A new method to shorten the length of nerve graft and to secure the nerve repair (an intraoperative experience based on 30 cases of obstetrical brachial plexus palsy)

Suleiman F.A., Al-Rousan F.M.


Purpose: to compare the result of using a stay stitch to bridge the nerve gaps with repair the nerve gap without using a stay stitch, to compare both ways on the length of graft, number of grafts and number of cables per graft.
Methods: a comparative study between 2 groups of babies with OBPP in which each group consists of 15 infants. In all the patients in both groups, neuroma excision and nerve grafting was indicated. In group (A) the defects were measured directly after neuroma excision without any attempts to approximate the retracted ends of the nerves, this was followed by reconstruction of the gaps by cable grafts from the sural nerves using fibrin glue. Conversely, in group (B) we took measurements of the defects after using 1 or 2 bridging stay sutures through the posterior aspect of the epineurium just to overcome the retracted distance without any further tension on the nerve. This also was followed by reconstruction of the gaps by cable nerve grafts with the aid of fibrin glue.
Results: in group (B), the cable grafts length can be shortened from (29.6mm to 14.2 mm) with average of (15.4 mm). The number of cables per graft increase from 2.2 to 3.2. The number of grafts used in reconstruction of the brachial plexus were more in group B than in group A.
Conclusions: A simple bridging stay suture can prevent retraction of the nerve ends after repair with fibrin glue, working as an internal splintage to the repair site, decrease the length of the cable graft, increase the number of cables per graft, gives more opportunity to make more nerve grafts and the surgeon feel that his repair is more secure.


birth palsy, brachial plexus, Fibrin Glue ,obstetrical palsy, peripheral nerve, stay stitch


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