To date, reliable data to support the general use of biodegradable materials for bridging nerve defects are still scarce. We present the outcome of nerve regeneration following type I collagen conduit nerve repair in patients with large-diameter nerve gaps. Ten patients underwent nerve repair using a type I collagen nerve conduit. Patients were re-examined at a minimal follow-up of 14.0 months and a mean follow-up of 19.9 months. Regeneration of nerve tissue within the conduits was assessed by nerve conduction velocity (NCV), a static two-point discrimination (S2PD) test, and as disability of arm shoulder and hand (DASH) outcome measure scoring. Quality of life measures including patients’ perceived satisfaction and residual pain were evaluated using a visual analog scale (VAS). No implant-related complications were observed. Seven out of 10 patients reported being free of pain, and the mean VAS was 1.1. The mean DASH score was 17.0. The S2PD was below 6 mm in 40%, between 6 and 10 mm in another 40% and above 10 mm in 20% of the patients. Eight out of 10 patients were satisfied with the procedure and would undergo surgery again. Early treatment correlated with lower DASH score levels. The use of type I collagen in large-diameter gaps in young patients and early treatment presented superior functional outcomes.
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