Repetitive cyclic loading of a nerve has been proposed as a pathogenic factor in the development of occupational compression neuropathies. Little is known about the basic response of peripheral nerve to cyclic compression. We investigated the hypothesis that cyclic compression is more detrimental to nerve function than constant compression. We measured the amplitudes and velocities of distally evoked action potentials in the presence of constant or cyclic compression of the tibial nerve in rats. Seven groups were subjected to constant or cyclic compression for 6 h by a computer controlled, hydraulically activated compression chamber. Nerves were compressed with 0 (control group), 30, 60, or 90 mm Hg of constant pressure or 0–30, 20–50, or 30–60 mm Hg of cyclic compression for ∼20,000 compression cycles. Action potentials were recorded every 15 min. The effects of cyclic compression on nerve conduction were equivalent to the effects of constant compression at the average applied pressure. Cyclic loading itself does not appear to be an important pathogenic factor in the development of nerve conduction block.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine