J Reconstr Microsurg 2009; 25(1): 055-061
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1103505
© Thieme Medical Publishers

The Clinical Use of Artificial Nerve Conduits for Digital Nerve Repair: A Prospective Cohort Study and Literature Review

Jörn A. Lohmeyer1 , 2 , Frank Siemers1 , Hans-Günther Machens1 , 2 , Peter Mailänder1
  • 1Plastic Surgery, Hand Surgery, Burn Unit, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Luebeck, Germany
  • 2Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
26 November 2008 (online)


Tubulization as an alternative to autologous nerve grafting successfully bridges relatively short nerve gaps. Digital nerve lesions are ideal for clinical outcome studies, but only a few data have been published so far. We are presenting our clinical experiences based on a review of the outcome and techniques in the current literature. Fifteen digital nerve lesions in 14 patients have been overcome by interpositional grafting of a hollow collagen I conduit. A follow-up of 12 months could be guaranteed in 12 cases. The mean nerve gap was 12.5 ± 3.7 mm. Four out of 12 patients, assessed 12 months postoperatively, showed excellent sensibility (S4). Five patients achieved good sensibility, one poor, and two no sensibility. Our results confirm tubulization as one possible technique in nerve reconstruction. However, the indication has to be set carefully, and the operation still requires solid microsurgical skills, especially for proper handling and debridement of the severed nerve endings.


Jörn Lohmeyer, M.D. 

Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich, Klinik und Poliklinik für Plastische Chirurgie und Handchirurgie

Ismaninger Str. 22, Munich 81675, Germany

Email: lohmeyer@lrz.tum.de