Is there a profit to use the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve as a graft source in digital nerve reconstruction?

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Abstract

Background:

The digital nerves are commonly injured in emergency hand surgery practice. Lateral antebrachial nerve is of the autologous graft options available in forearm for digital nerve reconstruction. In this report, we aimed the evaluation of this nerve as an autologous nerve source for digital nerve repair.

Patients and methods:

The overall sensorial results of the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve grafting and associated donor site morbidity in neglected digital nerve injuries of 15 patients in Zones 1 and 2 were evaluated Average length of the harvested lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve grafts was 1.81 cm (0.75–3 cm.).

Results:

Patients have been followed up for 20.7 months in average (range: 9.3–41 months). According to Highet and Sander criteria modified by Mackinnon and Dellon, nine patients were graded as S4, whereas six patients had S3+ values. According to modified ASSH guidelines for stratification of static 2PD results, excellent results were obtained in five patients, good results were achieved in eight patients and moderate results were obtained in two patients. Both the donor and recipient sites were evaluated with Semmes–Weinstein monofilament tests where satisfactory results have been obtained. Only two patients reported minimal cold intolerance at the donor site apart from the mild hypoesthesia noted at the anterolateral aspect of the middle forearm.

Conclusion:

Quite favorable clinical results with minimal donor site sensorial deficiency, anatomical and histomorphological similarity and being available in close location to surgical area brings up a matter to utilization of LABCN for digital nerve reconstruction. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery 34:367–371, 2014.

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