Neuroma formation often occurs at the proximal stump of the transected nerve, complicating the healing process after gap injuries or nerve biopsies. Most such neuromas cause therapy-resistant neuropathic pain. The purpose of this study was to determine whether oblique transection of the proximal stump of the sciatic nerve can prevent neuroma formation.
The sciatic nerves of 10 rats were transected unilaterally at an angle of 30°, and the peripheral segments of the nerves were removed. In 10 control animals the sciatic nerves were transected at a perpendicular angle. Twenty weeks after surgery the nerves were reexposed and collected. The presence of neuromas was determined by two board-certified pathologists on the basis of histopathological evaluations.
The oblique transection of peripheral nerves, contrary to perpendicularly transected nerves, is rarely followed by classic neuroma development. Moreover, neuropathic pain is significantly reduced compared with that following the traditional method of nerve transection.