Motor nerve regeneration across a conduit

Microsurgery. 2009;29(2):107-14. doi: 10.1002/micr.20580.


A 3-cm gap in the ulnar nerve at the elbow in a subhuman primate was the first model of nerve regeneration across a polyglycolic, bioabsorbable conduit. When a prospective trial was begun in humans, the first clinically available bioabsorbable conduit, the Neurotube, was utilized to reconstruct sensory nerves, but motor nerve injuries were not included. Thus, we sought to evaluate our patients with short-gap motor nerve injuries repaired with bioabsorbable conduits. We performed a retrospective chart review of all patients with bioabsorbable nerve conduit repair of short-gap motor nerve injuries over a 7-year period--six patients were identified. All patients had some return of motor function. Our case series, along with the nonhuman primate studies and other human reports, demonstrates that motor nerves will regenerate through bioabsorbable conduits and will reinnervate appropriate motor-target end-organs if they can reach them within an appropriate time frame for persistence of the motor-endplates.

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Endplate / physiopathology
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Nerve Regeneration* / physiology
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries*
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Tissue Scaffolds*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Polyglycolic Acid