COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Radial palsy in shaft fracture of the humerus

O Böstman, G Bakalim, S Vainionpää, E Wilppula, H Pätiälä, P Rokkanen
Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica 1986, 57 (4): 316-9
3788493
Fifty-nine patients with immediate and 16 with secondary radial nerve palsy complicating a fracture of the shaft of the humerus were reviewed. According to the preferences of the surgeon in charge, the palsy was treated either with early exploration of the radial nerve and internal fixation of the fracture or with initial expectance. Of the latter, 12 were later explored. No useful recovery of motor function could be seen in 13/59 patients with immediate and in 2/16 patients with secondary palsy. In patients with immediate palsy treated by early exploration, there were 8/27 nonrecoveries. Among those treated with initial expectance, there were 5/32 nonrecoveries. For secondary palsy, these figures were 2/10 and 0/6, respectively. No support emerged for routine early exploration.

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