Nerve Transfers-A Paradigm Shift in the Reconstructive Ladder

Leahthan F. Domeshek, Christine B. Novak, J. Megan M. Patterson, Jessica M. Hasak, Andrew Yee, Lorna C. Kahn, Susan E. MacKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Summary: In this review, we present the current role of nerve transfers in the management of nerve injuries. The outcome of a literature review comparing the results of nerve graft versus nerve transfer and the experience of select surgical societies' members regarding experience and adoption of nerve transfer are reported. Nerve transfer publications have increased more than nerve graft or repair articles. The surgeon survey revealed an increase in nerve transfers and that more motor nerve transfers have been adopted into practice compared to sensory nerve transfers. The meta-analyses and systematic reviews of motor nerve transfers for shoulder and elbow function presented variable outcomes related to donor nerve selection. Comprehensive patient assessment is essential to evaluate the immediate functional needs and consider future reconstruction that may be necessary. Optimal outcome following nerve injury may involve a combination of different surgical options and more than one type of reconstruction. Nerve transfer is a logical extension of the paradigm shift from nerve repair and nerve graft and offers a new rung on the reconstruction ladder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E2290
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


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