The purpose of this study was to analyze morphological changes in the sural nerve which resulted from nerve harvesting using two methods; parallel transverse incisions (PTI) and longitudinal incisions (LI) and to evaluate the influence of those changes on the quality of sensory and motor recovery. Out of 617 patients with nerve injuries, 40 patients with an injury of the ulnar or median nerve in the distal part of the forearm and a nerve gap ranging from 4 to 6 cm were enrolled in this study. They were divided into two groups of 20 patients each. In group I the sural nerve was harvested using LI and in group II using PTI. Electron microscopy revealed considerable structural damage in the nerves harvested with PTI, while nerves harvested with LI showed little signs of damage. Patients in group I, in whom LI was used, also had better motor and sensory recovery.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 2003
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