American Society for Peripheral Nerve (ASPN)
Issue 13, Summer 2022
What’s new in nerve this month? Spotlight on education...

As we finish the academic year, many of us are reviewing case log numbers, reflecting on accomplishments, and making goals for the upcoming academic year. We noticed this paper hitting the literature this month, summarizing peripheral nerve surgery case totals reported to the ACGME in Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, and Plastic Surgery. While institutional numbers vary greatly, we thought this was an interesting snapshot of recent trends. Case averages easily exceed required minimums (Figure 1), showing enthusiasm and frequency of nerve surgery across multiple specialties. Nerve surgery is cool... and is growing (Figure 2)! We know, we know... preaching to the choir...

Did you see?

Huge congrats to ASPN members Paul Cederna, Ted Kung, Steve Kemp, and all of the members of the Neuromuscular Lab at Michigan—their research is featured on the cover of this June's National Geographic magazine!!!!! We will all have to get autographs at the next meeting….! #starstruck

See a comprehensive list of ASPN member publications on the ASPN Member Publications webpage.
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Welcome new recruits!!!!

Peter Apel, MD, PhD
Dr. Apel is an orthopaedic hand surgeon and associate professor at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, in Roanoke Virginia. There, he provides comprehensive peripheral nerve care to patients in Southwest Virginia. This includes brachial plexus care, complex peripheral nerve reconstruction and targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR). Dr. Apel has a clinical interest in neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (NTOS) as well as TMR for neuropathic pain in the non-amputee.
Alexandra Keane, MD
Alexandra Keane, MD is a plastic and reconstructive surgery resident at Washington University (WashU) School of Medicine. She graduated summa cum laude with degrees in Neuroscience and Chemistry from WashU undergraduate, where she was Captain of the Women’s Basketball Team. She then attended WashU School of Medicine for medical school, where she conducted research with Dr. Alison Snyder-Warwick investigating the mechanisms that drive neuromuscular junction reinnervation after nerve injury. She is excited to continue peripheral nerve research and be trained by leaders in the field at WashU. Her clinical interests include peripheral nerve surgery and facial paralysis/reanimation.
Joshua Kohan, BA
Joshua Kohan is a born and raised New York City native, a current medical student at The University of Vermont, and an aspiring plastic surgeon. He is currently completing his rotations across various hospitals in Connecticut and New York. Joshua serves as a leader and board member for numerous organizations affiliated with volunteerism, global service and research while also sitting as a Chair of his institution’s student government. Outside of medicine, he is passionate about creating artwork, cooking different foods, studying stocks and real estate, as well as spearheading construction development projects — a big part of his background prior to entering medical school. He is passionate about fitness, namely calisthenics, boxing and mixed martial arts. His research interests include hand surgery, reconstructive microsurgery and peripheral nerve surgery.
Sydney Mathis, BS
Sydney Mathis is a third-year medical student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. She graduated from the University of Miami in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science. She is pursuing a residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and is currently engaged in research at the University of Illinois at Chicago Craniofacial Center. Her research interests include peripheral nerve regeneration and the accuracy and clinical application of virtual reality surgical planning in the setting of craniomaxillofacial trauma reconstruction.
David Milek, MD
David Milek is surgery resident at the University of Rochester, NY, USA. Originating from the Czech Republic, he ultimately chose to pursue surgical training in the Unites States. After spending two years of training at Johns Hopkins Hospital he relocated to Rochester in 2020. Dr. Milek is currently enrolled in plastic surgery research fellowship with main focus on peripheral nerve regeneration. He is involved in basic and transitional research investigating principles of peripheral nerve healing and novel treatments in peripheral neuropathy. Dr. Milek’s goals are to become an academic plastic surgeon focusing on hand surgery and complex microsurgical reconstruction.
Wassim Mourad, MD, MHCM
Wassim Mourad, MD, MHCM, is a Senior Fellow at the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery. He graduated medical school from the American University of Beirut followed by an Orthopaedic Surgery residency at the same institution. He then underwent fellowship training in Hand & Microsurgery in Paris, France, and at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. He also completed a Shoulder & Elbow fellowship at Beaumont Health in Michigan. November 2022, he will be joining the Saint Louis University department of Orthopaedic Surgery as a Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon. He has special interest in minimally invasive peripheral nerve surgery and shoulder reanimation.
David (Spencer) Nichols, MD
Dr. Spencer Nichols graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine in 2022 and is currently a PGY-1 in the Division of Plastic, Maxillofacial, and Oral Surgery at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He is interested in both basic science and clinical research. Specifically, his interests include: hand and peripheral nerve surgery; outcomes after nerve transfer for lumbosacral plexus and/or femoral nerve injury; and long-term effects of targeted muscle reinnervation on pain and quality-of-life outcomes.
Erin Wolfe, MD
Erin Wolfe is an integrated plastic surgery resident in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. She completed her medical school training at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Fl, and her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She completed a research year in peripheral nerve injury and repair at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, studying prophylactic pharmacological interventions for mitigation of peripheral nerve injury, as well as the effects of different types of FDA-approved nerve wrap and conduit biomaterials on the regeneration of peripheral nerves.

New Program—Nerves Without Borders

Shilu Shrestha, MD
ASPN's mission is to improve care of nerve disorders. We recognize that for providers in low resource settings many barriers to nerve care exist. One barrier is access to information in this rapidly evolving field. These caregivers often treat a wide variety of nerve disorders and ASPN hopes to improve their access to cutting edge information and promote ties to the nerve community. Thus the ASPN is starting a program, "Nerves without borders," which will provide access to educational ASPN benefits to providers from low resource settings. Our first recipient of this award is Dr. Shilu Shrestha a surgeon in Nepal. ASPN will share more information in the near future as the Society prepares to open this program for 2023.

Did you know—part 1?

Dr. Kevin Muriu Kinuthia Dr. Johannes Heinzel
Speaking of global… the ASPN social media committee hosted a textbook giveaway contest following the annual meeting! Congrats to the 2 winners: Kevin Muriu Kinuthia, from the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and Johannes Heinzel, from the University of Tuebingen in Germany!!! They each received an autographed copy of Susan Mackinnon’s book, Nerve Surgery. Thank you Dr. Mackinnon for donating the books. More book giveaways to come in the future!

Did you know—part 2?

Nerve was well-represented at the 67th annual PSRC meeting in Toronto in June, and why wouldn’t it be? First, nerves are cool. Second, former ASPN President and PSRC Chair, Dr. Greg Borschel, was at the helm! Congrats to all of the presenters, and huge thanks to @nervenerds for sharing with the world! Read Full Article

(Occasional notes from an unapologetic bibliophile and indulged husband)

We will run this contest one more time… with language improved for clarity!

Can you identify the person(s) in this photograph who made the following historic contributions to peripheral nerve surgery? Please match the names with the contributions.
Read Full Article

Aron Wahrman, MD, MBA
(Occasional notes from an unapologetic bibliophile and indulged husband)

Moving, Downsizing, and Finding Sir Charles Sherrington: Where Did The Term “Synapse” Come From?
“I think we should move”, the wise spouse Peg suddenly uttered, as I gazed aimlessly at a full wall of bookshelves in our home of over 22 years. Jolted from my reverie, I said “What?’.

“I think we should move “, she repeated. “We are down to one child [of five] who is leaving for college in the fall and we don’t need such a big house anymore.” “But what of the CD and old book collection? “ I plaintively stammered, (selfishly unmasking my first thoughts !) “Almost everything is on Spotify and I’ll make sure you have a nice room for the books” she calmy replied with steely resolve.. That conversation was in March; we are now already moved into our new digs. I’ve got to hand it to my wife; she is definitive, organized and focused, even hiring special movers to carefully handle 156 boxes of volumes and ephemera. Then another dose of reality; in the midst of our move, Dr Alison Snyder-Warwick-- beloved, intrepid editor of these pages --reminded me that a Forgotten Fascicles was due; would I be able to submit something? I swallowed hard and eventually said yes as a wave of panic washed over me --- where am I going to find a book to write about in that cavern of still taped-up cardboard…. numbered but not labeled
Read Full Article

Upcoming meetings around the globe

ePSRC August 25-28, 2022 (Vienna, Austria)
PSTM October 27-30, 2022 (Boston)
ASPN January 20-22 (Miami)

Penny for your thoughts?

Thank you to everyone who responded to the “Penny for your thoughts” in issue 12. Results are depicted in the graph below

A 55 year old healthy male is referred to your clinic by your orthopedics colleague 3 months after a closed, minimally displaced, humeral mid-shaft fracture that was managed non-operatively with cast immobilization. The patient has full elbow function but no active wrist, finger, or thumb extension. There is no palpable brachioradialis or ECRB/L contraction. Electrodiagnostics demonstrate fibrillation potentials in all forearm radial nerve muscle groups with no recruitable motor units. At 6 months post-injury, repeat clinical exam and electrodiagnostics remain unchanged. Imaging with US and MRI are inconclusive for radial nerve injury. What is your management at this time (6 months post-injury)?

And for the next one...

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When a beloved family member suffers a crippling burn which no one in Germany in 1900 can heal, young Olevia Landsmann begins her quest to help him. Her journey takes her to America where against all odds she is accepted into the new Johns Hopkins school of Medicine. Battling extreme prejudice against women from establishment doctors and the legal profession she fights to do groundbreaking research on cadavers, discovering new surgical procedures that could eliminate pain. With the help and love of those close to her she proves the hard won secrets of the dead can save the living. In the process of healing others she heals her own emotional wounds.

Please send us your non-clinical artistic endeavors—visual, text, audio… anything! Nerve not necessary here—we want to highlight our very talented members!

Show me the money... research money!

Do you have great ideas? Do you love science? Well, then get your projects funded!!! Translate your ideas to projects! Create data to help us all! The ASPN Grants Committee has compiled valuable information to help fund your nerve-related science... follow the link to learn more! #scienceiscool

See the ASPN list of peripheral nerve funding sources!

Job and Fellowships Opportunity Board - Synaptic Connections!

The ASPN Synapse Editorial Team has added a new section of this publication to advertise job and fellowship opportunities to our community – Synaptic Connections!

Do you have an opportunity or upcoming opportunity that you would like to advertise to the ASPN community? If you do, submit to to be featured in the next issue of Synapse. Be sure to include a position title, location, a brief description of the position, a contact for those interested, and start/availability date.

I know you!

Here they are... your fearless 2022 ASPN Executive Council