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Use of Gore-Tex tubing as a conduit for inferior alveolar and lingual nerve repair: Experience with 6 cases

Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
DOI: 10.1053/joms.2001.22671
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Purpose: This report evaluates treatment outcomes associated with the use of Gore-Tex (GT; W.L. Gore & Associates, Flagstaff, AZ) vein graft tubing as a conduit for repair of inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) and lingual nerve (LN) continuity defects. Patients and Methods: Six patients (5 female and 1 male) with painful dysesthesia secondary to injuries of the IAN (n = 3) or LN (n = 3) underwent surgical exploration and resection of pathologic tissue. Reconstruction of the resultant continuity defects was performed using 3-mm diameter GT tubing sutured to the epineurium of the proximal and distal nerve trunks. Nerve reconstruction was performed an average of 20 months after injury (range, 4 to 48 months). Patients were tested before and after surgery with the following tests: subjective pain level using an analogue scale, sharp stimulus, touch, cold sensation, directional sense, and 2-point discrimination. Results: Four patients reported no change in subjective pain level, and 2 patients had minimal decrease in pain. Two patients reported some sensation to sharp stimulus, and 1 patient was hypersensitive. Three patients responded to touch, and 3 had no response. Four patients had no response to cold senstation, and 2 had a delayed response. Only 1 patient could detect brushstroke direction. Three patients had no response to 2-point discrimination, and 3 responded at greater than 20 mm. Conclusions: Use of GT tubing in this group of patients produced poor clinical outcomes and is not recommended for nerve reconstruction of IAN and LN continuity defects. © 2001 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

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