We have applied a new technique of nerve repair, based on the principles of "cell surgery", to ten nerve lesions of the upper limb. Eight lesions were recent, five to 36 hours; they were divisions of the ulnar nerve (1), median nerve (2), sensory radial nerve (1), palmar and digital nerves (4). One lesion was 15 days old (median nerve). One eight-month-old loss of 4.5 cm. of the median nerve was grafted. In nine out of the ten cases, the short-term results were encouraging. Poor local conditions (fibrosis of the nerve bed) or poor general health (chronic alcoholism) had no adverse influence on the results. In the remaining case, the protocol was not followed in its entirety: it was not possible to crystallise properly the nerve, and trimming was done with scissors in the conventional way instead of smoothly trimming the solidified tips. The functional result in this case is a failure. These preliminary results seem to indicate that correctly applying the technique in its entirety may be more important than local conditions. We think that this technique can be applied to the majority of nerve lesions. The appropriate equipment is absolutely necessary in order to apply the method. © 1991.
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