Regeneration and Recovery of Function

  • Rolfe Birch
  • Rolfe Birch
  • Rolfe Birch
  • Rolfe Birch


The fundamental cellular processes which underlie regeneration are similar in the laboratory, in the injuries of civilian practice and in the wounds of war, but they are modified by the violence of the injury, by the effects of injury on associated tissues and in particular by ischaemia and by delay before repair. It is important to remember the differences between the laboratory investigation, in which a controlled, precise and limited lesion is inflicted upon a nerve and the situation faced by the clinician presented with a patient with a massive wound involving the soft tissues, the skeleton, the vessels and sometimes by other injuries which threaten life and limb. The demonstration of regenerating axons across a lesion of a nerve inflicted in the laboratory does not necessarily translate to the recovery of function in the human. The phenomena of pain and recovery of sensation are rather poorly revealed by experiments upon small mammals or for that matter by barely justifiable experimentation upon primates.


Sciatic Nerve Schwann Cell Brachial Plexus Ulnar Nerve Radial Nerve 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolfe Birch
    • 1
    • 4
  • Rolfe Birch
    • 2
  • Rolfe Birch
    • 3
  • Rolfe Birch
    • 5
  1. 1.Neurological Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity CollegeLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Academic NeurologyImperial CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.Department Peripheral Nerve Injury UnitRoyal National Orthopaedic HospitalLondonUK
  4. 4.Honorary Orthopaedic Surgeon to the RoyalNavyUK
  5. 5.War Nerve Injury ClinicDefence Medical Rehabilitation CentreSurreyUK

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