Full-length phrenic nerve transfer as the treatment for brachial plexus avulsion injury to restore wrist and finger extension.
ABSTRACT The functional restoration of wrist and finger extension after complete brachial plexus avulsion injury remains an unsolved problem. We conducted a prospective study to elucidate a new method for resolving this injury.
Six patients with complete brachial plexus avulsion injury underwent a new surgical procedure in which the full-length phrenic nerve was transferred to the medial portion of the radial nerve at the level of the latissimus dorsi insertion via endoscopic thoracic surgery.
In 5 patients, extensor carpi ulnaris and extensor carpi radialis strength recovered to Medical Research Council grade ≥M3, and in 4 patients extensor digitorum strength recovered to ≥M3.
Neurotization of phrenic nerve to the medial portion of the radial nerve at the level of latissimus dorsi insertion is a feasible means of restoring wrist and finger extension in cases of complete brachial plexus avulsion injury.