Poor electroneurography but excellent hand function 31 years after nerve repair in childhood.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Children, in contrast to adults, show an excellent clinical recovery after a peripheral nerve injury, which may be explained by better peripheral nerve regeneration and a superior plasticity in the young brain. Our aim was to study the long-term electrophysiological outcome after nerve repair in children and young adults and to compare it with the clinical outcome. Forty-four patients, injured at an age younger than 21 years, were assessed by electrophysiology (amplitude, conduction velocity and distal motor latency) at a median of 31 years after a complete median or ulnar nerve injury at the level of the forearm. Electrophysiological evaluation showed pathology in all parameters and in all patients, irrespective of age at injury. No significant differences were observed in the electrophysiological results between those injured in childhood, that is, before the age of 12 years, and those injured in adolescence, that is, between 12 and 20 years of age. In contrast, the clinical nerve function was significantly better for those injured in childhood (87% of complete recovery, P=0.002) compared with those injured in adolescence. We conclude that the mechanism behind the superior clinical outcome in children is not located at the periphery, but is explained by cerebral plasticity.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Anette Chemnitz, 2013, Hand Surgery Research Group. 63 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

View all (1)