American Society for Peripheral Nerve (ASPN)
Fall 2019

As you can see, there have been outstanding enhancements to the ASPN newsletter, now called Synapse. Congratulations to Drs. Snyder-Warwick, Rosson and Power for their successful redevelopment of the ASPN newsletter to Synapse. It is a valuable resource for the most current research and educational opportunities in nerve research and ASPN activities. The American Society of Peripheral Nerve has had a great year. As a society, we are growing in membership and doing very well financially. The ASPN Council has been working on developing vision and mission statements to guide our future strategic plan. These statements and plans will be presented for your review and input at the 2020 Annual meeting. With the guidance of Sarah Boardman and PRRI, an application for tax exempt status was submitted to the IRS. I am thrilled to report that the IRS has granted ASPN 501c status. ASPN is now a tax exempt organization and can offer the tax deductible benefit for charitable donations to our Society. This is a monumental achievement and will benefit future education and research initiatives. Read More Christine Novak, PT, PhD
Christine Novak, PT, PhD

Conditioning Electrical Stimulation Accelerates Nerve Regeneration to Promote Functional Recovery
Jenna-Lynn Senger, MD PhD1; K. Ming Chan, MD2; Christine A. Webber, PhD3.
1Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery; 2Division of Physical Rehabilitation; 3Division of Anatomy, Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, CANADA

Peripheral nerve injuries are heterogeneous in the patient population affected, extent of functional deficits, and projected recovery. Poor outcomes are attributable to the slow intrinsic rate of nerve regeneration. A strategy to accelerate this process is of paramount clinical importance. A conditioning crush lesion (CCL) Ė crushing a nerve one week prior to nerve cut and repair...
From left to right: Christine A. Webber, PhD; Jenna-Lynn Senger, MD, PhD; K. Ming Chan, MD
From left to right: Christine A. Webber, PhD; Jenna-Lynn Senger, MD, PhD; K. Ming Chan, MD

Members in the News and Noteworthy Accomplishments

ASPN Past President Dr. Nash Naam was presented with an IFSSH Pioneer of Hand Surgery Award in June 2019 in Berlin, Germany!

Every three years during its Congress, the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand recognizes a number of "Pioneers of Hand Surgery." This is a long standing custom dating back to the 3rdCongress in Tokyo held in 1986. Since then, 180 physicians have been designated the prestigious title of "Pioneer of Hand Surgery". Dr. Nash Naam was added to this list in 2019. The enormous contributions of IFSSH Pioneers of Hand Surgery will influence many generations of Hand Surgeons to come, and their accomplishments will benefit countless patients far into the future.

ASPN is so proud to count Dr. Nash Naam among its members and congratulates him on this wonderful recognition!
ASPN Past President Dr. Nash Naam was presented with an IFSSH Pioneer of Hand Surgery Award in June 2019 in Berlin, Germany!
View full size image
ASPN Past President Dr. Nash Naam was presented with an IFSSH Pioneer of Hand Surgery Award in June 2019 in Berlin, Germany!
View full size image
ASPN Past President Dr. Nash Naam was presented with an IFSSH Pioneer of Hand Surgery Award in June 2019 in Berlin, Germany!
View full size image

Dr. Greg Dumanian comments on his work, "Targeted Muscle Reinnervation Treats Neuroma and Phantom Pain in Major Limb Amputees: A Randomized Clinical Trial."
Gregory A. Dumanian MD, Benjamin K. Potter MD, Lauren M. Mioton MD, Jason H. Ko MD, Jennifer E. Cheesborough MD, Jason M. Souza MD, William J. Ertl MD, Scott M. Tintle MD, George P. Nanos MD, Ian L. Valerio MD, Todd A. Kuiken MD, PhD, A. Vania Apkarian PhD, Kyle Porter MAS, and Sumanas W. Jordan MD, PhD
Annals of Surgery. 2019 August; 270(2): 238-246.

See more ASPN member publications on the ASPN Member Publication webpage.
Greg Dumanian, MD
Greg Dumanian, MD

Don't forget...!

The 2020 ASPN Annual Meeting will be here before we know it, and you'll need a place to stay! Donít forget to book your housing at the Marriott Harbor Beach before the housing deadline of December 10, 2019! Book online!

Upcoming meetings around the globe

Facial Paralysis Reconstruction
April 13-16, 2020
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
Linkou Medical Center
Taoyuan City, Taiwan
3rd Annual Canadian Peripheral Nerve Symposium
November 15, 2019
Ivey Spencer Leadership centre
London, ON, Canada

Are you planning an upcoming nerve-related meeting? If so, please submit the information to Synapse for use to distribute to the nerve community in the next issue!

Penny for your thoughts?

Thank you to everyone who responded to the "Penny for your thoughts" in Issue 1. Turns out, we do a lot of nerve surgery! How much you ask? Results are depicted in the pie chart:

What proportion of your clinical practice is nerve surgery?
View full size image

Now for the next figurative penny...
What percentage of your effort is spent on nerve research (clinical or basic)?

75% or more
Results will be shared in the next issue of Synapse!

Hot off the press! Book reviews!

Joint Denervation
Joint Denervation: An Atlas of Surgical Techniquesóby A. Lee Dellon

In his new text, Dr. Lee Dellon, with contributor, Dr. Andreas Gohritz, describes surgical solutions to joint pain. He offers the concept that joint pain is not a phenomenon of only ligaments, cartilage, and bone, but is instead "ultimately transmitted, if not derived, from a peripheral nerve". The concept of peripheral nerve involvement in joint pain is not novel, as described in detail in the first chapter of the book, with origins dating to the mid-19th century in Germany and with reference to da Vinci's drawing of a nerve to a joint (likely the anterior interosseous nerve) in 1505. Highlights to anatomical and surgical contributions over the next 167 years leading to this publication are covered. Dr. Dellon debunks common concerns raised by opponents to joint denervation, including loss of proprioception and causing a Charcot joint by summarizing the published evidence on each topic. The book thoroughly describes the anatomy, evaluation, surgical technique, complications, and results related to each anatomical site to offer guidance for the reader to apply clinically. Each chapter is highlighted with clinical examples to provide additional learning pathways. The book covers all joints in the extremities and even includes the temporomandibular joint, as nerves are not limited to the extremities alone. Not included are joints related to the spine and sacroiliac region, but reference to another text on this topic is provided.

The text is overall very well-written and easy to navigate and includes a nice balance of clear illustrations and photographs to help educate the reader. Dr. Dellon incorporates personal anecdotes which delineate the motivation for his journey and nicely supplement the provided data to support joint denervation. The author's passion for the topic is easily ascertained from the text. Given the current opioid crisis, Joint Denervation provides a timely and valuable contribution to the treatment of pain, providing another tool for surgeons to address challenging problems.

Did you know?

FDA approves first generics for Lyrica (pregabalin)
Big news for patients suffering from neuropathic pain: the first generics of pregabalin were approved by the U.S. FDA on July 19th! Please see the FDA announcement for further information.

There's a new nerve fellowship in Johns Hopkins!
This serves to announce that, starting July 1, 2020, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine will offer a one-year Peripheral Nerve Surgery Fellowship. A multidisciplinary training experience will be obtained through exposure to the vast and diverse peripheral nerve clinical practice at the Johns Hopkins Hospitals. In addition, the fellow will have the opportunity to participate in basic science, translational science and clinical outcomes research activities.

Highlights of the training opportunity include exposure to adult and pediatric nerve surgery, brachial plexus reconstruction, novel approaches to nerve repair including nerve transfers, use of auto/allografts, malignant and benign nerve tumors, and targeted muscle reinnervation. Training will include the full gamut of peripheral nerve decompressions, including approaches to joint denervation and the surgical treatment of neuropathic/neuroma pain.

The Fellowship is based in the Johns Hopkins Department of Plastic Surgery with Co-Directors Sami Tuffaha, MD, A. Lee Dellon, MD, PhD, and Allan Belzberg, MD, FRCSC. The successful applicant will have completed residency training in Plastic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery or Neurosurgery. Support for this fellowship comes from Axogen, a leading company focused specifically on the science, development and translation of technologies for peripheral nerve regeneration and repair.

I know you!

Here they are... your fearless 2019 ASPN Executive Council