Benefits of laser phototherapy on nerve repair

Lasers Med Sci. 2015 May;30(4):1395-406. 

de Oliveira RFde Andrade Salgado DMTrevelin LTLopes RMda Cunha SRAranha ACde Paula Eduardo Cde Freitas PM.

Post-traumatic nerve repair represents a major challenge to health sciences. Although there have been great advances in the last few years, it is still necessary to find methods that can effectively enhance nerve regeneration. Laser therapy has been widely investigated as a potential method for nerve repair. Therefore, in this article, a review of the existing literature was undertaken with regard to the effects of low-power laser irradiation on the regeneration of traumatically/surgically injured nerves. The articles were selected using either electronic search engines or manual tracing of the references cited in key papers. In electronic searches, we used the key words as "paresthesia", "laser therapy", "low-power laser and nerve repair", and "laser therapy and nerve repair", considering case reports and clinical studies. According to the findings of the literature, laser therapy accelerates and improves the regeneration of the affected nerve tissues, but there are many conflicting results about laser therapy. This can be attributed to several variables such as wavelength, radiation dose, and type of radiation. All the early in vivo studies assessed in this research were effective in restoring sensitivity. Although these results indicate a potential benefit of the use of lasers on nerve repair, further double-blind controlled clinical trials should be conducted in order to standardize protocols for clinical application.

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