Nerve Grafting for Pressure Sore Prevention
Pressure sores are extremely common among individuals with spinal cord injuries, resulting from decreased mobility and a lack of sensibility. After a spinal cord injury, messages from the sensory nerves to the brain that indicate pain or discomfort may be disrupted. Without these signals, individuals may not realize that harm is occurring from too much pressure on the skin for too long. Patients with spinal cord injuries also face a high rate of pressure ulcer recurrence, potentially leading to hospitalizations and additional complications.
The standard treatment for pressure ulcers does not address the underlying contributing factor, protective sensibility. Recurrent pressure sores become very difficult to treat unless sensibility can be returned to areas where the pressure sores are located. In the past, the idea of recovering sensibility in paralyzed individuals was believed to be impossible.
The doctors at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction perform a groundbreaking procedure intended to restore sensibility to the hip and buttock areas in paraplegics with recurrent pressure sores. During this procedure, nerve grafting is performed to restore sensibility in conjunction with flap surgery to treat the pressure sore. This procedure provides a long term solution to not only treat pressure ulcers, but to prevent recurrence.