MICROSURGICAL TREATMENT OF INJURY TO PERIPHERAL NERVES IN UPPER AND LOWER LIMBS: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE LAST 8 YEARS


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Abstract

Nerve injuries to the upper and inferior limbs represent a common event due both to home and working accidents. Minor traumas can lead to severe disabilities if a wrong treatment is carried out. From 1997 to 2005, 920 patients were observed with a total of 1,200 major or minor nerves injuries operated. In 852 cases acute lesions treated. In 68 patients we reviewed old injuries. In 707 patients direct nerve suture and in 145 patients nerve grafts were carried out. One to 8 years follow up observed. Different protocols were adopted according to the injury: simple cut, complex lesion or surgical revision. Results were evaluated during the follow up period with different models: motor evaluation in six levels (BMRC), sensitive evaluation in five levels (HIGHET), and global evaluation with four grades (from the worst to the best result). Nerve healing is a complex biological phenomenon influenced by many parameters related both to the patient characteristics and nerve lesion. Functional and esthetical outcomes vary also according to: age, cultural and economic condition, health status, and smoking.1,2 Post operative rehabilitation is mandatory to obtain an acceptable functional result. Nerve injuries to the upper and inferior limbs represent a challenge for the microsurgeon. Ultimate success in nerve surgery is judged by functional as well as cosmetic parameters. Only patients with the appropriate indication should be operated and always by a skilled surgeon.

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