Compressive radial neuropathies

A M Plate, S M Green
Instructional Course Lectures 2000, 49: 295-304
Radial neuropathy can have one of several clinical presentations, depending on the level of compression: high radial nerve palsy, PIN palsy, radial tunnel syndrome, and Wartenberg's syndrome. Elucidating the history and progression of symptoms with a physical examination directed at testing individual muscles will determine the approximate anatomic level of radial injury. Identification of a Tinel's sign will often locate the site of compression. Electrodiagnostic studies can confirm the diagnosis in a radial motor neuropathy, but are unreliable in radial tunnel syndrome and sensory radial nerve compression. A trial of nonsurgical treatment is warranted in all cases except those with progressive motor weakness or palsy. Patients who do not respond or continue to progress despite conservative treatment are candidates for surgical decompression.

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