February 19, 1944


JAMA. 1944;124(8):512. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850080040014

Injuries to peripheral nerves constituted approximately 2 per cent of all injuries during the first world war,1 and their repair is one of the most important problems in military surgery. Complete restoration of function occurs in only a minority of cases of nerve injury. Many factors may influence recovery after severed nerves have been sutured. Unfavorable results may be caused (a) by long delays, so that atrophy of end organs or muscles occurs before the proper surgical treatment is instituted, and (b) in cases in which there is extensive damage to nerves, particularly when complicated by impairment of their blood supply or infection. With regard to the surgical technic, the functional results may be influenced by the method of joining the nerve ends.

The conventional method of repairing severed nerves is by the use of thread suture, generally silk. The objections to this method of apposing nerve ends are

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