Peripheral Nerve Regeneration: A Follow-Up Study of 3,656 World War II Injuries
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Peripheral Nerve Regeneration:
A Follow-Up Study of 3,656 World War II Injuries



In peacetime, the busiest civilian clinics do not see enough peripheral nerve injuries to permit authoritative conclusions to be drawn about their management. In World War I, large numbers of these injuries were skillfully cared for by a small group of pioneer neurosurgeons, but there was no comprehensive follow-up and the opportunity to use the experience to the fullest possible extent was lost.

The publication of Peripheral Nerve Regeneration: a Follow-Up Study marks the end of a huge clinical research program that began in 1943, in the course of World War II. The program was participated in by more than a hundred of the neurosurgeons who served in the Medical Corps, as well as by many neurologists, neuroanatomists, neurophysiologists, neuropathologists, physical therapists, statisticians, and representatives of the administrative personnel of every echelon of command in the Army Medical Corps. Later the program was also participated in by representatives of the Veterans Administration and the National Research Council.

The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the suites of peripheral nerve injuries sustained in World War II, with the hope of standardizing such treatment for future wars and, where possible, for similar injuries of civilian life. The secondary purpose of this study was to discover nerve injuries among veterans of all services that still required remedial measures. Peripheral Nerve Regeneration: a Follow-Up Study describes the final level of regeneration in representative cases of complete suture, neurolysis, and nerve graft, examines the apparent influence of gross characteristics or the legion, and or associated injuries, upon final result, and evaluates predictions of final recovery based on gross and histologic study of tissue removed at operation. The report of this study of postwar nerve regeneration provides for the surgeons of the future a body of information upon which they may guide repair of injured peripheral nerves and initiate needed orthopedic rehabilitation.


  • Health and Medicine — Medical Technologies and Treatments
  • Health and Medicine — Military and Veterans

Publication Info

699 pages | 5 x 8
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Suggested Citation

National Research Council. Peripheral Nerve Regeneration: A Follow-Up Study of 3,656 World War II Injuries. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1957.

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