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It may be stated without fear of successful contradiction that the subject of injury to peripheral nerves is one which has not received any very extensive consideration from surgeons. It is indeed true that the frequency of nerve injury is not great when compared with injury to bone, muscle, artery or vein, but when such an injury does occur, especially if to a principal nerve, the importance of the injury is unquestioned. If a motor nerve be divided, its function throughout the area of its distribution is at once arrested, and this loss of function, excepting some slight restoration which may come from anastomosing branches, remains until the continuity of the nerve fibers has been re-established.
The opinion almost universally held by pathologists and surgeons is that certain characteristic changes occur in a peripheral nerve after division, these changes being more pronounced in the terminal than in the central portion
LEVINGS AH. INJURY TO PERIPHERAL NERVES AND THEIR SURGICAL TREATMENT. JAMA. 1898;XXXI(8):407–409. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.92450080033001j
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