Long-Term Outcomes of Digital Nerve Repair Accompanied by Digital Artery Injury in Flexor Zone 2
30 October 2019
16 September 2019
02 December 2019 (online)
Objectives Better healing results of any tissue or area is closely linked with a well-blood supply in reconstructive surgery. Peripheric nerve healing is closely related to blood supply as well. We aimed to assess whether there was any difference between digital nerve healing with and without extrinsic blood supply.
Methods We assessed 48 patients with unilateral digital nerve injury at zone 2. Twenty-four of them had unrepairable arterial injury and other 24 had no arterial injury. The 24 patients in the “unrepaired artery group” (UA) and 24 patients in the “intact artery group” (IA) were compared.
Results Mean follow-up time was 17.7 months. The mean two-point discrimination (2PD) was 5.29 mm in IA group and 5.37 mm in UA group. One neuroma in IA group and two neuromas in UA group were determined. We found no statistically significant difference between these groups in terms of neuroma, 2PD, and cold intolerance. The results of British Medical Research Council sensory recovery clinical scale were comparable for these two groups.
Conclusion Digital nerve healing is related to numerous factors. We hypothesized that blood flow may be one of these factors; however, at this zone digital artery repair is not the foremost determinant for digital nerve healing. Further researches should be done for upper injury levels. Despite this result, we argue not to leave the digital artery without repairment and we propose to repair both artery and nerve to achieve the normal anatomical integrity and to warrant finger blood flow in possible future injuries.
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