Treatment of peripheral nerve damage has typically been a transplantation of nerve grafts to help fill in large gap between nerves. However, this therapy is often disappointing-with further nerve damage, pain, and slow recovery often hindering recovery.
Short-term, low frequency electrical stimulation has recently been shown to help reconnect damaged nerve tissue. When the stumps of damaged nerves are briefly stimulated with electricity, the nerve stumps are triggered into regeneration. When electrical stimulation is combined with nerve reconstruction using grafts, both nerve density and myelination is increased even further. This therapy shows potential to be effective for peripheral nerve injury patients, not only in terms of nerve regeneration, but also in terms of functional outcome.
Haaster-Talini K, Schmitte R, Korte Nele, et al. Electrical stimulation accelerates aconal and functional peripheral nerve regeneration across long gaps. Journal of Neurotrauma. (March 2011).