Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 12, P1302-1308, December 2007

Peripheral nerve repair by means of a flexible biodegradable glass fibre wrap: A comparison with microsurgical epineurial repair

  • L.A. Jeans
    Corresponding author. Flat 1, 289 Castlemilk Road, Glasgow G44 4LE, Scotland, United Kingdom. Tel.: +44 7886088200; fax: +44 1382 425 644.
    Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, Scotland, United Kingdom

    Department of Plastic Surgery, Ninewells hospital, Ninewells Avenue, Dundee DD1 9SY, United Kingdom
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  • T. Gilchrist
    Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, Scotland, United Kingdom

    Giltech Ltd, 12 North Harbour Estate, Ayr KA8 8BN, Scotland, United Kingdom
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  • D. Healy
    Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, Scotland, United Kingdom

    Giltech Ltd, 12 North Harbour Estate, Ayr KA8 8BN, Scotland, United Kingdom
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Published:March 12, 2007DOI:


      In this study, a new technique for the repair of divided peripheral nerves using a flexible controlled-release glass wrap is described and its successful use is reported. Corglaes is a biodegradable and biocompatible glass which, when used as a solid glass tube form as a nerve conduit, allows nerve regeneration. It is now produced as a flexible, porous wrap (CRG-wrap). In this study, the CRG-wrap was used to repair divided median nerves in the upper forelimb of sheep. The wrap was secured in place around the divided nerve ends using fibrin glue or 6/0 polyglactin sutures. Microsurgical epineurial suturing was used to repair the same injury in another group. Twelve sheep were used in each group. A control group of sheep, on which no operations had been carried out, was also examined. The outcome of each repair was assessed at 7 months by measuring transcutaneous stimulated jitter (TSJ), maximum conduction velocity (CVmax), wet muscle mass and morphometric measurements. Testing was carried out on the limb that had been operated upon and the normal contralateral forelimb. The ratio of the measurements taken in the operated and the normal limb (the right and left forelimbs in the control group) was used when carrying out statistical analyses on the results. The mean and variance of the ratios of each of the measured variables in the three repair groups were similar suggesting that nerve regeneration had occurred to a similar degree in all the repair groups (analyses were carried out using one-way ANOVA and Scheffé's test, with statistical significance assumed at p<0.05). The repair of peripheral nerves using the CRG-wrap is easy to learn, quicker and cheaper than microsurgical epineurial suturing, and can be carried out by any surgeon with basic surgical skills. It was concluded that CRG-wrap is a useful alternative to microsurgical epineurial suturing for the repair of peripheral nerves.


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