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Surgery for neuritis in leprosy: indications for and results of different types of procedures

R Bernardin, B Thomas
Leprosy Review 1997, 68 (2): 147-54
From December 1988 to December 1992, 129 surgical procedures were performed on the peripheral nerves of 64 leprosy patients at the Hospital Cardinal Léger de l'Institut Fame Pereo for leprosy control in Haiti. Sixty-four patients totalizing 129 nerves with sufficient clinical data form the basis of this study. Based on the retrospective analysis of the operated cases, a new classification built on macroscopic findings of the involved nerves is presented. Five grades, according to the presenting aspects of these nerves, are set up as guides for different surgical procedures to be performed on the nerves: external decompression for the lesser grades I and II, intraneural neurolysis, interfascicular neurolysis for the higher grades III and IV, cleaning, and debridement for grade V. The final results are discussed. This new macroscopic grading done at surgery helps to minimize the aggressive procedures performed on nerve trunks, decrease the morbidity of surgical action on the nerve vascular structures, and consequently, preserves all possible sensory and motor functions of a nerve.

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