Regeneration and repair of peripheral nerves: clinical implications in facial paralysis surgery
Hontanilla B, Vidal A.
Servicio de Cirugía Plástica, Reparadora y Estética, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona.
Peripheral nerve lesions are one of the most frequent causes of chronic incapacity. Upper or lower limb palsies due to brachial or lumbar plexus injuries, facial paralysis and nerve lesions caused by systemic diseases are one of the major goals of plastic and reconstructive surgery.
However, the poor results obtained in repaired peripheral nerves during the Second World War lead to a pessimist vision of peripheral nerve repair. Nevertheless, a well understanding of microsurgical principles in reconstruction and molecular biology of nerve regeneration have improved the clinical results.
Thus, although the results obtained are quite far from perfect, these procedures give to patients a hope in the recuperation of their lesions and then on function. Technical aspects in nerve repair are well established; the next step is to manipulate the biology. In this article we will comment the biological processes which appear in peripheral nerve regeneration, we will establish the main concepts on peripheral nerve repair applied in facial paralysis cases and, finally, we will proportionate some ideas about how clinical practice could be affected by manipulation of the peripheral nerve biology.
CITATION Rev Med Univ Navarra. 2000 Jan-Mar;44(1):35-46