Although autogenous nerve grafting remains the gold standard for repair of peripheral nerve defects, the use of various conduits can be a substitute provided these conduits meet the above-mentioned prerequisites. For the moment, autogenous vein grafts or denatured muscle grafts can be used to bridge short defects, especially in distal sensory nerves. Incorporation of muscle into a vein graft expands its application to longer defects in bigger nerves. PGA conduits have also been clinically proven to be reliable in reconstruction of digital nerve defects. Although nonabsorbable conduits cause irritation and nerve compression that necessitates secondary surgery removal, silicone tubes or Goretex tubes can be used in selected cases until absorbable conduits large enough for major peripheral nerves are available. To date, 3 cm seems to be the barrier for conduits. Incorporation of trophic factors and Schwann cells into the conduits will make their way into the clinic if problems like controlled release of trophic factors, obtaining and sustenance of an appropriate number of viable Schwarm cells, are solved.
|Number of pages
|Operative Techniques in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
|Published - May 2002
ASJC Scopus subject areas