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Peroneal Nerve Repair with Cross-Bridge Ladder Technique: Parallel End-to-Side Neurorrhaphies
Background Multiple nerve transfer techniques are used to treat patients with nerve injuries when a primary repair is not possible. These techniques are categorized to end-to-end, end-to-side, and side-to-side neurorrhaphy. Our study aims to explore the utility of the cross-bridge ladder technique (H-shaped), which has shown promising results in animal models and probably underutilized clinically.
Methods Four patients with significant loss of ankle dorsiflexion were seen in the clinic and underwent evaluation, including electrodiagnostic studies. A cross-bridge ladder repair technique was used between the tibial nerve as the donor and the common peroneal nerve as the recipient via one or two nerve grafts coapted in parallel with end-to-side neurorrhaphies. Dorsiflexion strength was measured preoperatively using the Medical Research Council (MRC) grading system and at each postoperative follow-up appointment.
Results All four patients had suffered persistent and severe foot drop (MRC of 0) following trauma that had occurred between 6 and 15 months preoperatively. Three of the four patients improved to an MRC of 2 several months postoperatively. The last patient had an immediate improvement to an MRC of 2 by his first month and had a complete recovery of ankle dorsiflexion within 4 months from surgery.
Conclusion We demonstrate the utility and clinical outcomes of the cross-bridge ladder technique in patients with persistent and prolonged foot drop following trauma. Both early and late recovery were seen while all patients regained motor function, with some patients continuing to improve up to the most recent follow-up.
IRB Approval: Obtained 2013–1411-CP005
None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the products, devices, or drugs mentioned in this manuscript.
Received: 22 October 2022
Accepted: 25 April 2023
Article published online:
23 May 2023
© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
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