Cortical reintegration of a replanted hand and an osseointegrated thumb prosthesis

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Following a peripheral nerve repair the injured nerve has to re-innervate its original cortical area, a process, which is poorly understood. Errors in this cortical re-innervation have been suggested as one key reason for the generally poor clinical outcome following nerve injuries in the hand. METHOD: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to assess cortical reintegration following amputation and reattachment of bodyparts in two different situations: a patient with a hand amputation followed by immediate surgical replantation and a patient with an osseointegrated thumb prosthesis. FINDINGS: The primary motor cortex rapidly returns to a normal activation pattern after amputation followed by replantation or application of an osseointegrated prosthesis. The primary somatosenory cortex changes from an initial ipsilateral to a bilateral activation pattern. Sensory stimulation of an osseointegrated prosthesis also shows a bilateral activation pattern in the primary somatosenory cortex. CONCLUSIONS: The primary motor cortex shows a more normal activation pattern possibly because most muscles controlling the hand are proximal to the injury and can be activated after an amputation. The primary somatosensory cortex reorganises more and the activation pattern is more bilateral compared to a healthy hand. This bilateral activation pattern could represent a compensatory mechanism for the inferior tactile function in the replanted hand and the osseointegrated prosthesis.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-112
JournalActa Neurochirurgica. Supplementum
Volume100
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Reconstructive Surgery (013240300), Hand Surgery Research Group (013241910)