End-to-side nerve repair in a large animal model: how does it compare with conventional methods of nerve repair?

S J A Kettle, N E Starritt, M A Glasby, T E J Hems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A large animal (sheep) model was used to compare nerve axon regeneration and return of muscle function after a median-to-ulnar nerve end-to-side neurorrhaphy technique with conventional, clinically established, methods of nerve repair and untreated controls. Three groups of sheep were allocated to end-to-side repair (12 animals), a conventional method of nerve repair (18 animals), or a control group (eight animals). After a year nerve repairs were assessed electrophysiologically and histologically, and the muscles supplied by the repaired nerves were assessed physiologically. There were no significant differences in the outcomes of nerve repair between different conventional techniques. Half of the end-to-side nerve repairs supported nerve regeneration. The functional outcomes of the end-to-side repairs were inferior to conventional techniques which were, in turn, inferior to controls. End-to-side neurorrhaphy supported nerve regeneration, but the reliability of this technique is called into question and its use as a clinical tool can only be recommended as a salvage procedure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-202
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery (European Volume)
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Nerve repair
  • end to side
  • nerve regeneration
  • sheep model

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