Background: Short-gap digital nerve injuries are a common surgical problem, but the optimal treatment modality is unknown. A multicenter database was queried and analyzed to determine the outcomes of nerve gap reconstructions between 5 and 15 mm with processed nerve allograft.
Methods: The current RANGER registry is designed to continuously monitor and compile injury, repair, safety, and outcomes data. Centers followed their own standard of care for treatment and follow-up. The database was queried for digital nerve injuries with a gap between 5 and 15 mm reporting sufficient follow-up data to complete outcomes analysis. Available quantitative outcome measures were reviewed and reported. Meaningful recovery was defined by the Medical Research Council Classification (MRCC) scale at S3-S4 for sensory function.
Results: Sufficient follow-up data were available for 24 subjects (37 repairs) in the prescribed gap range. Mean age was 43 years (range, 23-81). Mean gap was 11 ± 3 (5-15) mm. Time to repair was 13 ± 42 (0-215) days. There were 25 lacerations, 8 avulsion/amputations, 2 gunshots, 1 crush injury, and 1 injury of unknown mechanism. Meaningful recovery, defined as S3-S4 on the MRCC scales, was reported in 92% of repairs. Sensory recovery of S3+ or S4 was observed in 84% of repairs. Static 2PD was 7.1 ± 2.9 mm (n = 19). Return to light touch was observed in 23 out of 32 repairs reporting Semmes-Weinstein monofilament outcomes (SWMF). There were no reported nerve adverse events.
Conclusion: Sensory outcomes for processed nerve allografts were equivalent to historical controls for nerve autograft and exceed those of conduit. Processed nerve allografts provide an effective solution for short-gap digital nerve reconstructions.
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