JOURNAL ARTICLE

[EFFECTIVENESS OF CONTRALATERAL C7 NERVE ROOT AND MULTIPLE NERVES TRANSFER FOR TREATMENT OF BRACHIAL PLEXUS ROOT AVULSION]

Wang Wei, Alimujiang-Abulaiti, Tuerxunjiang-Dadihan, Shen Meihua, Liu Yafei, Yuan Chunxiao, Aihemaitijiang-Yusufu
Chinese Journal of Reparative and Reconstructive Surgery 2014, 28 (6): 737-40
26466389

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the methods and effectiveness of contralateral C7 nerve root and multiple nerves transfer for the treatment of brachial plexus root avulsion.

METHODS: Between June 2006 and June 2010, 23 patients with brachial plexus root avulsion were treated. There were 20 males and 3 females, aged 17 to 42 years (mean, 27.4 years). The time from injury to operation was 4 to 12 months (mean, 5.9 months). In 16 patients having no associated injury, the first stage procedure of contralateral C7 nerve root transfer and accessory nerve transfer to suprascapular nerve or phrenic nerve transfer to anterior upper trunk was performed, and the second stage procedure of the contralateral C7 nerve root transfer to median nerve and intercostal nerve transfer to axillary nerve was performed. In 4 patients having phrenic nerve and accessory nerve injuries, the first stage procedure of the contralateral C7 nerve root transfer and second stage procedure of the contralateral C7 nerve root transfer to median nerve and musculocutaneous nerve were performed. In 3 patients having hemothorax, pneumothorax, and rib fractures, the first stage procedure of the contralateral C7 nerve root transfer and accessory nerve transfer to suprascapular nerve, and the second stage procedure of the contralateral C7 nerve root transfer to median nerve and musculocutaneous nerve were performed. The British Medical Research Council (MRC) sensory grading (S0-S4) and modified muscle strength grading standard (M0-M5) were used for comprehensive assessment of limb and shoulder abduction, elbow/biceps muscle strength, flexor wrist and finger muscle strength and median nerve sensory recovery.

RESULTS: Twenty-three patients were followed up 3-4.5 years (mean, 3.4 years). At abduction was more than 30° in 13 cases, and was more than 60° in 3 cases; in 3 patients having hemothorax, pneumothorax, and rib fractures, the shoulder abduction was more than 30°; and in 4 patients having phrenic nerve and accessory nerve injuries, the shoulder abduction was 0°. The muscle strength of elbow/biceps was M3 or more than M3 in 9 cases, was M1-M2 in 8 cases, and was M0 in 6 cases; the muscle strength of flexor wrist or finger was M3 or more than M3 in 7 cases, was M1-M2 in 11 cases, and was M0 in 5 cases. Median nerve sensory recovery was S3 or more than S3 in 11 cases, was S1-S2 in 7 cases, and was S0 in 5 cases. After 3 years, affected limb had locomotor activity in 11 patients, affected limb had activities driven by the contralateral latissimus dorsi muscle contraction in 12 patients.

CONCLUSION: Contralateral C7 nerve root and multiple nerves transfer is a good method to treat brachial plexus root avulsion.

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