Intradiscal injection of proteolytic enzymes implies a potential risk for exposure of nervous tissue to the enzyme solution. In the present study, the effects on peripheral nerve tissue of application of a solution containing a clinically recommended concentration of collagenase have been evaluated. Acute experiments showed that the enzyme induces transient swelling at the site of application and edema in the epineurium. There were, however, no detectable effects on the permeability of the perineurium or the endoneurial microvascular bed. Four and 8 weeks later, there was a slight fibrosis in the epineurium, but neurophysiologic tests did not reveal any impairment of the nerve function. The results are discussed in terms of the clinical use of collagenase for dissolution of herniated intervertebral discs.
- Disc herniation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Clinical Neurology