Surgical treatment of peripheral nerve injuries: Better outcomes with intraoperative NAP recordings

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2021 Sep;27(5):510-515. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2020.95702.


Background: Peripheral nerve injuries are usually not lethal but may cause serious neurological deficits if not treated properly. The aim of this study is to present our patients who underwent surgical treatment for peripheral nerve trauma in the past 10 years and to discuss their results in light of the literature.

Methods: The clinical and electrophysiological results of 182 patients who underwent surgical treatment in our department between 2010 and 2019 were retrospectively analyzed. All surgeries were performed using intraoperative nerve action potentials (NAP) recordings. Demographic characteristics, etiologies, surgical timing, and results of surgical treatment were recorded.

Results: A total of 199 surgical interventions were performed in 182 patients with peripheral nerve trauma within 10 years. 162 patients were male, 20 were female and the mean age was 29.34 years for males and 30.2 years for females. The sciatic nerve trauma was the most common in men and peroneal nerve injury women. The most common cause of trauma was gunshot wounds in menand blunt/sharp traumas in women. External and internal neurolysis was the most common surgical technique, followed by epineural anastomosis and sural nerve grafting. 155 of 182 patients showed partial neurological improvement within 3 months after surgery, while 27 had no change in their neurological condition.

Conclusion: Men are more frequently exposed to peripheral nerve trauma than women. Severe partial nerve lesions mostly benefit from surgical treatment, and neurolysis has become the most preferred method of surgical treatment. Intraoperative NAP recordings provide better clinical outcomes. Neurological improvement may not always be in correlation with electrophysiological improvement.