A longitudinal, functional study of peripheral nerve recovery in the mouse

Mike Yao, Michelle M. Inserra, Michael J. Duh, David J. Terris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objectives: To verify the validity of the recently described sciatic functional index for mice to monitor neuronal functional recovery over time using a blinded, randomized, and controlled evaluation. Study Design:Surgery was performed on the left sciatic nerves of 62 C57/BL mice after randomly assigning them to one of four surgical groups: sham surgery, sciatic nerve crush, nerve transection without repair, and nerve transection followed by epineurial suture repair. Sciatic functional indices were measured before surgery and then after surgery at 10-day intervals for 90 days, using a previously described formula. Results:Sham surgery did not affect nerve function when compared with preoperative values (P >. 24). Crush surgery produced a reversible nerve injury that fully recovered after 20 days. Nerve transection without repair resulted in complete functional disability without recovery of function during the 90-day follow-up interval. When transected nerves were repaired, complete functional disability was noted at day 10, with subsequent functional recovery to 26% of function at day 30. This level of recovery persisted until the 60th postoperative day when muscle contractures resulted in progressive worsening of the index. There were statistically significant differences between the sciatic functional indices of each of the groups (P <. 05). Conclusions:The previously described sciatic functional index for mice is an accurate indicator of the level of sciatic neuronal function during recovery. This index represents a method of evaluating neuronal function that may provide a better reflection of the recovery parameters that are important in clinical situations. The sciatic functional index will allow for study of sciatic nerve functional recovery in genetically engineered transgenic mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1145
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Mice
  • functional index
  • nerve regeneration
  • sciatic nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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