Despite advances in surgery, the reconstruction of segmental nerve injuries continues to pose challenges. In this review, current neurobiology regarding regeneration across a nerve defect is discussed in detail. Recent findings include the complex roles of nonneuronal cells in nerve defect regeneration, such as the role of the innate immune system in angiogenesis and how Schwann cells migrate within the defect. Clinically, the repair of nerve defects is still best served by using nerve autografts with the exception of small, noncritical sensory nerve defects, which can be repaired using autograft alternatives, such as processed or acellular nerve allografts. Given current clinical limits for when alternatives can be used, advanced solutions to repair nerve defects demonstrated in animals are highlighted. These highlights include alternatives designed with novel topology and materials, delivery of drugs specifically known to accelerate axon growth, and greater attention to the role of the immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-739
Number of pages14
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • acellular nerve allograft
  • autograft
  • nerve gap
  • nerve guidance conduit
  • peripheral nerve


Dive into the research topics of 'Advances in the repair of segmental nerve injuries and trends in reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this