Peripheral nerve surgery is complex from both the diagnostic and management perspectives. Because it is a young field with new techniques constantly in development, few surgeons are exposed to the full range of nerve surgery techniques during training. And after training, few opportunities exist for mastering the full range of those new techniques or for incorporating them into routine practice.
This educational website was developed to review established practices and to provide detailed information about many of the newer ideas and techniques now being used in peripheral nerve surgery. Dr. William W. Campbell, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, through the Comprehensive National Neuroscience Program and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, provided start-up funds for this project. A key impetus for this project is the urgent need to develop and disseminate better strategies for treating wounded soldiers returning from continuing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many advances in medicine stem from a desire to improve outcomes of wounded men and women who sustain devastating injuries from warfare. Some of those injuries to peripheral nerves can lead to loss of function. However, newer techniques – in particular, nerve transfers – described on this website can improve patient outcomes by restoring some degree of function. Nerve transfer is but one new modality for treating severely damaged peripheral nerves. This website describes it and many others for treating these challenging problems, and should prove helpful for a range of specialists, including plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and general surgeons among the many health care providers taking care of patients with severe peripheral nerve injuries.