The effects of free fat grafts on the stiffness of the rat sciatic nerve and perineural scar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We developed a new quantitative rat sciatic nerve model to test whether free fat grafts can reduce postoperative perineural scar formation. Epineurectomies of sciatic nerves were performed to create scar. The force required to distract the nerve a unit distance was measured after surgery to determine the time of maximal scar formation. Nerve stiffness normalized for rat weight was statistically greater at 2 months after the initial dissection (0.097 ± 0.009 g/mm/g rat weight; n = 10 limbs) than rat limbs that had not undergone a previous dissection (0.075 ± 0.012 g/mm/g rat weight). Perineural scar thickness was thicker at 2 months than the perineural tissue in preoperative controls. Free fat grafts decreased nerve stiffness at 2 months (0.078 ± 0.012 g/mm/g rat weight) in comparison to the contralateral surgical control limb without a fat graft (0.094 ± 0.014 g/mm/g rat weight). Free fat grafts reduced the strength of postoperative perineural scar in this surgical model; however, they were associated with an unexpected finding of substantial postoperative neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Fat graft
  • Nerve
  • Rat
  • Scar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of free fat grafts on the stiffness of the rat sciatic nerve and perineural scar'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this