Repairing Nerves

1988

The sciatic nerve is the body’s largest and runs from the lower end of the spinal cord down the leg. When damaged, muscles supplied by the nerve stop working and a person loses the sense of feeling on their skin. In 1988, University of Toronto Drs. Alan Hudson and Susan Mackinnon performed the world’s first nerve transplant on a boy who severely damaged his sciatic nerve in a boating accident. Two years later, the boy could feel a pinprick on the sole of his foot for the first time since the accident.

Today, it is possible to restore feeling and movement with a nerve graft thanks to their research.

Canadians for Health Research: The World’s First Sciatic Nerve Transplant