The effect of age on peripheral motor nerve function after crush injury in the rat

Bruce M. Belin, Douglas J. Ball, Jacob C. Langer, Peter M. Bridge, Patricia K. Hagberg, Susan E. Mackinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the ontogeny of functional recovery after peripheral nerve crush injury. Design: Comparative study in rats of varying ages. Materials and Methods: Sixty-second crush injury was performed on the left posterior tibial nerve. Control animals underwent either nerve transection or sham procedure. Nerve function was evaluated 2, 4, and 8 weeks following injury by walking track analysis. Print length ratio (PLR), (ratio of normal right-sided print length to experimental left-sided print length), was used to evaluate functional recovery. Measurements and Main Results: Two weeks after crush injury, adult rats experienced significantly greater functional impairment than both 4-day-old and 3-week-old animals (p < 0.05). Four weeks after injury, the difference in function between 4-day-old and adult rats and between 3-week-old and adult rats became insignificant. Complete recovery had been achieved by 8 weeks in all groups. Conclusions: These results demonstrate faster functional recovery after nerve injury in immature rats than in adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-777
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1996


  • Nerve function
  • Peripheral nerve injury
  • Walking track analysis


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