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March 1948

TENSILE STRENGTH OF HUMAN NERVES: An Experimental Physical and Histologic Study

Author Affiliations


From the Neurological and Neurosurgical Sections of Cushing General Hospital, Framingham, Mass., and the Neuropathological Section of the Wallace Research Laboratory, Wrentham, Mass.

Arch NeurPsych. 1948;59(3):322-336. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1948.02300380051004

GRAFTS of peripheral nerves across long gaps, except for the facial and the short finger nerves, were a dismal failure in the recent war, as they had been before. This was true of fresh homologous grafts (Spurling and associates1) and of our own attempts with dehydrated frozen grafts (Nulsen, Lewey and Van Wagenen). This sad experience, together with the urgent need of some kind of nerve repair, focused attention on the possibility of end to end sutures after extensive mobilization and transposition of the corresponding nerves in conjunction with maximal flexion of the extremities. Encouraging results with this procedure were reported by Naffziger,3 Platt,4 Platt and Bristow,5 Babcock,6 Forrester-Brown7 and, lately, Highet and Holmes.8 The last two authors followed the course of 42 patients operated on during this war at the Oxford Nerve Center for gaps of 1.5 to 11 cm. in practically

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