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June 1971

On a Method of Evaluating the Success of a Nerve Suture

Author Affiliations

From the Medical Polyclinic of Wurzburg

Arch Neurol. 1971;24(6):573-574. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00480360107015

This discussion concerns observations made on the wounded in military hospitals in Wurzburg, some of whom undergo electrical stimulation and regular observation at the Medical Polyclinic.

Nerve injuries impose a great demand on the patience of both doctor and patient. Even after a successful nerve suture, restitution of function can be expected only after several weeks. It would be a great comfort to the patient if one could evaluate the success of the suture early in the course. The following will show that this is possible in many cases by a very simple technique.

Let us suppose that the radial nerve is severed by a bullet in the middle of the arm and that the nerve is then sutured. Naturally a long period of time must pass until movement can return to the paralyzed muscles, since the nerve fibers have to grow from the proximal stump to the muscles.

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