Acellular Dermal Matrix as an Adjunct in Treatment of Neuropathic Pain at the Wrist

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Abstract

Background:

Traumatic or surgical injury to superficial sensory nerves at the wrist can lead to significant morbidity. Multiple treatment modalities have been proposed, including the use of flap coverage to provide soft-tissue padding and decrease tactile irritation. In this report, acellular dermal matrix (AlloDerm) was used as an alternative to flap coverage, thereby avoiding the need for a donor site.

Methods:

Five patients with postsurgical and five patients with posttraumatic neuropathic pain at the wrist underwent neuroma excision and/or neurolysis followed by interposition of acellular dermal matrix allograft between skin and nerve.

Results:

Patients were followed from 12 to 25 months and demonstrated substantial improvement in pain. Eight previously employed patients returned to their prior occupations.

Conclusions:

Dermal matrix allograft may provide cushioning and/or a gliding surface for the nerve and represents a simple alternative to flap coverage in the treatment of neuropathic pain at the wrist.

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