The early history of tubulation in nerve repair

Ijpma, F. F. A., Van DE Graaf, R. C. & Meek, M. F., 18-Nov-2008, In : Journal of Hand Surgery: European Volume. 33, 5, p. 581-586 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

The first experiments for bridging peripheral nerve gaps using nerve tubulation emerged in the 19th century. Because Gluck (1853-1942) is said to have performed the first animal experiment of nerve tubulation in 1880, it is interesting to explore the background and veracity of this claim. The original documents on nerve tubulation in the 19th century were studied. We conclude that the conduit that was initially used for nerve tubulation was derived from a resorbable decalcified bone tube developed for wound drainage by Neuber (1850-1932) in 1879. Gluck proposed the use of the bone tube as a guided conduit for regenerating nerves in 1881 but stated briefly that his experiments failed because of scar formation. Vanlair (1839-1914) documented the first successful application of nerve tubulation using a bone tube to bridge a 3 cm sciatic nerve defect in a dog in 1882.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-586
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery: European Volume
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 18-Nov-2008


  • Gluck, History, Nerve surgery, Nerve tubulation, Neuber, Vanlair

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