imagine muscular trauma as well. But what about nerve damage?
For twenty years after the injury, despite Cheung 3 Fung's best efforts, Yu Doi Nam remained an invalid...completely unable to move. After Cheung Mo Gei applied the Black Jade Ointment, however, Yu Doi Nam regained partial mobility...enough that he could walk on crutches and have full use of his arms for ordinary activities (although he would never again be able to practice his martial arts).
By comparison, Yu's younger martial brother Yan Lei Ting (Mo Dong Hero # 6) received nearly identical injuries, but was treated with the Black Jade Ointment after a much shorter time (only a few months rather than twenty years after being injured). Yan was able to make a complete recovery, and was soon able to practice martial arts again at his old, pre-injury level.
If Yu and Yan's injuries were limited to bone damage, short of the bones being crushed into powder (which did not happen, otherwise they could not have possibly recovered, Black Jade Ointment or no Black Jade Ointment), the bones would have ultimately mended on their own (if properly set). Cheung 3 Fung, I'm certain, set Yu Doi Nam's bones after the latter was injured, but this did not result in Yu's recovery. Similarly, Cheung Mo Gei must have set Yan Lei Ting's bones after Yan's injury, but setting the bones alone did not result in Yan's recovery.
So beyond bone and soft tissue damage, this suggests *nerve* damage. Nerve cells, however, do not regenerate, and even modern science cannot restore damaged or dead nerve cells. This is why people who have received crippling injuries that have left them paraplegiacs or quadraplegiacs cannot be cured.
So based on all this information, what can we conclude about Yu Doi Nam and Yan Lei Ting's injuries? Did they suffer primarily from bone and soft tissue damage, or was Black Jade Ointment really so potent that it could do what even modern medical science cannot: repair damaged nerve cells?