Background: The forelimb amputee poses many reconstructive challenges in the clinical setting, and there is a paucity of established surgical models for study. To further elucidate the pathogenic process in amputation neuroma formation, we created a reproducible, well-tolerated rabbit forelimb amputation model.Methods: Upon approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, 5 New Zealand White rabbits underwent left forelimb amputation. During this initial surgery, the median, radial and ulnar nerves were transected 1.6-2.5 (mean 2.0) cm distal to the brachial plexus, transposed onto the anterior chest wall and preserved at length. Six weeks subsequent to the amputation, the distal 5 mm of each neuroma was excised, and the remaining stump underwent histomorphometric analysis.Results: The nerve cross sectional areas increased by factors of 1.99, 3.17, and 2.59 in the median (p = 0.077), radial (p < 0.0001) and the ulnar (p = 0.0026) nerves, respectively. At the axonal level, the number and cross-sectional area of myelinated fibers demonstrated an inverse relationship whereby the number of myelinated fibers in the median, radial and ulnar nerves increased by factors of 5.13 (p = 0.0043), 5.25 (p = 0.0056) and 5.59 (p = 0.0027), and the cross-sectional areas of these myelinated fibers decreased by factors of 4.62 (p < 0.001), 3.51 (p < 0.01), and 4.29 (p = 0.0259), respectively.Conclusion: Given that the surgical model appears well-tolerated by the rabbits and that patterns of morphologic change are consistent and reproducible, we are encouraged to further investigate the utility of this model in the pathogenesis of neuroma formation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Injury|
|State||Published - Mar 18 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology