Author(s): Inada Y, Morimoto S, Takakura Y, Nakamura T
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to report by means of objective methods on the effectiveness of a nerve reconstruction procedure using a bioresorbable tube in two patients. Our previous successes in regenerating canine peripheral nerves across long distances (80-mm gaps) using a bioabsorbable tube have led us to investigate the value of such a tube for the treatment of human patients with chronic nerve injuries. METHODS: The device was made from a cylindrically woven polyglycolic acid tube filled with a collagen sponge. It was designed to be resorbed after nerve regeneration. Peripheral sensory nerve defects in two patients with neuroma and pain were reconstructed using this tube. Patient 1 (a 62-year-old man) had a 20-mm defect of the proper digital nerve, and Patient 2 (a 56-year-old woman) had a 65-mm defect of the superficial peroneal nerve. RESULTS: After surgery, both patients recovered from the unpleasant sensations and intolerable pain. In Patient 1, functional recovery was objectively identified at 2 months, and conduction velocity of the nerve recovered to 49.1 m/s. In Patient 2, conduction velocity of the nerve was determined to be 16.9 m/s at 5 months. Current perception threshold testing indicated that sensory nerve function had been recovered by 65 days after surgery. CONCLUSION: This work represents the first precise clinical evaluation, performed under objective evaluation criteria, of sensory recovery achieved using a nerve tube, suggesting that the use of a polyglycolic acid-collagen tube has the potential to become a viable alternative to conventional autografting for the repair of peripheral nerve defects.
This article was published in Neurosurgery
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation