Scientists have developed a new procedure that is able to restore severed nerves in a matter of minutes and has the potential to allow a patient to regain the use of a limb in a few weeks.
The team from the University of Texas used a natural cellular process based on the biological system many invertebrates use to repair damage to their nerve axons.
"If further developed in clinical trials this approach would be a great advance on current procedures that usually imperfectly restore lost function within months at best," said professor George Bittner who worked on the tests.
He believes that the technique could have huge implications for the future of nerve surgery and the way axon injuries are treated.
The daily record recently reported that plastic surgeons in the US were able to restore the use of a 12-year-old boy's right arm by pioneering nerve-grafting surgery. However, it has been over two years since the initial injury and the patient still has numbness in his pinkie finger.