[Humeral fractures with paralysis of the radial nerve]

P Di Filippo, G B Mancini, A Gillio
Archivio "Putti" di Chirurgia Degli Organi di Movimento 1990, 38 (2): 405-9
Forty fractures of the humerus associated with radial nerve palsy were reviewed after an average follow-up of 11 years. Early exploration of the radial nerve and internal fixation of the fracture was performed in 20 patients, while the other 20 patients were treated by closed reduction and immobilization in a plaster cast. In four patients of the latter group the radial nerve did not recover and a delayed exploration was performed. In each treatment group functional recovery of the radial nerve was observed in 16 patients (80%). On the basis of these results the authors suggest treating fractures of the humerus with radial nerve palsy by closed reduction. If there is no evidence of spontaneous recovery within 3-4 months, an exploration of the radial nerve should be performed.

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