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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 173471, 9 pages
Research Article

Force Characteristics of the Rat Sternomastoid Muscle Reinnervated with End-to-End Nerve Repair

1Upper Airway Research Laboratory, Department of Research, Hackensack University Medical Center, 30 Prospect Avenue, Jurist Research Building, Hackensack, NJ 07601, USA
2Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA

Received 1 June 2011; Revised 8 September 2011; Accepted 22 September 2011

Academic Editor: Henk Granzier

Copyright © 2011 Stanislaw Sobotka and Liancai Mu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The goal of this study was to establish force data for the rat sternomastoid (SM) muscle after reinnervation with nerve end-to-end anastomosis (EEA), which could be used as a baseline for evaluating the efficacy of new reinnervation techniques. The SM muscle on one side was paralyzed by transecting its nerve and then EEA was performed at different time points: immediate EEA, 1-month and 3-month delay EEA. At the end of 3-month recovery period, the magnitude of functional recovery of the reinnervated SM muscle was evaluated by measuring muscle force and comparing with the force of the contralateral control muscle. Our results demonstrated that the immediately reinnervated SM produced approximately 60% of the maximal tetanic force of the control. The SM with delayed nerve repair yielded approximately 40% of the maximal force. Suboptimal recovery of muscle force after EEA demonstrates the importance of developing alternative surgical techniques to treat muscle paralysis.