Long-term results of tendon transfers in radial and posterior interosseous nerve paralysis

M Ropars, T Dréano, P Siret, N Belot, F Langlais
Journal of Hand Surgery: Journal of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand 2006, 31 (5): 502-6
Eighteen cases of tendon transfer for isolated radial or posterior interosseous nerve palsy have been carried out in our unit over a period of 21 years. Fifteen patients were reviewed with a mean follow-up of 9.5 years. Nine had sustained high and six low radial nerve injury. We achieved 11 excellent, two good, one fair and one bad result. The main problems were loss of power of gripping and the occurrence of radial deviation, particularly in patients with flexor carpi ulnaris transfer to the extensor digitorum communis. During this time, our technique has evolved, including changes of the tendons transferred. Our final preference is a modified Tsuge procedure, using the pronator teres to restore extension of the wrist, the flexor carpi radialis for extension of the fingers and the palmaris longus for extension of the thumb. Abduction of the thumb is restored by a tenodesis of the abductor pollicis longus to the brachioradialis. This review justifies the final policy, in particular the preservation of flexor carpi ulnaris to maintain wrist stability and flexion.

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