Clinical results of contralateral C7 root neurotization to the median nerve in brachial plexus injuries with total root avulsions

S Waikakul, S Orapin, V Vanadurongwan
Journal of Hand Surgery: Journal of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand 1999, 24 (5): 556-60
This prospective study was carried out to assess motor and sensory recovery after contralateral C7 root to median nerve neurotization in brachial plexus injuries with total root avulsions. The survey was carried out from 1993 to 1995 and the patients were followed up for at least 3 years. There were 96 male patients with ages ranging from 13 to 48 years. All had a unilateral brachial plexus injury with avulsion of all roots. This was confirmed by clinical assessment and exploration. The anterior part of the contralateral C7 root was used for neurotization via a reversed pedicular ulnar nerve graft and the proximal end of the graft was connected to the median nerve. Furthermore, phrenic nerve to suprascapular nerve and spinal accessory nerve (via a sural nerve graft) to musculocutaneous nerve neurotizations were also carried out to obtain shoulder abduction and elbow flexion. At the 3 year follow-up, most patients had encouraging recovery of sensory function in the hand but motor function of the forearm and hand muscles was rather poor. Acceptable motor function was found in only 50 to 60% of the patients who were younger than 18 years.

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