Nerve transfers in children with traumatic partial brachial plexus injuries

Jean-Noël Goubier, Frédéric Teboul, Ellada Papadogeorgou
Microsurgery 2008, 28 (2): 117-20
Brachial plexus trauma is a rare condition in children except for obstetrical lesions, for which nerve grafting is generally proposed. Two children (9 and 12 years old) with C5 and C6 traumatic brachial plexus avulsion lesions are presented, where elbow flexion and shoulder abduction and external rotation were the functions to be restored. Nerve transfers have been performed. Shoulder abduction was restored by an accessory-to-suprascapular nerve transfer in one patient, while the triceps long head motor branch was transferred to the axillary nerve in both patients. Fascicles of the ulnar and median nerve were transferred respectively to the biceps muscle nerve and the brachialis motor branch. At 11 months follow-up, the elbow flexion scored M4 and the shoulder abduction recovered in both patients. No complications were observed. Nerve transfers currently used in adult patients may be applied in children with traumatic partial brachial plexus palsies.

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