: There are few reports on outcome following flexor tendon repair of the hand in zone 5. We hypothesized that early mobilization of the fingers is possible if the suture site of repaired tendon is strong enough. The aim of this study was to assess the results of flexor tendon repair in this zone using modified Kessler method reinforced by peripheral running suture and a post operative early active and passive mobilization of the fingers.
Methodology: This prospective study was carried out between April 2006 and Feb 2010, and 171 digits flexor tendons cut in 42 patients were repaired by modified Kessler technique reinforced by running peripheral suture. Early active mobilization and gentle passive motion of the fingers was allowed in a dorsal wrist splint the day after surgery. Wrist Immobilization was performed for one month. Function of the tendons was assessed by Buck-Gramcko score at nine month follow up.
Results: Mean age of the patients was 25.4 years (range 17-46 y). Twenty nine flexor policis longus, 77 flexor digitorum superficialis and 65 flexor digitorum profundus tendons of digits were repaired. Middle and index fingers were most commonly involved. Median and ulnar nerve repair was done in 17 and 12 cases respectively. Good to excellent results were seen in of 79.34% of FPL and 74.65% of other finger flexors. One case of FPL rupture was seen. Tenolysis of FDS was performed in one case. Recovery in thenar muscle function was good, fair and poor in 5, 2 and 10 cases after median nerve repair, while all 12 patients with ulnar nerve lesion showed some degrees of clawing of 4th and 5th fingers.
: Most patients following flexor tendon repair at zone 5 obtained good results. Early motion of the fingers seems to improve outcome in these patients. Concomitant nerve cut in particular of ulnar nerve were associated with a high rate of poor results.
Flexor Tendon Injury; Hand Function; Kessler Technique; Early Finger Mobilization; Zone 5
To determine the contribution of ulnar digits to overall grip strength.
Fifty individuals (25 men and 25 women; 100 hands) with a mean age of 35.6 years (range 19 to 62 years) were tested. Exclusion criteria included previous history of hand injuries, entrapment neuropathies and systemic diseases.
Ethics approval was granted before testing. A calibrated Jamar dynamometer (Lafayette Instrument Company, USA) was used to test subjects in three configurations: entire hand – index, middle, ring and little fingers; index, middle and ring fingers; and index and middle fingers. Little and ring fingers were excluded using generic hand-based finger splints. The order of testing was kept constant, and subjects were tested three times on each hand for each configuration. The average of the three trials at each configuration was recorded. Subjects received 1 min of rest between each testing configuration. The data were analyzed using a 3×2 repeated measures ANOVA with hand dominance and configuration as the within-subject factors, followed by two independent sample t tests to compare flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) independence and FDS nonindependence on right and left hand grip strength measurements in the index, middle, ring and little condition.
Univariate results demonstrated that grip strength was significantly predicted by the interaction between hand dominance and configuration, while the parsing of the interaction term demonstrated greater grip strength across all levels of configuration for the dominant and nondominant hand. There were no significant differences between FDS independence and FDS nonindependence for either hand on grip strength.
The results indicate a significant decrease in grip strength as ulnar fingers were excluded. Furthermore, exclusion of the little finger has differing effects on the grip strength of the dominant and nondominant hands – the dominant hand had a greater loss of strength with the little finger excluded than the nondominant hand.
The ulnar two digits play a significant role in overall grip strength of the entire hand. In the present study, exclusion of the ulnar two digits resulted in a 34% to 67% decrease in grip strength, with a mean decrease of 55%. Exclusion of the little finger from a functional grip pattern decreased the overall grip strength by 33%. Exclusion of the ring finger from a functional grip pattern decreased the overall grip strength by 21%. It is clear that limitation of one or both of the ulnar digits adversely affects the strength of the hand. In addition, there was no significant difference between grip strength of FDS-independent and FDS-nonindependent subjects for either hand.
Grip strength; Testing; Ulnar digits
It is uncommon to have additional muscles in the upper limb. Some of them may restrict the movements or compress the nerves and vessels, while others may go unnoticed. During the routine dissection for undergraduate medical students, we observed an additional muscle in the anterior compartment of the forearm in about 60-year-old male cadaver. The muscle had a prominent belly and a long tendon. Distally, it was attached to the flexor retinaculum by a short and thick tendon. Proximally, long tendon of the muscle passed between the flexor carpi ulnaris and palmaris longus and was attached to the common aponeurosis shared by the extensor carpi ulnaris and flexor digitorum profundus muscles. The additional muscle belly was supplied by a branch from the anterior interosseous nerve. The ulnar nerve and artery was passing deep to the fleshy belly of the muscle. The muscle reported here might compress the ulnar nerve and artery and may produce neurovascular symptoms. On the other hand, the tendon and fleshy belly of the muscle could be useful in muscle/tendon grafts. The observations made by us in the present case will supplement our knowledge of variations of the muscles in this region which could be useful for surgeons during the forearm and hand surgeries.
Common aponeurosis; Flexor retinaculum; Tendon grafts; Ulnar nerve
Background Spontaneous flexor tendon rupture is considered to be invariably associated with previous hand/wrist injury or systemic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Case Description A 54-year-old man presented with a 4-month history of mild ulnar wrist pain and spontaneous left little finger flexion loss in the absence of distant/recent trauma and systemic arthropathy. Surgical exploration confirmed a zone IV left little finger flexor digitorum profundus (FDP5) attritional rupture (100%), ring finger flexor digitorum profundus (FDP4) attenuation (40%) and a disrupted lunotriquetral ligament and volar-ulnar wrist capsule. Volar subluxation of the narrowed carpal tunnel resulted in flexor tendon attrition against the hamate hook. A side-to-side tendon transfer was performed along with a lunotriquetral ligament repair and temporary Kirschner wire fixation. At 6 months the patient had full active, synchronous flexion of the ring and little fingers and reduced wrist pain.
Literature Review Traumatic flexor tendon ruptures have been reported following distal radius/hamate hook fractures, from carpal bone osteophytes, accessory carpal bones and intraosseous ganglia. Attritional ruptures caused by chronic, degenerative carpal pathology are less common.
Clinical Relevance This case highlights an unusual cause of flexor tendon rupture due to chronic carpal instability.
attrition rupture; flexor tendon; hamate; lunate subluxation; carpal instability
When performed alone, endoscopic carpal tunnel release and endoscopic cubital tunnel release are safe and effective surgical options for the treatment of carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes, respectively. However, there is currently no literature that describes the performance of both procedures concomitantly. We describe the results of 17 cases in which dual endoscopic carpal and cubital tunnel releases were performed for the treatment of concurrent carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes.
A retrospective review of all patients in a single surgeon practice that presented with concomitant ipsilateral carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes was performed. Within an 8-month period, 17 patients had undergone 19 concomitant ipsilateral endoscopic carpal and cubital tunnel releases after failing conservative treatment. Pre- and postoperative measurements included subjective numbness/tingling; subjective pain; manual muscle testing of the abductor pollicis brevis (APB), intrinsics, and flexor digitorum profundus (FDP); static two-point discrimination; quick-DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand) scores; grip strength; chuck pinch strength; and key pinch strength. Complete data are available for 15 patients and 17 total procedures.
Thirteen male and four female patients (average age of 50.5) underwent dual endoscopic cubital and carpal tunnel release. Two patients were lost to follow-up and eliminated from data analysis. Pre- and postoperative comparisons were completed for median DASH scores, grip strength, chuck pinch strength, and key pinch strength at their preoperative visit and at 12 weeks. DASH scores improved significantly from a median of 67.5 to 16 (p = 0.002), grip strengths improved from 42 to 55.0 lbs (p = 0.30), chuck pinch strengths improved significantly from 11 to 15.5 lbs (p = 0.02), and key pinch strengths increased significantly from 13 to 18 lbs (p = 0.003). Average static two-point discrimination decreased from 5.9 to 4.8 mm. In terms of pain, 82 % of patients had complete resolution of pain, and the remaining 18 % experienced pain only with strenuous activity. In terms of numbness/tingling, 100 % of patients had complete resolution of median nerve symptoms; 88 % of patients had substantial improvement of numbness and tingling symptoms, and 12 % had residual ulnar nerve symptoms. In terms of muscle strength, 92 % of patients had improvement to 5/5 APB strength, while 100 % of patients had improvement to 5/5 intrinsic and FDP strengths. Two minor complications occurred, including one superficial hematoma and one superficial cellulitis.
Preliminary data demonstrate that dual endoscopic carpal and cubital tunnel release is a safe and effective treatment option for patients who present with concurrent cubital and carpal tunnel syndromes recalcitrant to non-surgical management. Postoperative results and complications are comparable to endoscopic carpal and cubital tunnel releases performed alone.
Carpal tunnel syndrome; Cubital tunnel syndrome; Endoscopic carpal tunnel release; Endoscopic cubital tunnel release
Objective: Giant cell tumor of tendon sheath is a rare cause of ulnar tunnel syndrome. We present a case of a 37-year-old woman who presented with decreased sensation and weakness of grip of the right hand. Magnetic resonance imaging indicated the presence of a mass in the hypothenar eminence and showed that the mass was associated with the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon and displacing the ulnar neurovascular bundle. A differential diagnosis included desmoid tumor and sarcoma. Methods: Surgical examination showed a mass that was associated with the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon and flexor retinaculum located in the distal portion of Guyon's canal and intertwined with the ulnar nerve and displacing the ulnar artery. The mass was removed and Guyon's canal was released. Results: Histological examination indicated a diagnosis of giant cell tumor of tendon sheath (GCTTS). Postoperatively, the patient had fully restored sensory and motor function of the right hand. Conclusions: Although GCTTS is the most common solid, soft-tissue lesion of the hand, it is rarely diagnosed properly preoperatively. Therefore, it is imperative to always include GCTTS in the differential diagnosis of any mass of the hand.
In recent years, distal nerve transfers have become a valid tool for nerve reconstruction. Though grafts remain the gold standard for proximal median nerve injuries, a new distal transfer of flexor carpi ulnaris branches of the ulnar nerve to selectively restore anterior interosseous nerve function, concomitant with median nerve graft repair, could enhance outcomes. The objective of this paper is to anatomically analyze a technique to selectively reinnervate the thumb and index flexors.
Both the median and ulnar nerves were dissected in 10 cadavers. First and second branches to the flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) were measured for length at its emergence from the ulnar nerve, and for width. The emergence of the AIN, just proximal to the arch of the flexor digitorum superficialis, was dissected, and the distance measured from this point to its motor entry at the long flexor pollicis and its branch to the long index flexor. A tensionless repair was performed between one FCU branch and the AIN.
The mean AIN length was 32.3±8.20 mm and width 2.4±0.49 mm. The first branch from the ulnar nerve to the FCU measured 20.8±2.04 mm and 1.52±0.44 mm, while the second, more distal branch measured 24.3±6.71 and 1.9±0.17 mm, respectively. In all dissections, it was possible to contact both the proximal and distal branches of the ulnar nerve to the FCU with the distal stump of the divided AIN, with no tension or need for interposed nerve grafts.
Though proximal reconstruction remains the gold standard, new distal nerve transfer techniques may improve outcomes.
Axon donor; distal nerve transfer; flexor carpi ulnaris; median nerve injury; nerve reconstruction
Ulnar nerve is a branch of the brachial plexus. In the front of the forearm, normally near the wrist joint, it gives a dorsal cutaneous branch which supplies the skin of the dorsum of the hand.
The present case reports a very rare finding, the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve along with the main nerve trunk originated between the two heads of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle, after descending along the medial border of the forearm extensor surface, on the dorsal aspect of the wrist it is divided into three branches, one medial and two lateral. The medial most division received a communicating branch from the superficial ramus of the ulnar nerve and continued as the medial proper digital nerve of the little finger. The lateral two divisions became cutaneous on the medial half of the dorsum of the hand along the medial three digits i.e. radial and ulnar side of little, ring and middle finger.
The site, extent of injury, variations and the delay in the treatment, significantly influences the outcome of ulnar nerve repair. Thus, an adequate knowledge of all possible variations in the ulnar nerve may be important for clinicians and may help to explain uncommon symptoms.
Injuries to the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) are one of the most common and severe incurred by pitchers. Baseball pitchers of all ages and levels have seen an increase in the diagnosis of these injuries. Tears of the UCL are caused by high valgus forces at the elbow of which the UCL is the primary restraint. Biomechanical studies have demonstrated that baseball pitchers either approach or exceed the maximum tensile strength of the UCL while throwing. Valgus force is additionally resisted by the flexor pronator (FP) muscles: flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU), flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS), and pronator teres (PT), which act as secondary stabilizers. The importance of these secondary stabilizers has not been clearly demonstrated. The goal of this study was to monitor the strength changes in the secondary stabilizers of the elbow over the course of the baseball season and to attempt to correlate any of those changes to observed UCL injuries.
With approval of the Institutional Review Board, 19 professional minor league baseball pitchers were evaluated in spring training and then at the conclusion of the season for flexor-pronator muscle strength. Additionally, their medical histories were assessed for incidents of ulnar collateral ligament injuries and days missed from baseball activities. Each player was assessed using custom testing devices measuring forearm pronation strength, wrist flexion strength, and isolated ring finger FDS strength. Both dominant and non-dominant arms were evaluated and the same testing procedure was performed both at spring training and at the conclusion of the baseball season. Strength was defined as the maximum isometric force generated over three trials. For each test, percentile rank was determined within the sample. A comparison between spring and fall assessments was done using a paired two sample T-test for means.
For all three tests, there was a demonstrated decrease of strength in both the pitching arm and non-pitching arm over the season. Pronation strength, wrist flexion strength, and FDS strength to the ring finger decreased 16.1%, 13.7%, and 4.9% respectively in the throwing arm. The decrease in pronation strength and wrist flexion strength in the throwing arm were statistically significant (p=0.001 and 0.003 respectively). Although the non-throwing arm also decreased in strength, it did not reach statistical significance. Two of the nineteen players were diagnosed with ulnar collateral ligament sprains during the season. The two injured players were the 1st and 3rd weakest in a composite percentile strength ranking from the spring assessment.
In this study, we showed a diminution of strength of the muscles that act as secondary stabilizers of the ulnar collateral ligament over the course of the professional baseball season. The flexor pronator muscles (specifically the FCU, PT, and FDS) may help protect baseball pitchers from ulnar collateral ligament injuries and weakness of these muscles might make individuals prone to ulnar collateral ligament injuries and subsequent valgus overload syndrome. It is possible that this data would be helpful to predict individuals who are predisposed toward ulnar collateral ligament injuries, as well as in the development of comprehensive flexor-pronator muscle strengthening programs aimed at maintaining secondary stabilizer strength over the course of the baseball season.
During the evolution of the senior author's technique of ulnar nerve transposition to in situ decompression for ulnar neuropathy at the elbow, nerve conduction studies (NCS) including the Kimura inching method were performed preoperatively in an effort to ensure that all potential sites of compression were investigated intraoperatively. The purpose of this study is to compare the results of the Kimura inching technique with the intraoperative findings noted during decompression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow.
The medical records of consecutive patients who underwent in situ decompression of their ulnar nerves combined with endoscopic examination between March and December of 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. The site of ulnar nerve compression noted using the Kimura inching technique was compared with the intraoperative findings.
Twelve consecutive patients (four with bilateral symptoms) underwent endoscopic ulnar nerve compression in the study period for a total of 16 cases analyzed. In 12 cases, the Kimura method localized the site of compression to Osborne's bands and/or the aponeurosis of the flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU). Intraoperatively, compression was noted at Osborne's bands, the FCU aponeurosis, and/or the FCU) muscle proper in all 16 patients. There was partial or full correlation between the nerve conduction data and intraoperative findings in 13/16 cases.
There was good but not perfect agreement between the NCS and intraoperative findings, perhaps because transcutaneous NCS are less accurate when a nerve is surrounded by muscle. The information obtained in this study is valuable when planning surgery to address ulnar nerve compression.
Kimura inching technique; Cubital tunnel syndrome; Ulnar neuropathy; Endoscopic in situ decompression
Ulnar nerve blockade as a component of wrist block is a promising technique for adequate anesthesia and analgesia for different surgeries of the hand. Due to anatomical variations in the location of ulnar nerve under the flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) a technique with good results and minimal complications are required.
The aim of the following study is to compare the three techniques (volar, transtendinous volar [TTV] and ulnar) for ulnar nerve block at the wrist in human cadaveric wrists.
Materials and Methods:
Our study was conducted using 40 cadaver wrists. After inserting standard hypodermic needles by three techniques for ulnar nerve blockade at the wrist, a detailed dissection of FCU was done. The mean distance from the tip of the needle to ulnar artery/nerve and number of instances in which the ulnar artery/nerve pierced were observed.
Inter-group statistical significance was observed in measurement of the mean distance (mm) from the tip of the needle to the ulnar artery (volar [0.92 ± 0.11], TTV [3.96 ± 0.14] and ulnar [7.14 ± 0.08] approaches) and ulnar nerve (volar/TTV/ulnar approaches were 0.71 ± 0.12/3.61 ± 0.10/6.31 ± 0.49, respectively) (P = 0.001). Inadvertent intra-arterial/intraneural injections was seen with volar approach in 14 (35%) and 16 (40%) of the cadaveric wrists respectively, statistically significant with transtendinous and ulnar techniques of ulnar nerve block.
TTV approach could be a better technique of choice for ulnar nerve blockade at the wrist because of its ease to practice, safer profile and minimum chances of inadvertent intra-arterial/intraneural injection with adequate anesthesia/analgesia.
Ulnar nerve; ulnar nerve block; wrist block
Peripheral nerve transfers are being used to improve upper extremity function in cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate feasibility and perioperative complications following these procedures.
Eligible SCI patients with upper extremity dysfunction were assessed and followed for a minimum of 3 months after surgery. Data regarding demographics, medical history, physical examination, electrodiagnostic testing, intraoperative nerve stimulation, recipient nerve histomorphometry, surgical procedure, and complications were collected.
Seven patients had surgery on eight limbs, mean age of 28 ± 9.9 years and mean time from SCI injury of 5.1 ± 5.2 years. All patients had volitional elbow flexion and no volitional hand function. The nerve to the brachialis muscle was used as the expendable donor, and the recipients included the anterior interosseous nerve (AIN) (for volitional prehension), nerve branches to the flexor carpi radialis, and flexor digitorum superficialis. Two patients underwent additional nerve transfers: (1) supinator to extensor carpi ulnaris or (2) deltoid to triceps. No patients had any loss of baseline upper extremity function, seven of eight AIN nerve specimens had preserved micro-architecture, and all intraoperative stimulation of recipient neuromuscular units was successful further supporting feasibility. Four patients had perioperative complications; all resolved or improved (paresthesias).
Nerve transfers can be used to reestablish volitional control of hand function in SCI. This surgery does not downgrade existing function, uses expendable donor nerve, and has no postoperative immobilization, which might make it a more viable option than traditional tendon transfer and other procedures.
Spinal cord injury; Tetraplegia; Nerve transfer; Peripheral nerve; Surgery
The purpose of this study was to report the operative findings in patients who underwent a secondary operation for cubital tunnel syndrome. A chart review was performed of 100 patients who had undergone a secondary operation for cubital tunnel syndrome by one surgeon. The mean age was 48 years (standard deviation 13.5 years). The most common complaint after primary surgery was increased symptoms in the ulnar nerve distribution (n = 55) and pain in the medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve distribution (n = 55). The most common operative findings included a medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve neuroma (n = 73) and a distal kink of the ulnar nerve (n = 57). This kink was noted as the nerve moved from its transposed position anterior to the medical epicondyle to its native position within the flexor carpi ulnaris. This study suggests that during primary surgery for cubital tunnel syndrome care should be given to avoid injury to the medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve, distal kinking of the ulnar nerve with transposition and pressure on the transposed nerve by the fascial flaps or tendinous bands.
Cubital tunnel syndrome; Surgery; Reoperation
Active pronation is important for many activities of daily living. Loss of median nerve function including pronation is a rare sequela of humerus fracture. Tendon transfers to restore pronation are reserved for the obstetrical brachial plexus palsy patient. Transfer of expendable motor nerves is a treatment modality that can be used to restore active pronation. Nerve transfers are advantageous in that they do not require prolonged immobilization postoperatively, avoid operating within the zone of injury, reinnervate muscles in their native location prior to degeneration of the motor end plates, and result in minimal donor deficit. We report a case of lost median nerve function after a humerus fracture. Pronation was restored with transfer of the extensor carpi radialis brevis branch of the radial nerve to the pronator teres branch of the median nerve. Anterior interosseous nerve function was restored with transfer of the supinator branch to the anterior interosseous nerve. Clinically evident motor function was seen at 4 months postoperatively and continued to improve for the following 18 months. The patient has 4+/5 pronator teres, 4+/5 flexor pollicis longus, and 4−/5 index finger flexor digitorum profundus function. The transfer of the extensor carpi radialis brevis branch of the radial nerve to the pronator teres and supinator branch of the radial nerve to the anterior interosseous nerve is a novel, previously unreported method to restore extrinsic median nerve function.
Nerve transfers; Pronation; Nerve injury; Median nerve
We report a rare case of an 84-year-old woman who presented with delayed, complete rupture of superficial (flexor digitorum superficialis) and deep flexor tendons (flexor digitorum profundus) of the third, fourth and fifth digits of the right hand in zone V of the flexor tendons. The patient, who was otherwise healthy, active and independent, incurred a closed fracture of her right wrist 18 years ago, which was treated conservatively. Current X-rays and operative findings confirmed a malunited Galeazzi fracture-dislocation with volar dislocation of the ulna from the distal radioulnar joint. She underwent surgical treatment to improve her hand function and agonising neuritis symptoms, as she was unable to use her middle, ring and little fingers and had developed severe neuritis of the ulnar nerve. Exploration and repair of the flexor tendons, nerve decompressions and Darrach procedure were performed. On follow-up, the patient showed improvement in hand function with the neuritis completely resolved.
The anterior interosseous nerve (AIN) is a only motor nerve innervating the deep muscles of the forearm. Its compression is rare. We present a retrospective analysis of 14 patients with an AIN syndrome with a variety of clinical manifestations who underwent operative and conservative treatment.
Patients and methods
Fourteen patients (six female, eight male, mean age 48 ± 9 years) were included. In six patients, the right limb was affected, and in eight patients the left limb. Conservative treatment was started for every patient. If no signs of recovery appeared within 3 months, operative exploration was performed. Final assessment was performed between 2 and 9 years after the onset of paralysis (mean duration of follow-up 46 ± 11 months). Patients were examined clinically for return of power, range of motion, pinch and grip strengths. Also the disability of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) score was calculated.
Seven of our 14 patients had incomplete AIN palsy with isolated total loss of function of flexor pollicis longus (FPL), five of FPL and flexor digitorum profundus (FDP)1 simultaneously, and two of FDP1. Weakness of FDP2 could be seen in four patients. Pronator teres was paralysed in two patients. Pain in the forearm was present in nine patients. Four patients had predisposing factors. Eight patients treated conservatively exhibited spontaneous recovery from their paralysis during 3–12 months after the onset. In six patients, the AIN was explored 12 weeks after the initial symptoms and released from compressing structures. Thirteen patients showed good limb function. In one patient with poor result a tendon transfer was necessary. The DASH score of patients treated conservatively and operatively presented no significant difference.
AIN syndrome can have different clinical manifestations. If no signs of spontaneous recovery appear within 12 weeks, operative treatment should be performed.
Anterior interosseous nerve syndrome; Upper extremity; Decompression; Conservative treatment
The aim of this study is to endoscopically evaluate the ulnar nerve proximal and distal to the cubital tunnel after in situ decompression to identify and eventually release fascial bands capable of compressing the ulnar nerve.
We performed a retrospective review of 16 ulnar nerve compression cases in 12 patients. Eight men and four women with a mean age of 52 years (range, 23–77 years) were clinically diagnosed and confirmed with neurophysiologic studies. A 4–6-cm curvilinear incision was made at the medial elbow, and the ulnar nerve was identified and decompressed at the cubital tunnel. Then, a 2.7-mm endoscope was passed 8 to 10 cm proximal and distal to the medial epicondyle allowing for visualization of the ulnar nerve and its surrounding soft tissues.
The endoscopic evaluation of the 16 ulnar nerves demonstrated no compressive bands outside of the cubital tunnel. All patients had satisfactory outcomes.
The good results reported after in situ ulnar nerve decompression have questioned the need for endoscopically assisted decompression of the ulnar nerve proximal and distal to the cubital tunnel. Some authors suggest the existence of fascial bands within the flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) capable of compressing the ulnar nerve. This study would suggest that fibrous bands deep in the FCU capable of compressing the ulnar nerve do not exist. Our satisfactory outcomes would support the perception that extensive decompression of the ulnar nerve beyond the cubital tunnel is not routinely needed.
Ulnar nerve; Cubital tunnel; Endoscopic
Fractures of both the radius and ulna are usually treated with two separate incisions and rarely with one single incision. However, both methods have disadvantages. For this we describe a relatively safe single straight posterior incision for exposure of the whole shafts of both the radius and ulna with the forearm rested on a board across the chest. This procedure was used in 116 forearms in 115 patients. The incision was in a straight line from the lateral humeral epicondyle to the ulnar head. The ulna was exposed between the extensor carpi ulnaris muscle and flexor digitorum profundus muscle covered by the aponeurosis of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle and the radius between the extensor digitorum muscle and the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle. During operation there was no difficulty in reducing or fixing any of the fractures in the whole shafts of the radius and ulna and at follow-up (average 5.2 years) there was no radioulnar synostosis or neurovascular injury in any of the forearms.
Exposure; Radius and ulna; Single posterior incision
Variations in the major arteries of the upper limb are estimated to be present in up to one fifth of people, and may have significant clinical implications.
During routine cadaveric dissection of a 69-year-old fresh female cadaver, a superficial brachioulnar artery with an aberrant path was found bilaterally. The superficial brachioulnar artery originated at midarm level from the brachial artery, pierced the brachial fascia immediately proximal to the elbow, crossed superficial to the muscles that originated from the medial epicondyle, and ran over the pronator teres muscle in a doubling of the antebrachial fascia. It then dipped into the forearm fascia, in the gap between the flexor carpi radialis and the palmaris longus. Subsequently, it ran deep to the palmaris longus muscle belly, and superficially to the flexor digitorum superficialis muscle, reaching the gap between the latter and the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle, where it assumed is usual position lateral to the ulnar nerve.
As far as the authors could determine, this variant of the superficial brachioulnar artery has only been described twice before in the literature. The existence of such a variant is of particular clinical significance, as these arteries are more susceptible to trauma, and can be easily confused with superficial veins during medical and surgical procedures, potentially leading to iatrogenic distal limb ischemia.
Blood supply; Anatomy; Surgery; Arteries; Arm; Forearm; Cadaver; Dissection
The wrist is a common site of injury and the most frequently injured body part among professional golfers. A 37-year-old, right-handed male golfer presented with pain at the ulnar aspect of his left palm, which grew worse after an initial traumatic impact from the golf club handle. There was tenderness over the hypothenar eminence of the left palm. Computed tomography of the left wrist showed an undisplaced fracture through the base of the hamate hook. The golf-induced hamate hook fracture was managed conservatively, with cessation of physical activity involving the left hand and wrist for eight weeks. The patient made a full recovery. Repetitive trauma, exacerbated by improper wrist motion, leads to typical wrist injuries affecting golfers, such as ulnar impaction syndrome, de Quervain’s disease, and tendinopathy affecting the flexor carpi ulnaris and extensor carpi ulnaris, all of which can be diagnosed on imaging.
golf injury; hamate fracture; tendinopathy; ulnar impaction syndrome; wrist injury
Tendon transfer for radial nerve paralysis has a 100 years history and any set of tendons that can be considered to be useful has been utilized for the purpose. The pronator tress is used for restoration of wrist dorsiflexion, while the flexor carpi radialis, flexor carpiulnaris, and flexor digitorum superficialis are variably used in each for fingers and thumb movements. The present study was a retrospective analysis, designed to compare three methods of tendon transfer for radial nerve palsy.
Materials and Methods:
41 patients with irreversible radial nerve paralysis, who had underwent three different types of tendon transfers (using different tendons for transfer) between March 2005 and September 2009, included in the study. The pronator teres was transferred for wrist extention. Flexor carpi ulnaris (group 1, n=18), flexor carpi radialis (group 2, n=10) and flexor digitorum superficialis (group 3, n=13) was used to achieve finger extention. Palmaris longus was used to achieve thumb extention and abduction. At the final examination, related ranges of motions were recorded and the patients were asked about their overall satisfaction with the operation, their ability, and time of return to their previous jobs, and in addition, disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) Score was measured and recorded for each patient.
The difference between the groups with regard to DASH score, ability, and time of return to job, satisfaction with the operation, and range of motions was not statistically significant (P>0.05). All of the patients had experienced functional improvement and overall satisfaction rate was 95%. No complication directly attributable to the operation was noted, except for proximal interphalangeal joint flexion contracture in three patents.
The tendon transfer for irreversible radial nerve palsy is very successful and probably the success is not related to type of tendon used for transfer.
DASH score; radial nerve palsy; tendon transfer
The main objective of this study was to describe Martin-Gruber anastomosis anatomically and to recognize its clinical repercussions.
100 forearms of 50 adult cadavers were dissected in an anatomy laboratory. The dissection was performed by means of a midline incision along the entire forearm and the lower third of the upper arm. Two flaps including skin and subcutaneous tissue were folded back on the radial and ulnar sides, respectively.
Nerve communication between the median and ulnar nerves in the forearm (Martin-Gruber anastomosis) was found in 27 forearms. The anastomosis was classified into six types: type I: anastomosis between the anterior interosseous nerve and the ulnar nerve (n = 9); type II: anastomosis between the anterior interosseous nerve and the ulnar nerve at two points (double anastomosis) (n = 2); type III: anastomosis between the median nerve and the ulnar nerve (n = 4); type IV: anastomosis between branches of the median nerve and ulnar nerve heading toward the flexor digitorum profundus muscle of the fingers; these fascicles form a loop with distal convexity (n = 5); type V: intramuscular anastomosis (n = 5); and type VI: anastomosis between a branch of the median nerve to the flexor digitorum superficialis muscle and the ulnar nerve (n = 2).
Knowledge of the anatomical variations relating to the innervation of the hand has great importance, especially with regard to physical examination, diagnosis, prognosis and surgical treatment. If these variations are not given due regard, errors and other consequences will be inevitable.
Arteriovenous anastomosis/anatomy & histology; Median nerve; Ulnar nerve; Anastomose arteriovenosa/anatomia e histologia; Nervo mediano; Nervo ulnar
Ulnar nerve neuropathy is one of the most common peripheral nerve dysfunctions. Elbow is the most common area affected by ulnar nerve which is mainly because of fractures or dislocations of this area. Delayed ulnar nerve palsy (Tardy Ulnar Nerve Palsy) in children due to a malpositioning of upper extremity during hospitalization is an uncommon cause of ulnar nerve injury which we have already reported it.
An eight-year-old conscious patient who had weakness, paresthesia and tingling in the right 4th and 5th fingers, as well as right claw hand deformity was evaluated, he had attended once before in 4 months ago due to head trauma in coma state. The child had no clinical and radiological indications of arm or elbow fractures causing nerve compression or entrapment. Elbow malposition had caused ulnar nerve neuropathy during hospitalization. Surgery was attempted, ulnar nerve decompression and anterior transposition done.
After three weeks post operatively, active physical therapy was started on the right upper extremity and the hand returned to normal activity after 6 months.
In patients with decreased level of consciousness or coma state who need prolonged hospitalization, the limbs must remain in correct position to prevent superficial nerve injuries and neuropathies. Furthermore, careful and scrutinized attention to the traumatic patients and doing on time and targeted imaging, regular follow up of patients, complete and perfect neurological examinations can prevent peripheral nerve injuries or develop on-time treatments which improve the patients' quality of life.
Ulnar nerve, Elbow malposition, Ulnar nerve decompression
Nerve entrapment while suturing a lacerated wound is a complication that is easily avoidable. We report a case low ulnar nerve palsy due to nerve entrapment while suturing a lacerated wound.
A 48 year old lady came with complaints of pain and a lacerated wound over the dorsomedial aspect of lower third of the left forearm. The lacerated wound was sutured elsewhere one week back. She had fracture of lower third of the ulna which was stabilised with plates and screws using a separate dorsal incision. She developed ulnar claw hand on the third postoperative day. Strength duration curve revealed neurotmesis of ulnar nerve. Ulnar nerve exploration was done and the nerve was found to be ligated at the site of original laceration. The ligature was released and nerve was found to be thinned out at the site. There was no neurological recovery at 5 months follow up and reconstruction procedures in form of tendon tranfer are planned for the patient.
This is a case of iatrogenic ulnar nerve palsy which is very rare in our literature. This can be easily avoided if proper care is taken while suturing the primary laceration. A nerve can be mistakenly sutured for a bleeding vein and proper exposure while suturing will be necessary especially at areas where nerves are superficial.
iatrogenic; ulnar nerve palsy
The detailed outcome of surgical repair of high isolated clean sharp (HICS) ulnar nerve lesions has become relevant in view of the recent development of distal nerve transfer. Our goal was to determine the outcome of HICS ulnar nerve repair in order to create a basis for the optimal management of these lesions.
High ulnar nerve lesions are defined as localized in the area ranging from the proximal forearm to the axilla just distal to the branching of the medial cord of the brachial plexus. A meta-analysis of the literature concerning high ulnar nerve injuries was performed. Additionally, a retrospective study of the outcome of nerve repair of HICS ulnar nerve injuries at our institution was performed. The Rotterdam Intrinsic Hand Myometer and the Rosén-Lundborg protocol were used.
The literature review identified 46 papers. Many articles presented outcomes of mixed lesion groups consisting of combined ulnar and median nerves, or the outcome of high and low level injuries was pooled. In addition, outcome was expressed using different scoring systems. 40 patients with HICS ulnar nerve lesions were found with sufficient data for further analysis. In our institution, 15 patients had nerve repair with a median interval between trauma and reconstruction of 17 days (range 0–516). The mean score of the motor and sensory domain of the Rosen's Scale instrument was 58% and 38% of the unaffected arm, respectively. Two-point discrimination never reached less then 12 mm.
From the literature, it was not possible to draw a definitive conclusion on outcome of surgical repair of HICS ulnar nerve lesions. Detailed neurological function assessment of our own patients showed that some ulnar nerve function returned. Intrinsic muscle strength recovery was generally poor. Based on this study, one might cautiously argue that repair strategies of HICS ulnar nerve lesions need to be improved.