Reinnervation is a typical organic process that occurs when a motor nerve dies, consisting of the growth of a new axon from a nearby nerve that takes over the functionality of the dead nerve.
Causes and process
Deinnervation (the death of nerves) is a natural process that can occur either because of a physical injury or because of an internal disease like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Nerve degradation also occurs spontaneously with age.
Reinnervation occurs spontaneously in most cases. Usually this happens by having a nearby nerve grow a new axon that will gradually take over the deinnervated tissue. Spontaneous reinnervation can be stimulated by various clinical methods.
If the damage is extensive, or if the reinnervation of an area is inhibited or slowed down by an affection, reinnervation can be performed artificially, using a transplant operation called nerve grafting. Nerve grafting is not an unusual operation. While being fairly difficult to perform, risks associated with it are not extensive and it is a common indication in some causes. Post-operatory care and monitoring is required, however.
Denervation-Reinnervation is a new trend in treatment of the adductor spasmodic dysphonia. It is a special surgery that avoids the standard Botox injection forcing reinnervation of the vocal cord muscle. It involves only moderate pain and some post-operatory care.