A recent study reports promising results from a new surgical nerve repair technique that yields better results and is associated with fewer side effects than other existing techniques. The new technique, called processed nerve allograft, provides a better, more predictable and safer repair of nerve gap that often occurs with traumatic nerve injury. The findings were presented at the Annual Combined Meeting of the American Association for Hand Surgery, American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, and the American Society of the Peripheral Nerve.
Nerve grafting surgical technique has remained relatively unchanged for nearly 100 years, according to the researchers. The new nerve allograft approach uses human nerves harvested from cadavers. The nerves are processed to remove all cellular material, preserving their architecture while preventing disease transmission or allergic reactions. These can be used to repair nerve gaps from injuries that are not clean-cut, such as saw injuries, farm equipment injuries, and gunshot wounds. The principal investigator of the study describes the new technique as a "game-changer." A news story about the findings may be read here.