Two neurorrhaphy techniques were compared using six horses divided in three groups (G), based on the biopsy time. After neurectomy of the palmar digital nerves (DPN), two epineural sutures (ES) and two sutures with silicone tube (STS) were applied in each animal. All animals were evaluated monthly by sensitivity test and locomotor apparatus examination until collection of the suture sites by biopsy. Biopsy procedure was performed at 30 days post surgery in G1, 60 days in G2 and 180 days in G3. Grossly, the digital palmar nerve was involved by fibrous connective tissue. Microscopically, axonal growth in one sample from G1 and neuroma in samples from G1, G2 and G3 were observed. Proliferation of connective tissue occurred in all groups in repaired areas of ES and penetrated in the interior of STS tubes. Inflammatory cells, alterations of the proximal stump and degeneration of distal stump in ES and in STS were observed. Both techniques showed no satisfactory results regarding the degree of regeneration from proximal to distal stump.
horse; neurorrhaphy; neuroma; nerve repair; digital palmar nerve