Saphenous nerve transfer: A new approach to restore sensation of the sole.

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TitleSaphenous nerve transfer: A new approach to restore sensation of the sole.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsAgarwal P, Shukla P, Sharma D
Abbrev. JournalJ Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg
JournalJournal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery : JPRAS
Year of Publication2018
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsHansen's disease, Leprosy, Loss of sensation, Nerve Transfer, Sensory neurotization, Trophic ulcers

BACKGROUND: Loss of protective sensation of the sole may lead to repeated trauma, chronic nonhealing ulcers, and even amputation. Saphenous nerve (SN) to posterior tibial nerve (PTN) transfer can restore sensation of the sole.

METHOD: This study was conducted in a tertiary referral center in Central India. Twenty-one patients (32 feet) diagnosed with loss of sensation of the sole were included in this study. Causes of loss of sensation were Hansen's disease (n = 18), complex sciatic nerve injury (n = 1), lumbosacral spinal tumor (n = 1), and lumbosacral meningomyelocele (n = 1). Seventeen feet (14 patients) had ulcers on the sole. Preoperative and postoperative sensory tests performed on the sole included tests for touch, pain, temperature, pressure, vibration, and two-point discrimination. Results were classified as per the British Medical Research Council (MRC) scoring system.

RESULTS: Seventeen patients (26 feet) were available for follow-up at 6 months after surgery. All patients had improvement in sensory parameters. Ulcers completely healed in 13 feet and reduced in size in four feet. MRC score improved from S0 in 22 feet and S1 in 10 feet to S3 + in 20 feet, S3 in four feet, and S2 in two feet.

CONCLUSIONS: Sensory neurotization with SN transfer to PTN can restore protective sensation to the sole and help in the healing of ulcers.

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