Nerve injuries of the upper extremity associated with vascular trauma-surgical treatment and outcome

Lukas Rasulic, Ilijas Cinara, Miroslav Samardzic, Andrija Savic, Bojana Zivkovic, Filip Vitosevic, Mirko Micovic, Vladimir Bascarevic, Vladimir Puzovic, Stefan Mandic-Rajcevic
Neurosurgical Review 2017, 40 (2): 241-249
Peripheral nerve injuries are often associated with injuries of adjacent tissue. As a result of anatomic proximity between nerves and vascular structures, there is a high chance of combined injuries of these structures (23 %). The aim of our study is to describe and analyze associated nerve and vascular injuries of the upper extremity in patients treated at the Clinic of Neurosurgery in Belgrade over a 10-year period. This study included 83 patients that received surgical treatment at the Clinic of Neurosurgery in Belgrade after having been diagnosed with upper extremity nerve injury. The study included all patients that satisfied these criteria over a period of 10 years. The patients with associated vascular injuries, 36 of them, were considered our study group, while 47 patients without associated vascular injuries were considered our control group. Finally, we compared treatment outcome between these groups. The final outcome evaluation was performed 2 years after surgical treatment. In our study group, 84.8 % surgical nerve repair was successful (fair, good, and excellent outcome), while in the control group (patients without vascular injury), surgical nerve repair was successful in 87.9 %. The overall satisfactory neurological outcome (M3-M5) was present in 86.6 % of nerve repairs. Our study shows that there is no significant difference between the treatment outcome in patients with associated nerve and vascular injuries and patients with isolated nerve injuries if they are diagnosed in time and treated appropriately. Successful treatment can only be accomplished through a multidisciplinary approach undertaken by a highly qualified medical team.

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