Nerve Graft Surgery in India

What is nerve transfer?

Nerve transfer surgery is a procedure when you have a nerve injury and it is resulting in a complete loss of muscle functions or sensations. In this procedure, the less important nerves are taken from a part of your body and transferred with the more crucial nerve which has been damaged. The nerve which has been rerouted or transferred performs the function. Spinal cord injury at the cervical level can significantly affect function. Nerve transfer surgery can only be beneficial for patients with specific types of spinal cord injury. It is performed when a patient has quadriplegia with a spinal cord injury at the mid-cervical motor level.

Almost half of the spinal cord injuries occur in the cervical spine and it causes tetraplegia or paralysis in all four limbs. In tetraplegia, the patients are dependent on the use of the upper side for the movement and functionalities in their day to day activities, such as writing, eating, self-catheterization, etc. Hand function is considered as the most desired function for the patient with tetraplegia, which is above bladder function, sexual function, standing, and other functions. It has been seen that restoring arm functions can have a big impact on improving one’s quality of life.

Nerve transfer in spinal cord injury

The spinal cord is a part of the nervous system when cells are injured or damaged in the spinal cord, these neither can be repaired. Nerves that leave the spinal cord above the level of injury allows you to have control over the muscles. On the other hand, nerves leaving the spinal cord below the level of injury are not connected to the brain, hence, the brain is no longer able to send a signal to the nerve, to control the muscles.

Causes of spinal cord injury

  • A violent attack such as a stabbing or a gunshot.
  • A hard-hitting at the bottom of the swimming pool, while diving into the water.
  • Automobile accident causing injury to the neck, back or chest area.
  • Falling from a significant height.
  • Head or spinal injuries.
  • Electrical accidents
  • Severe twisting of the middle of the trunk/ torso.

What are the symptoms of spinal cord injury?

  • It can affect walking.
  • No or losing control of the bladder.
  • Not being able to perform the hand or leg movements.
  • Numbness or tingling feeling in the extremities.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Headache
  • Feelings of pain and stiffness in the back or neck area.
  • Dispositioning of the head.

Types of Nerve Transfers

There are two types of nerve, motor and sensory and the nerve transferred is performed on the basis of its type. The transfer of motor nerves aims to restore the movements and the dislocations. On the other hand, the sensory nerves aim to recover the protective sensation, avoiding skin ulcerations, and partially helps with the control of neuropathic pain.

  • End-to-end anastomosis: In this type, the distal stump of the donor’s nerve is coapted with the proximal stump of the receiving one. It is the only successful option in restoring of the motor nerves.
  • End-to-side anastomosis:In this type, the proximal stump of an injured nerve is coapted to the side of the healthy proximal stump post creating an epineurial window in it.
  • Reverse end-to-side anastomosis: A healthy nerve is cut across and coapted to the side of the damaged nerve. This helps to grow the axon of the healthy nerve to grow inside the injured/ damaged one.
  • Single nerve transfer : When only one nerve transfer is performed, it is known as a single nerve transfer.
  • Dual nerve transfer :When two different nerve transfers are performed to attain the same function, it is known as dual nerve transfer.
  • Direct nerve transfer: There is no nerve graft is interposed, the donor and recipient nerves are coapted directly.

How treatment is performed?

Nerve transfers are performed in the operating room under the general anesthesia and it is performed with the neurosurgical techniques. The surgeon makes an incision on the skin and expose the healthy nerve (to be transferred) and injured nerve. Electrical devices are used to check the functionality and health condition of the nerve. The surgeon transfers the donor nerve to the injured nerve and coapts to the injured nerve. The nerves grow in the spinal cord through the tunnel provided by the injured nerve. The incisions are then closed by the surgeon.

Cost of nerve transfer after spinal cord injury

The nerve transplant cost or nerve graft surgery cost in India varies with the clinical institutes. However, the cost of nerve transfers after spinal cord injuries depends on its complications. You can contact us to know the charges of your treatment by contacting us.

Dr. (Prof.) Sumit Sinha is one of the best neurosurgeons in Delhi (India). He has vast experience of over 17 years in the field of Neurosurgery. He is also one of the most awarded neurosurgeons in Gurgaon and Delhi. Your search for the best neurosurgeon in India ends here. Please contact us.

Lecturing on Minimally invasive spinal surgery at recently concluded meeting by Artemis hospitals Gurugram.