Nerve repairs for traumatic brachial plexus palsy with root avulsion

H Kawai, H Kawabata, K Masada, K Ono, K Yamamoto, Y Tsuyuguchi, K Tada
Clinical Orthopaedics and related Research 1988, (237): 75-86
Thirty-six patients with traumatic brachial plexus lesions and root avulsions were treated surgically between 1972 and 1986 and were followed for more than 24 months (average, 42.6 months). Neurotization of the musculocutaneous nerve with intercostal nerves or the spinal accessory nerve resulted in satisfactory elbow flexion in 21 of the 33 cases (64%). Combined nerve repairs (i.e., intercostal and spinal accessory neurotization of the terminal branch of the brachial plexus in combination with nerve grafts from the upper spinal nerves of the brachial plexus) created a useful function in at least one functional level of the upper limb for 11 of the 15 cases so treated. Nerve repairs resulted in stability of the shoulder and elbow function controllable with a sensible hand for patients with root avulsion injury of the brachial plexus.

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