Miami Children’s Hospital, recognized by U.S. News & World Report for excellence in 10 pediatric subspecialties in 2011 and 2012, and AxoGen, Inc. (OTCBB: AXGN) have announced the hospital’s first nerve repair surgery with Avance® Nerve Graft. The processed nerve allograft technology was implanted during a surgery recently to repair a brachial plexus injury suffered by a 6 month-old baby girl.
John AI Grossman MD (Photo: Business Wire)The surgery was performed by Dr. John A. I. Grossman, MD, FACS, Director of The Brachial Plexus Program at Miami Children’s Hospital, Clinical Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at New York University’s School of Medicine, author of numerous studies on pediatric brachial plexus repair and an associate editor of the Journal of Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Injury. “The Avance® Nerve Graft is changing how we approach the surgical reconstruction of injured brachial plexus nerves and is a very valuable new tool,” offered Dr. Grossman. The brachial plexus controls the movement of muscles and sensation in the shoulder, arm and hand. Brachial plexus injuries may occur if an infant’s neck is excessively stretched during birth or by traumatic injury. If left untreated, brachial plexus birth injuries can have lifelong consequences including paralysis or limited movement, numbness and weakness in the shoulder, arm, hand and fingers. Dr. Grossman, who works at both Miami Children’s Hospital and NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, runs one of the busiest programs in the country for treating these types of injuries. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment often involves surgical repair and replacement of injured or torn nerves. Historically, healthy nerve was taken from elsewhere in the patient’s body and used to repair the damaged nerve in a procedure known as an autograft. Limitations in the amount of healthy nerve available for grafting created a market need for a nerve substitute. Dr. Grossman added, “Avance® Nerve Graft is the closest you can get to the patient’s own nerve in terms of structure, size and compatibility with the body’s healing processes. The technology also assures that we will have enough graft material to complete a successful surgical repair.”