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Tohoku J Exp Med. 2005 Mar;205(3):269-75.

Prognostic factors for the surgical management of peripheral nerve lesions.

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Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey.


Although the evaluation and treatment of patients with peripheral nerve injuries has evolved and improved over the years, there are still some arguments on the methods and results of surgery. We reviewed retrospectively the clinical, electrophysiological and surgical characteristics of peripheral nerve lesions for 1,636 nerves in 1,565 patients who had been managed in our department in a 10-year period. The most common cause of injuries was gunshot wound in 56.3% of all patients, followed by sharp lacerations (20.6%), fractures (10.6%) and tractions (5.1%). Among 1,636 cases of nerve injuries, the most frequently wounded nerve was median nerve (32.3%), followed by ulnar (24.1%), radial (12.1%), sciatic (10.7%) and peroneal nerves (7.7%), and brachial plexus (7.7%). Simple decompression was the most preferred technique for nerve repair in 27.8%. The electrophysiological improvement was observed in 66.8%, as assessed by electromyography. Clinical improvement was found in 58.4%, as judged by muscle strength grading. If the nerve is compressed or contused, but remains intact, the improvement is satisfactory after surgery. The type of injury, its time of occurrence, initial deficit, and degree of recovery expected are important issues in establishing the treatment plan, which may range from skilled observation to extensive surgical intervention.

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