Functional assessment after sciatic nerve injury in a rat model



The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of Sciatic Function Index (SFI) and Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) Locomotor Rating in assessing peripheral nerve injuries. SFI is a standard method for evaluating crush and transected peripheral nerve injuries, likewise BBB for spinal cord injury. Models of chronic nerve compression (CNC), crush, and transection injury were created on Sprague-Dawley rats and functional outcomes were measured using BBB and SFI at 1-week interval for 6 weeks. All injury models showed high correlation between SFI and BBB scores. With crush injury, the SFI showed near complete recovery while BBB showed residual deficits 6 weeks after injury. Both the BBB and SFI were unable to detect motor deficits in 6-week CNC animals. The BBB score should be considered as an adjunct in evaluating peripheral nerve recovery and may be more sensitive in detecting residual deficits than SFI after crush-type injuries. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Microsurgery, 2009.