Usefulness of a nerve biospy

July 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm

According to Yue and Han it depends-

1. Who is doing it?- as in are they really competent?

2. Who will interpret the results?- ditto #1.

3. Is it a sural (in, or near, your foot or ankle) biopsy? Then it likely is not very helpful and equally, or more likely to leave you with some long lasting, or even permanent damage.

4. I would not have a ‘definitive’ diagnosis without the special nerve biopsy I had in my upper right arm.

5. Yes, my procedure was “out-patient’. I was discharged within 24 hours, yet spent the night in a recovery room. I was required to do several things prior to discharge. Walk un-assisted for one.

6. The hours, days and weeks following could be described as miserable.

7. I have no lasting effects following the procedure which was done about 22 months ago.

And, I agree with the assessment that searching, and finding, any particular subject on this forum is difficult.

Oh, my, how is it done? Dunno, they put me to sleep! They cut you open, then find the nerve bundle. They ‘teased’ apart the fibers and removed some of them. I like to picture a big (and old fashioned) telephone cable bundle. Cut out a few, who knows….

After the fibers are removed, and properly handled they are analyzed.

My surgical scar, if I could find it still, which I cannot, was about 2.5” long. How much nerve or how many nerve fibers- a few. 17 comes to mind. Truth be known, I neither remember, nor care. Everything still works!