Allison Perry

By

College: Medicine

UK Study Shows Promise for New Nerve Repair Technique

Published: Aug 8, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2014) ­– A multicenter study including University of Kentucky researchers found that a new nerve repair technique yields better results and fewer side effects than other existing techniques.

 

Traumatic nerve injuries are common, and when nerves are severed, they do not heal on their own and must be repaired surgically. Injuries that are not clean-cut – such as saw injuries, farm equipment injuries, and gunshot wounds – may result in a gap in the nerve.

 

To fill these gaps, surgeons have traditionally used two methods: a nerve autograft (bridging the gap with a patient's own nerve taken from elsewhere in the body), which leads to a nerve deficit at the donor site; or nerve conduits (synthetic tubes), which can cause foreign body reactions or infections.

 

The prospective, randomized study, conducted by UK Medical Director of Hand Surgery Service Dr. Brian Rinker and others, compared the nerve conduit to a newer technique called a nerve allograft. The nerve allograft uses human nerves harvested from cadavers. The nerves are processed to remove all cellular material, preserving their architecture while preventing disease transmission or allergic reactions.

 

Participants with nerve injuries were randomized into either conduit or allograft repair groups. Following the surgeries, independent blind observers performed standardized assessments at set time points to determine the degree of sensory or motor recovery.

 

The results of the study suggested that nerve allografts had more consistent results and produced better outcomes than nerve conduits, while avoiding the donor site morbidity of a nerve autograft.

 

Rinker, a principal investigator of the study, describes it as a "game-changer."

 

"Nerve grafting has remained relatively unchanged for nearly 100 years, and both of the existing nerve repair options had serious drawbacks," Rinker said. "Our study showed that the new technique processed nerve allograft ­– provides a better, more predictable and safer nerve gap repair compared to the previous techniques."

 

Rinker also noted that work is underway to engineer nerve allografts with growth factors which would guide and promote nerve regeneration, theoretically leading to even faster recoveries and better results.

 

Other medical centers participating in the trial included the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center in Indianapolis, Georgia Hand, Shoulder and Elbow in Atlanta, and the Curtis National Hand Center in Baltimore.

 

The study was funded by Axogen, Inc. Results were presented at the Annual Combined Meeting of the American Association for Hand Surgery, American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, and the American Society of the Peripheral Nerve. Rinker's paper was voted Outstanding Paper of the Joint Session. 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu

brian_rinker.jpg
December
 
1
Resumes and Cover Letters
Circle of Love Gift Return
Mon
2
UK Guitar Studio
Circle of Love Gift Return
Tue
3
Networking and Job Search
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Wayne's World
Study Sounds: Classical Concert
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Frozen
Ballet Music of Tchaikovsky
Circle of Love Gift Pick-Up
Live Screening of Orion Spacecraft Re-entry
Massage on the Go
Thu
5
LNFS Presents: Winter's Bone
LNFS Presents: Gremlins
Open Studio
Circle of Love Gift Pick-Up
Fri
6
Snow Skiing @ Perfect North Slopes
Sat
7
Free Holiday Shopping Shuttle to Fayette Mall
Sun
8
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find a Faculty Mentor"
Mon
9
Job Club - Identifying Your Skills
Paws for Stress Relief
Tue
10
 
Wed
11
 
Thu
12
Last Day of Classes
Fri
13
 
Sat
14
Free Holiday Shopping Shuttle to Fayette Mall
Finals Treats
Sun
15
Final Exams
Crunch Brunch
Mon
16
Final Exams
Jazzy Holiday Concert
Tue
17
Final Exams
Caregiver Support Group
Wed
18
Final Exams
Thu
19
Final Exams
End of 2014 Fall Semester
Fri
20
 
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
 
Mon
23
 
Tue
24
 
Wed
25
 
Thu
26
 
Fri
27
 
Sat
28
 
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
 
Tue
31
 
Wed
 
 
 
Dec 19
End of 2014 Fall Semester 12/19/2014

Fri, 12/19/2014

Wed, 01/14/2015

Fri, 01/16/2015

Wed, 01/21/2015

Reset Page