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Long-term clinical outcome after epineural coaptation of digital nerves


Fakin, R M; Calcagni, M; Klein, H J; Giovanoli, P (2016). Long-term clinical outcome after epineural coaptation of digital nerves. Journal of Hand Surgery, European Volume, 41(2):148-154.

Abstract

This study evaluates the long-term clinical outcome and complication rate after digital nerve repair in adults and aims to identify possible prognostic factors of sensory recovery. End-to-end epineural coaptation was performed under magnification. A total of 93 coapted digital nerves were clinically evaluated with a mean follow-up of 3.5 years (range 1-6 years). The mean two-point discrimination was 10.6 mm (versus 4.4 mm for the contralateral side). Cutaneous pressure threshold tested with Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments showed a mean value of 2.7 (versus 2.2 for the contralateral side). Only 2% of our patients developed painful neuromas. None of our patients recovered normal functional sensibility, however, recovery of protective sensation contributed to a high reported level of satisfaction. No correlation was observed between the sensory outcome and age, smoking, mechanism of injury, lesion to or anastomosis of a digital artery, or time of immobilization. The only identified predictor of the result was the surgeon's level of experience. This highlights the importance of adequate training and practice in the surgical repair of smaller peripheral nerves.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV.

Abstract

This study evaluates the long-term clinical outcome and complication rate after digital nerve repair in adults and aims to identify possible prognostic factors of sensory recovery. End-to-end epineural coaptation was performed under magnification. A total of 93 coapted digital nerves were clinically evaluated with a mean follow-up of 3.5 years (range 1-6 years). The mean two-point discrimination was 10.6 mm (versus 4.4 mm for the contralateral side). Cutaneous pressure threshold tested with Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments showed a mean value of 2.7 (versus 2.2 for the contralateral side). Only 2% of our patients developed painful neuromas. None of our patients recovered normal functional sensibility, however, recovery of protective sensation contributed to a high reported level of satisfaction. No correlation was observed between the sensory outcome and age, smoking, mechanism of injury, lesion to or anastomosis of a digital artery, or time of immobilization. The only identified predictor of the result was the surgeon's level of experience. This highlights the importance of adequate training and practice in the surgical repair of smaller peripheral nerves.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV.

Citations

2 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reconstructive Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:31 March 2016
Deposited On:15 Feb 2016 11:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:02
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0266-7681
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1753193415578986
PubMed ID:25827143

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